Wednesday, December 4, 2013

#FiveFavorites: Yes, More Music

Head on over to Moxie Wife and link up and see other people's five favorites,
or share five of your favorites (ANY favorites) here!

So last week I did a post about all my favorite things to do for Advent. And I shamelessly suggested you read my other blog to learn more Advent and Christmas Carols. (...and you DID! Thank you!)

For the #10Hymns project I've been sifting through hundreds of YouTube Videos, sorting the good and the bad, and ultimately picking out the ones I need. But what I need for teaching other people these pieces of music isn't always what strikes me as beautiful.

So for today's Five Favorites, I'm sharing my five favorite Advent YouTube Videos. Some are professionals, and some are just adorable.

1. Alma Redemptoris Mater - Palestrina
Performed by Quire Cleveland, conducted by Jameson Marvin

Instead of the Salve Regina at the end of Compline, during Advent, we sing this beautiful hymn to the Blessed Mother:
Loving Mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen
yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature
 you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.

2. The Rose of Sharon - Billings
Performed by Dordt College Choir, conducted by David McWilliams

This lovely little piece is taken right from the Song of Songs and prefigures the coming of the Savior. Billings was a tanner in Boston at around the time of the American Revolution who wrote music as a hobby. His pieces are vibrant and full of moving parts and traded voices. There's not a lot of subtlety to it. It's either loud or soft. But note the vivid tone painting of the music in consort with the words at the "skipping" part. It's a real blast to sing Billings. 

I am the Rose of Sharon
and the lily of the valley.
As the Appletree,
among the trees of the wood,
so is my Beloved among the Sons.
As the Lily among the thorns,
so is my Love among the Daughters.
I sat down under his shadow with great delight,
And his fruit was sweet to my taste, taste.
He brought me to the Banqueting House,
His Banner over me was Love.
Stay me with Flagons,
Comfort me with Apples,
for I am sick, sick of Love.
I charge you, O ye Daughters of Jerusalem,
by the Roes and by the Hinds of the Field,
that you stir not up nor Awake,
Awake my Love till he please.
The voice of my Beloved,
Behold, he cometh,
Leaping upon the mountains,
skipping upon the Hills.
My Beloved spake and said unto me: rise up,
my Love, my fair one, and come away,
for Lo, the Winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.

3. Maria durch ein Dornwald ging
Performed by the Thomanerchor, Leipzig Germany, 1989

I had the pleasure of standing in this very church in 2006. The Thomaskirche is the Lutheran Church in Leipzig that put J.S. Bach on the map. A couple of hundred years later Felix Mendelssohn converted to Christianity while rehearsing Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the Thomanerchor which is the choir in the video.

"Maria durch ein Dornwald ging" is an Advent carol in honor of the sacrifice that Mary made to carry our Savior.  The repeated corruption of the Greek "Kyrie Eleison" (Lord have mercy) is a reminder of our need for mercy and the humility of both Mary and Jesus, in their suffering.
In the end, as Mary and Jesus pass together through the thorns, roses suddenly appear on the branches, signifying the coming of new life. 

Maria walks amid the thorn,
Which for seven years no leaf hath born
She walks amid the wood of thorn
Jesus and Maria.

What ‘neath her heart does Mary bear?
A little child doth Mary bear
Beneath her heart he nestles there.
Jesus and Maria.
And as the two are passing near
Lo! Roses on the thorns appear!
Jesus and Maria.

4. The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns
Performed by The Christ Lutheran Academy Choir, conducted by Kathryn Peperkorn

Sweet kids! And they can sing, folks.

5. Lasst uns Froh und Munter Sein
Performed by the Columbus Kinderchor

Well, this is just a cute little song for Sankt Nikolaus Tag (St. Nicholas Day) which is coming up on Friday, December 6th.

In this song the kids are talking all about how excited they are that it's St. Nicholas Day. 
 The littlest one was three in this video. He was told to hold the note until I cut it off, but I forgot to cut him off with a big enough motion so he just kept singing. At one point you can hear the choir (and the conductor) start to giggle.

I became the Director Emerita this year but I still...nothing says Holiday like cute little kids singing in German. (Or maybe that's just me...) 

(A Literal Translation)
Let us be happy and cheerful
And rejoice in the Lord! (Chorus) 
Jolly, jolly, tralera-lera,
Soon Nicholas Eve is here!
Soon Nicholas Eve is here!
Then I put the plate out
Nick'll surely put somethin' on it. (Chorus)
When I sleep then I dream:
Now Nicholas brings me something. (Chorus)
When I rise (in the morning)
I dash quickly to the plate. (Chorus)
Nicholas is a good man
Whom we can't thank enough. (Chorus)

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