Page 12 of 21
Sound the Bells – Concert Program
December 4, 2011 at 4:30 P.M.
Members of the LSWO
SOUND THE BELLS! – Program Notes
Sound the Bells! (1993)
Sound the Bells! was written in 1993 for the Boston Pops Orchestra and their tour of Japan. The wedding of Crown Prince Naruhito and Masako Owada occurred near the date of these performances and was a center point of celebration. Huge Japanese temple bells were an inspiration for the piece and the reason for the heavy use of percussion in this piece. John Williams is known mostly for his film music written for Star Wars, Jaws, Superman, Indiana Jones, E.T. and Jurassic Park (to name a few).
O Magnum Mysterium (1994/2003)
Originally written for a capella chorus, O Magnum Mysterium (Oh Great Mystery) has become increasingly popular in this setting for wind band. Morten Lauridsen is a faculty member at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he founded the advanced studies program in scoring for motion pictures and television.
Lauridsen writes: “For centuries, composers have been inspired by the beautiful ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ text with its depiction of the birth of the newborn King among the lowly animals and shepherds. This affirmation of God’s grace to the meek and the adoration of the Blessed Virgin are celebrated in my setting through a quiet song of profound inner joy.”
Give Us This Day (2007)
David Henry Maslanka’s works are often spiritual, enlightening and sometimes mysterious. Give Us This Day is an appropriate piece for a holiday concert not only because of it’s obvious reference to the Lord’s Prayer, but because of its reference to hymns often used in the church. Maslanka writes: “Music makes the connection to reality, and by reality I mean a true awakeness and awareness. Give Us This Day gives us this very moment of awakeness and aware aliveness so that we can build a future in the face of a most dangerous and difficult time. “I chose the subtitle “Short Symphony for Wind Ensemble” because the music isn’t programmatic in nature. It has a full-blown symphonic character, even though there are only two movements. The music of the slower first movement is deeply searching, while that of the highly energized second movement is at times both joyful and sternly sober. The piece ends with a modal setting of the choral melody Vater Unser im Himmelreich (Our Father in Heaven), no. 110 from the 371 four-part chorales of Johann Sebastian Bach.”
Sleigh Ride (1948)
Sleigh Ride is a popular light orchestral piece composed by Leroy Anderson. The composer had the original idea for the piece during a heat wave in July 1946 and finished the work in February 1948. Lyrics, about a person who would like to ride in a sleigh on a winter’s day with another person, were written by Mitchell Parish in 1950. This popular piece is often performed on holiday programs, even though the lyrics never mention any holiday-related activities. Still, since the Boston Pops, conducted by Arthur Fielder first recorded the piece in 1949, it has become a holiday concert staple.