Sunday, January 21, 2024
– 2:00pm –
St. Paul Lutheran Church
715 S 3rd St in Clinton
Due to the heavy snow and blizzard conditions this weekend, and the bitter cold expected on Sunday, we have decided to postpone this concert until January 21st. The concert will now be hosted by St. Paul Lutheran Church, which is at the foot of the Highway 30 bridge at 715 S 3rd St in Clinton. Thanks for your patience, and stay cozy warm and safe this blustery weekend!
Warm a Sunday afternoon in January with this performance of chamber music. Composers, musicians, and listeners alike consider chamber music to be the music of friendships. Composers write it with specific friends in mind, often writing a part for themselves in the ensemble. The group of friends gather to play it, and invite their closest friends to hear it. Join our musicians as we continue this great tradition of musical friendships!
Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 26
by Antonin Dvořák
Finale. Allegro non tanto
Nadia Wirchnianski, piano
Asa Church, violin • Ann Balderson, violoncello
– • –
by Josquin Des Prez
Since First I Saw Your Face
by Thomas Ford
Hard By a Fountain
by Hubert Waelrant
April Is In My Mistress’ Face
by Thomas Morley
Il et bel et bon
by Pierre Passereau
Brooke Logan, soprano • Sara Dunne, alto
Noah Strausser, tenor • Karl Wolf, bass
– • –
Miniatures for Woodwind Quintet
by William Grant Still
I Ride an Old Paint (U.S.A)
Jesus is a Rock in the Weary Land (U.S.A)
A Frog Went A-Courtin’ (U.S.A.)
Crystal Duffee, flute • Tamara Byram Mahl, oboe • Elizabeth Matera, clarinet
Thomas Wood, bassoon • Bianca Sierra, horn
Dvorak Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 26
The first Bohemian composer to achieve worldwide recognition, Antonin Dvorak turned his
native folk music into 19th century romantic music. Born in 1841 in a village on the Vltava River
north of Prague, Dvorak showed an unmistakable talent for music by age 12, and began formal
study of harmony, piano and organ. His music teacher realized young Antonin had easily
surpassed his lessons and had him enrolled at the Institute for Church Music in Prague where
he took on private students and played viola in various inns to eke out a living. Although these
were trying years for Dvorak, he composed two symphonies, an opera, chamber music and
numerous songs .
In 1873 he married Anna, a pianist and singer, but the couple tragically lost all 3 of their first
children. However, they were eventually able to raise six more healthy children, spending
summers in a small village where he was to compose some of his best-known works.
He became close friends with Johannes Brahms who helped him technically and found him an
influential publisher, attracting worldwide attention for his Slavonic Dances as well as his
country’s music. His fame spread abroad as he made 10 visits to England where he was made
an honorary doctor of music of Cambridge, as well as triumphant concerts in Moscow arranged
by his friend Tchaikovsky. He became director of the National Conservatory of Music in New
York in 1892, and traveled as far west as Iowa, finding much to stimulate him in the New World.
Eventually he became homesick and returned to Bohemia where he died in 1904.
Piano Trio No. 2, Op.26
Dvorak composed four piano trios, each more celebrated than its predecessor. His Trio No. 2 in
G Minor is imbued with his vivid musical personality: color, warmth, lyricism, melancholy, lively
dance and Slavic folk tunes abound. Its composition came on the heels of his infant daughter’s
death, and is thought to convey dark sorrow, flashes of rage, and deeply felt compassion,
although the final movement breaks into bright play and sunny dance dispelling any lingering
The trio is comprised of a full-scale, four-movement program reflecting the influences of
Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn. The opening, a sprawling sonata with Slavic melodies
and colorful, folk- inspired textures swirls between dark and light punctuated by a recurring
motto of two fierce chords.
By contrast, the second movement is slow, spacious and singing, a tender lullaby with wistfully
wandering modulations concluding quietly in a major mode.
The third movement scherzo gallops along urgently with rhythmic drive and
transforms into a brighter, milder trio.
With the finale, Dvorak leaves despair behind once and for all with humor, a touch of manic
Figaro and lively dance. Beginning with a rondo, it hushes into a suspenseful theme until
bursting into a polka and ending in jovial triumph.
Established in 2004 by Dr. Rob Engelson and a dedicated group of Messiah singers, RiverChor
is currently under the direction of Karl Wolf with Christine Holmer as accompanist. The
community choir consists of singers from many communities and ranges in age from teens to
80s, performing a wide variety of choral music as well as continuing Clinton’s Messiah tradition.
