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The Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra
Raul Munguia - Artistic Director & Conductor

2005-06 Season

Sunday, May 7th, 2006
~ 3:00 p.m. ~
First United Methodist Church
Fifth & Pine

Concert program (PDF)
Concert poster
Related Links

Concert Graphic

Psalmfest II
May 7th, 2006
Program Notes

The Harvard Dictionary of Music, in defining the term "Psalm," begins with this statement:

The Book of Psalms has been, no doubt, the single most important source of text in music history.

It is certainly true that, for many centuries, the texts of these song/poems have been on the lips of millions of people not only as authentic expressions of faith within the Judeo-Christian tradition, but also as important components in artistic utterance. Whether one hears Psalms being sung in a very simple call & response format, chanted by a group of monastic folk, or performed by a professional choir in the context of a large polychoral motet, one can't help but be drawn into the potential that exists for a magical connection between word and music.

This is the second program titled Psalmfest that we have offered to the community within the past five years. The challenge in building a program such as this is, of course, to find a way in which to narrow the choices and settle on a handful of favorite settings by wonderful composers. Today's program is the result of this long - and sometimes difficult! - distillation. The choices are drawn from six centuries of choral literature, and they are assembled according to the following architecture:

Two vastly different settings of Psalm 93 serve as "bookends" for the program. Just inside these bookends are two pairings of Psalms of Praise. Completing the order are works identified as Psalms of Lament & Supplication, Psalms of Justice & Judgment, and Psalms of Assurance.

Thank you for joining us for Psalmfest II. We hope that you will enjoy the performance.

~ Susan Marchant

Psalm 93

Dominus regnavit (Psalm 93)

Josquin des Prés (c.1440-1521)

Sung in Latin. Translation:

The Lord hath reigned, he is clothed with beauty: the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded himself. For he hath established the world which shall not be moved. Thy throne is prepared from of old: Thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, 0 Lord: the floods have lifted up their voice. The floods have lifted up their waves, with the noise of many waters. Wonderful are the surges of the sea: wonderful is the Lord on high. Thy testimonies are become exceedingly credible; holiness becometh thy house, 0 Lord, unto length of days.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Psalms of Praise

Cantate Domino (Psalm 96)

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)

Sung in Latin. Translation:

O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; show forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.

Laudate Jehovam, omnes gentes (Psalm 117)

Georg Philip Telemann (1681-1767)

Sung in Latin. Translation:

  1. Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!
  2. For great is his steadfast love toward us; and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
  3. Alleluia!

Psalms of Lament and Supplication

Psalm 63 (from the motet cycle The Best Beloved)

Chris DeBlasio (1959-1993)

  • Jessica Dold, soprano soloist
  • Timothy Henderson, conductor

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. But the King shall rejoice in God; everyone that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped. Amen.

O pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122)

Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656)

O pray for the peace of Jerusalem. They shall prosper that love thee.

An Wasserflüssen Babylon (Psalm 137)

Strassburg 1525

Sung in German. Translation:

By the waters of Babylon we sat down in sorrow; when we thought of Zion we wept from our hearts. Sorrowfully we hung up our organs and harps on their trees of willow, which are in their country; there we had to suffer much shame and disgrace daily at their hands.

Chorale Prelude, BWV 653a

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

On Psalm 130

David Hurd (b.1950 )

  • Scott Allison, conductor

So deep in need of help am I, Lord, hear my desperation. Open your ear and heed my cry, 0 send me consolation. For since it is your will that you confront the evil sin can do, who then, Lord, is your equal? All human action has no worth. Our wrongs you have forgiven; good deeds that we may do on Earth, weigh less than dust in Heaven. When kneeling at your throne of grace, the best of men must hide his face, and trust his God for mercy. My only hope is in my God, for all I build must perish. My heart I hang upon the Lord; his mercy will I cherish. His promise is His sacred Word, which my eternal home assured. That Word alone I follow. Though I may wait the long night through, until the dawn is breaking, my heart still trusts what God can do, all doubtful goals forsaking. Come, Israel, heed God's command, for you were fashioned by His hand; wait patiently for guidance. However vast our soul's despair, God's grace does not desert us. His hand can reach us everywhere, despite how sin may hurt us. Our Savior and good Shepherd, he will come and set His people free from sin and degradation.

