The celebration of light finds wondrous expression in this morning's musical selections. December 5 marks the 230th anniversary of Mozart's passing, a composer whose music and miraculously prodigious accomplishments once earned him the sobriquet "Wunderkind". Elsewhere, Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday of light, is commemorated in the Choir's poignant performance of "Inscription of Hope", based on lines scrawled on a cellar wall attributed to Holocaust victims. The Hanukkah story, recorded in the Aprocryphal Book of the Maccabees, centers questions of resistance to forced Jewish assimilation to a dominant culture, for millennia a major theme of a marginalized people. The composers Felix Mendelssohn, Darius Milhaud, and Paul Schoenfield each lived out this challenge in unique ways. Although Mendelssohn's grandfather (Moses Mendelssohn) had been a leading Jewish scholar of the 18th century, by the time of Felix's birth, the family had converted to the prevailing Lutheranism of early 19th-century Germany. The French-born Darius Milhaud rejoiced in cultural plurality in his work, with a special fondness for the popular music of Brazil, where he lived during part of W.W. I. Only the American Paul Schoenfield (b. 1947), who lived on a Kibbutz in Israel for several years, embraces his Jewish heritages unequivocally in his Six Improvisations on Hassidic Melodies. Read on for programming details, and stay tuned for spoken introductions.
Gathering Music: Adam Kent, piano
Fantasy in D Minor, K. 397
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Song without Words in E Major, Op. 19, No. 1
Opening Music: CUUC Choir directed by Lisa N. Meyer and accompanied by Georgianna Pappas
"Inscription of Hope"
Z. Randall Stroope
Rondo in D Major, K. 485
"Nigun" from Six Improvisations on Hassidic Melodies
"Corcovado" from Saudades do Brazil
"Kozatske" from Six Improvisations on Hassidic Melodies