Today’s quartet includes: Brooke Logan, soprano; Sara Dunne, alto; Noah Strausser, tenor; and Karl Wolf, bass.
El Grillo – Josquin Des Prez
Josquin Lebloitte dit des Pres (1440?-1521) is considered one of the greatest composers of
the High Renaissance, greatly influencing the music of 16th century Europe. He is credited with
developing the polyphonic style that utilized short, repeated motifs between voices. El Grillo,or
the cricket, is a frottola likely written in the early 16th century, describing a cricket who sings for
the sheer love of singing.
The cricket is a good singer
Who can hold long notes
After drinking the cricket sings
But he doesn’t do like the other birds
Once they’ve sung a little bit
They go somewhere else
The cricket instead stands firm
When it’s very hot out
He sings only for the love of it.
Since First I Saw Your Face – Thomas Ford (1580-1648)
Although this piece is usually attributed to Thomas Ford, he didn’t compose it. A composer,
singer and viola player in the service of the Prince of Wales, Ford is better known for publishing
works by obscure songwriters and rearranging into his own interpretations. Since First appears
in his 1607 collection, a miscellany of Elizabethan songs.
Hard By a Fountain – Hubert Waelrant (1517-1595)
Hubert Waelrant was a Flemish composer, teacher, and music editor of the Renaissance. He
was a contemporary of Palestrina. In this madrigal, the poor suitor sits by a fountain and pouts
over the fact that the woman he was wooing has shown no interest in him.
April Is My Mistress’ Face – Thomas Morley(1557-1602)
Thomas Morley was an English composer, theorist, singer, and organist. A significant
member of the English Madrigal School, he was known for incorporating Italian influences into
his compositions. This is one of his best-known (and shortest) madrigals.
Il Et Bel Et Bon – Pierre Passereau (1509-1547)
A Renaissance composer from France, Passereau wrote light-hearted chansons and was
fond of using nonsense language to represent animals. In this piece, two gossiping women are
extolling the virtues of their husbands and the way they help with chores such as doing the
dishes and feeding chickens. Note the clucking at the end of the piece.
“I tell you, girl, my husband is handsome and fine.”
Once two women from the same village were gossiping.
Saying one to the other, “Do you have a good husband?”
“He doesn’t scold me, or beat me either.
He does the chores,
He feeds the chickens
And I take my pleasure.
Girl, you have to laugh
To hear the cries of the chickens.
‘Little flirt (co, co, co, co, da) what is that?”
William Grant Still Miniatures
For woodwind quintet
Known as the Dean of Afro- American composers, William Grant Still (1895-1978) was born in
Mississippi and grew up in Arkansas. Early in his career he played for and arranged for W. C.
Handy and attended the Oberlin Conservatory. Following World War I he studied composition
with Edgar Varese and attended the New England Conservatory. He held a Guggenheim
fellowship and was awarded honorary doctorates from Howard University, Oberlin, and Bates
College. Still broke many barriers in his career, including being the first Afro- American
composer to write orchestral works and have them performed by major symphony orchestras,
as well as being the first to lead a major American symphony. His musical style incorporates a
variety of Afro- American styles, from spirituals to blues and jazz, in addition to European, Latin
American and other folk music genres.
I Ride an Old Paint (USA)
This cowboy tune from Santa Fe, New Mexico was sung by a rider who so loved his horse
that he begged that on his death his bones should be tied to the horse and the two of them set
wandering with faces turned westward.
Lacking newspaper, Mexican rural natives invented the ‘corridor’ – similar to the European
ballad – to convey news of heroic deeds, accidents, love affairs, etc. Aldolorido is such a song,
coming from the Bajio, or low, hot country around Guanajuato. It tells of sadness over betrayal
by an ungrateful woman.
Jesus is a Rock in the Weary Land (USA)
This Negro spiritual differs from those generally arranged for singers. Here it is given a
rhythmic treatment corresponding to the way it would be heard in some of the more primitive
In the Quechua tongue – language of the ancient Incas- yaravi means lament. Known in Peru
as a song of long ago, this poignant melody speaks to the absence of a dear one.
A Frog Went A-Courtin’(USA)
There are many versions of this lilting tune, each one varying with the particular singer. The
composer first heard it in a little village close to the mountainous section of Kentucky, and was
told that it came from Virginia. Other regions claim it as well. The basic song is said to have
been in continuous use for more than four hundred years.
Program notes compiled by Karin Anderson-Sweet