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Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow

Saturday, April 20 6:00PM 

Advent Lutheran Church

Kaitlin Simonson, conductor

Dan Meinhardt, piano

Kristi Shade, harp

I Will Arise and Go 

Shawn Kirchner 

Veronica Walton, soloist

Notes from the composer: 

Innisfree is a small island in Lough Gill (Irish for “bright lake”) in County Sligo, Ireland, where William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) spent his childhood summers. In 1888, walking along Fleet Street in London, he was struck with the inspiration for his poem, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.”: “I had still the ambition, formed in Sligo in my teens, of living in imitation of Thoreau and saw a fountain in a shop-window which palanced a little ball upon its jet, and began to remember lake water. From the sudden remembrance came my poem ‘Innisfree,’ my first lyric wih anything in its rhythm of my own music…” 


Despite its pastoral depiction and lovely phrases, Yeats’ poem is in fact quite sturdy, with a strong beat, and although it may be about “peace” it is anything but “quiet.” Rather it is filled with sounds: the “bee-loud glade,” the song of the cricket, the beat of linnet’s wings, and “lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore.” It is the lively life of Yeats’ utopian vision that undergirds my setting of this text – it is much closer in style to a work song than any sort of romantic pastorale. But another mood besides wholesome busyness colors the deeper layers of the piece, and the poem. The longer I lived with Yeats’ text, the more I “felt” the reality of Fleet Street and the longing that the “pavements grey” induced in the heart of this sensitive poet. The minor mode suggests the seriousness of the poet’s yearnings, and the depth of his homesickness for Innisfree – not an imaginary utopia, but a real place of home in Yeat’s beloved Ireland. 


I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, 

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made; 

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee, 

And live alone in the bee-loud glade. 


And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, 

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; 

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, 

And evening full of the linnet’s wings. 


I will arise and go now, for always night and day 

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; 

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, 

I hear it in the deep heart’s core. 


William Butler Yeats

Psalm 23

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Franz Schubert, straddling the realms of late Classical and early Romanticism, left an indelible mark on music history with his extensive collection of Lieder, or German art songs. Recognized for his proficiency in composing for vocalists, Schubert penned this piece specifically for treble choirs, a staple in their repertoire. The creation of "Der 23. Psalm" was commissioned by Anna Fröhlich, a notable singing instructor at the Wiener Konservatorium. Completed by Schubert in December 1820, the piece made its debut seven months later at a concert featuring Fröhlich's students at the Gundelhof. Schubert's choice of A-flat major infuses the composition with a sense of serene faith, as delicate piano triplets guide the listener through subtle harmonic shifts. Yet, as the piece unfolds, the mood evolves into one of mystery and tension as the text reads, “Yea, though I walk through valley of the shadow of death“ with the bass line pulsating with newfound energy, revealing Schubert's skillful manipulation of musical textures. In "Der 23. Psalm," Franz Schubert's artistry shines through, serving as a testament to his enduring influence and innovation in the realm of vocal music, captivating audiences with its rich emotional depth and masterful craftsmanship.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He maketh me to rest in green pastures;

he leadeth me beside still waters;

he giveth peace unto my soul.

He leadeth me in paths of goodness

for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through valley of the shadow

of death I will fear no evil,

for thou art with me.

Thy rod and staff,

they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table for me

in the presence of mine enemies;

my head with oil thou anointest;

my cup runneth over.

Yea, surely peace and mercy all my life

shall follow me, and I will dwell

in the house of the Lord for evermore.


David Caldarella 

Lux Mea commissioned this piece by David in 2023. We recently received the exciting news that it will soon be published by Walton Music. David’s text describes a peaceful morning of clarity and calm. We especially love the piano accompaniment that Dan plays so beautifully. 


You have risen early 

Before any creature stirs 

you have acknowledged the void of silence 


You have risen early 

You have gathered what you need 

You have trekked to the highest rooftop 


You have heard the bird’s crescendo, 

And seen their flight 

The golden streams dancing in the wild trees 

You have wondered where your sunrise is 


But always remember, 

That birds sing best in darkness, 

That the river likes to flow in dawnlight


But always remember, 

That the wild trees blow strongest in the twilight wind 

When the light is veiled 

Before your sunrise. 

Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow

Imogen Holst (1907-1984)

Imogen Holst spent much of her life advocating for her father’s music after his death. Beyond that, she was a fabulous composer, teacher, dancer and conductor. She studied with Herbert Howells and Ralph Vaughan Williams, and she was a lifelong friend and assistant to Benjamin Britten. Ursula Vaughan Williams said of her, “Indeed she always filled her days, making twenty-four hours contain what most of us need twice that time to do.” She was a published author and scholar, and published editions of renaissance and baroque music. From 1940-1942 she was employed by the British government to encourage rural community music making during the war to boost morale. Her journal entries describe pausing concerts for air raids, making a tent out of mackintoshes for the violins, singing in the dark during a black out, and amateur music making where most of the audience joined in the singing. 


Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow was composed in 1950 to the text by John Keats (1795-1810). The opening movement, Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow, is an epigraph to a small section of John Milton’s Paradise Lost that reads, “Under the flag of each his faction, they to battle bring Their embryon atoms.” Meeting a demon standing watch at the entrance to Hell, Satan discovers that Sin and Death are his own children. Their journey leads them to confront Chaos, a turbulent blend of elements, as they unlock the portal. Sometimes called the song of opposites, Keats’ poem explores the unexpected beauty that can be found in opposition. As is common with vocal compositions, Holst only utilizes portions of the poem in addition to text from a few other poems published at the same time. To see the full text, click here

Hoj, hura hoj!

Otmar Mácha

Miranda Gibson, Caroline Burke and Theo Lakhdhir, soloists 

Hoj, hura hoj! is the third song in a set of five songs entitled Lašské helekačky, composed on folk texts by Czech composer, Otmar Mácha. The Moravian folk poetry dialect is from the Beskyde Mountains and Valašsko region which is the natural border between Moravia and Slovakia where shepherding cattle and sheep have been a normal occupation for young fellows and girls. In this song, the young folks enjoy the sensation of calling out across the mountains and anticipate the enjoyment of being with their friends in the villages after their work day is done. 


O, mountain, O 

The children herding their dear cows shoo them as always, 

Calling them out to the village 

O, mountain, O! 

My dear cows are eating all around me 

until the evening bells ring, (then) 

I will go home with you. 

I will go behind the hills 

as my sheep graze! 

I will go to Maria, 

my dear friend. 

The children herding their dear cows shoo 

them as always, 

calling them out of the village: 

O, mountain, O!

Ein Traum 

Edvard Grieg 

arr. Simon Nissen 

I once dreamed a beautiful dream:

A blonde maiden loved me,

It was in the green woodland glade,

It was in the warm springtime:


The buds bloomed, the forest stream swelled,

From the distant village came the sound of bells—

We were so full of bliss,

So lost in happiness.


And more beautiful yet than the dream,

It happened in reality,

It was in the green woodland glade,

It was in the warm springtime:


The forest stream swelled, the buds bloomed,

From the village came the sound of bells—

I held you fast, I held you long,

And now shall never let you go!


O woodland glade so green with spring!

You shall live in me for evermore—

There reality became a dream,

There dream became reality!


Friedrich Martin von Bodenstedt

English translation by Richard Stokes 

Zur Rosenzeit

Edvard Grieg 

arr. Simon Nissen 

Time of Roses 

You fade, sweet roses,

My love did not wear you;

Ah! you bloom for one bereft of hope,

Whose soul now breaks with grief!


Sorrowfully I think of those days,

When I, my angel, set my heart on you,

And waiting for the first little bud,

Went early to my garden;


Laid all the blossoms, all the fruits

At your very feet,

With hope beating in my heart,

When you looked on me.


You fade, sweet roses,

My love did not wear you;

Ah! you bloom for one bereft of hope,

Whose soul now breaks with grief!


Johann Wolfgang Goethe 

English translation by Richard Stokes 

The Valley

Jane Siberry, 

arr. Beth Hanson 


I live in the hills

You live in the valleys

And all that you know are those blackbirds

You rise every morning

Wondering what in the world will the world bring today

Will it bring you joy or will it take it away

And every step you take is guided by

The love of the light on the land and the blackbird's cry

You will walk in good company

The valley is dark

The burgeoning holding

The stillness obscured by their judging

You walk through the shadows

Uncertain and surely hurting

Deserted by the blackbirds and the staccato of the staff

And though you trust the light towards which you wend your way

Sometimes you feel all that you wanted has been taken away

You will walk in good company

I love the best of you

You love the best of me

Though it is not always easy

Lovely? lovely?

We will walk in good company

The shepherd upright and flowing

You see

Tennessee Mountain Home

Dolly Parton, arr. Julia Napolitano 


Dolly Parton's "Tennessee Mountain Home" is a heartfelt ode to her humble beginnings and the deep-rooted connection she shares with her childhood home in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Written by Parton herself, this iconic country ballad reflects her nostalgic reverence for the rustic beauty and simplicity of mountain life.

Released as the title track of her 1973 album, "Tennessee Mountain Home" resonated with audiences across the nation, striking a chord with its authentic portrayal of home and heritage. Parton's evocative lyrics, accompanied by her soul-stirring vocals, transport listeners to a simpler time and place, where the scent of wildflowers fills the air, and the laughter of loved ones echoes through the valleys.

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