Lord, I hold most dear (Psalms 2.6, 84, 43)

Johann Christian Geisler (1729-1815)

Lord, I hold most dear; Lord, I love the habitation of Thy temple and the place wherein Thy glory dwelleth! For my soul crieth out for Thee; yea, it fainteth for Thy courts, that I may behold all the beauty of the Lord, and while singing his praises in thankful rejoicing, I may proclaim the greatness of His wonders. Send out Thy light and truth before me, that they may lead me and bring me unto Thy glorious mountain and unto Thy presence, that I may then enter unto Thine altar, unto my God of exceeding joy.

Psalms of Justice and Judgment

Richte mich, Gott (Psalm 43)

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Sung in German. Translation:

Vindicate me, 0 God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people; from deceitful and unjust men deliver me. For thou art the God in whom I take refuge; why hast thou cast me off? Why must I go about in mourning, with the enemy oppressing me? 0 send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to thy holy mountain, and to thy dwelling. Then will I go unto the altar of God, the God of my gladness and joy; and I will praise thee upon the harp, 0 God, my God. Why are you cast down, 0 my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God! For I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

Let thy hand be strengthened (Psalm 89)

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

  1. Let thy hand be strengthened, and thy right hand exalted.
  2. Let justice and judgment be the preparation of thy seat; let mercy and truth go before thy face!
  3. Alleluia!

Psalms of Assurance

Haec est dies (Psalm 1I8)

Jacobus Gallus (Handl) (1550-1591)

Sung in Latin. Translation:

This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 44 (with verses from Exodus, Chapter 15)

William Billings (1746-1800)

We have heard with our ears, and our fathers have told us, how thou didst drive out the heathen before them, and planted them. For they got not the land by their sword nor by their bow, but thy right hand and holy arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favor unto them. Be thou our King and God; command deliverance for Jacob. Awake! Why sleepest thou, 0 Lord? Arise, cast us not off forever. For so the wicked have bent their bow, to shoot at the righteous privily.

O Lord, we acknowledge we have sinned before thee and are not worthy to be called thy children. Hear us from heaven, and when thou hear'st, forgive. Father of mercy, God of consolation, hear us; hear from heaven thy dwelling place; and when thou hear'st, forgive.

Arise, 0 Lord! Gird on thy sword, most mighty prince; put on thy strength, most mighty Lord. Ride upon the heavens for our help, and in thy majesty upon the skies. Then the heathen will acknowledge that the Lord, he is God. The enemy said: I will brandish my sword, I will flourish my sword. My hand shall demolish then. Thou didst blow with thy wind; they sunk like lead in the mighty waters.

The Lord shall reign for ever and ever. For this cause I will give thanks and praise his holy name. Praise thou the Lord, and all that is within me, praise ye the Lord. The Lord's name be praised. Hallelujah! Let all the people say amen.

Psalm 23

Franz Schubert (1797- 1828)

  • Gulimina Mahamuti, piano

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He feedeth me in pastures green, he leadeth me beside still waters. He shall convert my soul and bring me forth in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through death's dark shadowed vale, yet will I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and staff, they comfort me. Thou hast prepared a table for me against them that trouble me; thou hast anointed my head with oil, and my cup shall be full. Thy kindness and thy mercy shall ever follow me; and I will dwell for ever in the house of the Lord.

Psalms of Praise

Let the people praise thee, 0 God (Psalm 67)

William Mathias (1934-1992)

Let the people praise thee, 0 God: yea, let all the people praise thee. 0 let the nations rejoice and be glad: for thou shalt judge the folk righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Then shall the earth bring forth her increase: and God, even our own God, shall give us his blessing. God shall bless us: and all the ends of the world shall fear him. God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and show us the light of his countenance. That thy way may be known upon earth: thy saving health among all nations. Let all the people praise thee, 0 God: yea, let all the people praise thee. 0 let the nations rejoice and be glad. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Clap your hands! (Psalm 47)

Nancy Mize Roberts

Clap your hands, ye people. Shout to God with loud songs of joy! Hallelujah! Sing praises to our God; lift your voice and sing. Sing praises to our God; He is our King! Clap your hands...

The Lord Reigneth

Michael Cox

The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty the Lord is clothed with strength. And has established the world, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: Thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, 0 Lord; the floods have lifted up their voice, their pounding waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, even the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure, holiness becometh thine house, 0 Lord, for ever and ever. The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty. Alleluia.

We extend special thanks to the people of First United Methodist Church for hosting this afternoon's performance.

Related Links

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)