Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
PORTALES—The Eastern New Mexico University Department of Music and the University Friends of Music are presenting a special concert of the ENMU-Portales and the ENMU-Roswell choirs performing the Choral Music of Franz Schubert on Sunday, March 18, at 4 p.m. in the University Theatre Center on the Portales campus. The choirs will be accompanied by the Caprock Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra from Lubbock, Texas, and directed by Dr. Jason Paulk, director of choral activities at ENMU.
The musical program features special pieces for men's chorus, women's chorus, and a solo performance of "Ständchen" by Dr. Jeanie Ornellas, ENMU professor of music, with the women's chorus. The major work of the concert will be the combined choruses' and orchestra performance of Schubert's Mass in G, featuring solo performances by ENMU students Natalie Schettino, Orlando Jimenez and Matthew Amend. A reception following the performance will allow audience and performances to visit in the foyer of the Theatre Center.
According to Dr. Jason Paulk, ENMU assistant professor of music, Franz Schubert (1797-1828) contributed an astoundingly great number of compositions to the musical world during his short life. He contributed over 600 vocal works to our musical canon, having composed more than 200 songs before his 19th birthday. These German lieder are still heard in recital halls throughout the world, sung and recorded frequently by the most revered artists of our day. Additionally, Schubert prolifically composed symphonic, piano, and choral music that is highly regarded. Often recognized for his gift of lyricism and harmonic color, Schubert's early compositions tend to imitate Mozart and Beethoven, but soon expand Classical era forms to accommodate more dramatic Romantic era qualities.
The first two sets of music at Eastern's concert feature music for men's and women's voices. The proliferation of male choral societies in early 19th century Vienna and Germany evidenced the rise of the middle class. Two different types of men's singing societies existed, including Männersongs (male songs), which began in Vienna and sang music with a sophisticated literary text, and Liedertafeln (song tables), which began in Berlin, and were comprised of weekly attendees who met for drinking and singing songs with more earthy texts. Schubert's number of compositions for men's voices far exceeds his output for mixed voices. The men of the ENMU Choirs will perform an example of a Männersong, Die Nacht, about the captivating essence of night, and a Liedertafeln, simply translated as "Drinking Song."
Schubert wrote very few compositions for women's voices; "Ständchen" was composed only one year before his death for the purpose of a birthday gift. Composed for soprano solo and women's chorus, it demonstrates his unique ability for lyricism. The interaction between the women's chorus and the solo voice is dramatic and evocative of the text.
Perhaps Schubert's most well-known and often performed solo vocal composition is his setting of "Ave Maria." Interestingly, Schubert's original composition did not employ the use of the familiar Ave Maria text, but a German translation of an excerpt from Sir Walter Scott's poem, "Lady of the Lake." The Ave Maria text was later adapted and became the standard for performance of the solo work. The arrangement we will perform is for three-part women's voices by Wallingford.
Composed in 1815, the "Mass in G" was likely premiered in Lichtenthal, just outside of Viennna, Austria. Often hailed as the "most performed 19th Century Mass," the orchestration is delicate, calling for only strings, and owes much to the Viennese Classical mass tradition of Haydn and Mozart. Schubert, at only 18 years of age, composed an orchestration that is not merely accompanimental: many ornaments and other expressive devices such as trills, fortepianos, sforzandi, pizzicati, and slurs, are indicated for the orchestra, giving more importance and weight to its role than many earlier Classical era Mass settings. Although Schubert lived near the end of the Classical era, he was an important figure who evidences an evolution in Romantic trends and serves as a pivotal figure in the late Classical and early Romantic eras.
The texts in Schubert's "Mass in G" are from the Ordinary of the Mass, so called because all masses celebrated within the Catholic Church at any time of the day or year contain the texts for the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei. Other portions of the Mass, specific to the time of day or year, are called the Proper of the Mass. The only deviation from the standard Ordinary texts is Schubert's omission of the phrase, "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church," due to some reservations he had in committing fully to Catholicism.
Tickets will be available at the Department of Music office, the Office of Fine Arts, or Sunday before the performance. General admission is $15 per person; $5 for any student with ID; $10 for members of the University Friends of Music, senior citizens (55+), and Cannon Air Force Base personnel; and free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult.
For more information, or to reserve tickets, call the Department of Music at 505.562.2377 or the College of Fine Arts at 505.562.2373, or stop by Room 115 in ENMU's Music Building.