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The Creation program

The Creation

(Die Schöpfung)
An Oratorio by F. Joseph Haydn 
GMChorale and Alchemy
Elm City Girls' Choir, Tom Brand and Rebecca Rosenbaum, Music Directors 

Orchestra New England, James Sinclair, Music Director

Soloists: Mark Womack, Sherezade Panthaki, Dann Coakwell

Conductor, Joseph D'Eugenio 

 

Sunday - May 1, 2022 - 4:00pm 

Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center at Middletown High School, Middletown, CT

The program will be performed with one 15 minute intermission between parts two and three. Kindly hold applause until the ends of Part1, Part 2, and Part 3. Please turn off all noise-making devices and refrain from texting or taking photos during the concert.

The Creation - F. Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

 

Part I

1. Introduction - The Representation of Chaos and Recitativo (Orchestra, Raphael, Chorus, Uriel)

2. Aria (Uriel, Chorus)

3. Recitative (Raphael)

4. Chorus (Gabriel, Chorus)

5. Recitative (Raphael)

6. Aria (Raphael)

7. Recitative (Gabriel)

8. Aria (Gabriel)

9. Recitative (Uriel)

10. Chorus

11. Recitative (Uriel)

12. Recitative (Uriel)

13. Chorus (Chorus, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael)

Part II

14. Recitative (Gabriel)

15. Aria (Gabriel)

16. Recitative (Raphael)

17. Trio (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael)

18. Chorus (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Chorus)

19. Recitative (Raphael)

20. Recitative (Raphael)

21. Aria (Raphael)

22. Recitative (Uriel)

23. Aria (Uriel)

24. Recitative (Raphael)

25. Chorus

26. Trio (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael)

27. Chorus

15 Minute Intermission 

Part III

28. Recitative (Uriel)

29. Duet (Adam, Eve, and Chorus)

30. Recitative (Adam and Eve)

31. Duet (Adam and Eve)

32. Recitative (Uriel)

33. Chorus (Chorus, SATB Soloists)

 
 

Cast of Characters

Mark Womack.........................................Archangel Raphael and Adam

Dann Coakwell................................................................ Archangel Uriel

 Sherezade Panthaki......................................Archangel Gabriel and Eve 

Singers

SOPRANO

Becky Bohy

Jo Anne Burgh

Nancy Burton

Melissa Clark*

Ruthann Coyote

Deborah Crakes

Anita deMarcado

Gail Deninger

Louise Fauteux*

Laura Gladd-Ventres*

Joan Hedrick

Sarah Himmelstein

Pat Holloway

Allison Holst-Grubbe*

Nijole Janik

Cindy Kirkpatrick

Livja Koka

Margie Mehler

Sandy Pavlowski

Deirdre Roberts

Melissa Rooklidge*

Allison Savage*

Catherine Stover

Bobbi Teva

ALTO

Francine Augeri

Marianne Beckmann

Joan Benedetto

Marcia Bliven

Jane Bower

Carol Corliss

Lisa Currie

Janet Donston

Chris Ferguson

Carolina Flores*

Joyce Kirkpatrick

Lesley Knaack

Lorie Martin*

Kim McClain

Paula Messina

Deborah Newirth*

MaryAnn O'Bright

Karen Otte

Carolyn Reid

Christine Rogers

Melissa Rowe

Nancy Schultz

Kathleen Sedgwick

Alexandra Taylor

Kathy Traester

Margaret Tyler*

Karen Zyko

*Also a member of Alchemy Vocal Chamber Ensemble

TENOR

Chris Caldwell*

Fran Ferrall

James Harris

Christopher Hart*

Margaret Livengood

Michael O'Herron*

Richard Riddle

Adam Weinstein

BASS

Kevin J. Andersen*

Garrett Artman*

Michael Balinskas*

Martin Benassi

Bob Blain

David Bohy

Gary Brown

Steven Christensen*

Bob Cyranowicz

David deMarcado

Greg Flower*

Victor Friedrich

Richard Holloway

Dan Martin

Aaron Medford

Adam Perrin

Stephen Peterson

Jim Smith

Walter Ryan*

Gordon Turnbull

The Elm City Girls’ Choir

Tom Brand and Rebecca Rosenbaum 

 

Emily Alletzhauser*
Faith Bernier**
Chloé Chauvot de Beauchene
Emily D`Souza
Christa Jacquelyn Freel**
Rachel Genn
Virginia Taylor Grabovsky
Amara Greenshpun
Margaret Harper-Mangels**
Natalie Houlton
Katherine Huang
Violet Willcox Johnson
Ela Kaya**
Aurelia Mae Keberle
Eleanor Lee
Miriam Elizabeth Levenson
Nora McDonough**
Ameya Tanvi Patel**
Rosaly Abigail Ramos-Reyes**
Amelia Riggs**
Adrianne Theresa Mary Shields**
Anais Tavenas**
Valentine Tavenas**
Moriah Thomas
Helena Titus
Kaelin Vasseur
Ursula June Zebrowski

 

*President

**United Girls’ Choir guest

Orchestra New England

VIOLIN 1

Raphael Ryger, concertmaster

Artemis Simerson 

Jennifer Trahan

Caroline Metter

Cris Zunun

Stephanie Hug

 

Violin 2

Stephen Tieszen

Millie Piekos

Lisa Homann

Anna Leunis

Diane Orson

VIOLA

Ellen Higham

Katrina Smith

Jill Levine

Sue Corey-Sahlin

CELLO

Tom Hudson

Becky Patterson

Mariusz Skula

Yun-Yang Lin 

Double Bass

Joe Russo

Ed Allman

Flute

Adrianne Greenbaum

Elssa Green

 

Oboe

Steve Wade

Janet Rosen

 

Clarinet

Andy Grenci

Chantal Hovendick

 

Bassoon

T.D. Ellis

Gary Bennett

Rebecca Norreen (contrabassoon)

Horn

Bob Hoyle

Sara Della Posta

 

Trumpet

Rich Clymer

Mike Flynt

 

Trombone

Matt Russo

John Tzetzo

Bill Whitaker

 

Timpani

Patrick Smith

Timpani

Gary Chapman 

Meet Our Featured Artists

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Womack, Critics have praised Mark Womack’s singing as “strikingly warm and gracefully honey toned.” His recent performances include Fred Graham in Kiss me Kate and the title role in Eugene Onegin with Intermountain Opera Bozeman, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Opera Connecticut, Carmina Burana with the Utah, Fargo-Moorhead and Allentown Symphonies, The Verdi Requiem with The Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony at Jorgensen Auditorium with the UConn Symphony, Carl Magnus in A Little Night Music with Syracuse Opera, Marcello in La Bohème with Opera Birmingham, Danilo in The Merry Widow with The Northern Lights Music Festival and Juan Peron in Evita with Opera North. Mark is privileged to have performed both Marcello and Schaunard in the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of La Bohème, under the direction of Baz Luhrmann. Following its run at the Broadway Theater, he continued with the production in the role of Marcello at the Ahmanson Theater in Las Angeles. Other notable performances include Giorgio Germont in Knoxville Opera’s La Traviata, Macheath in The Threepenny Opera with Amarillo Opera, Sharpless Madama Butterfly with Sarasota Opera, Guglielmo in Skylight Opera Theater’s Così fan Tutte, Henry Higgins in Opera North's My Fair Lady, the title role in Don Giovanni with both Utah Festival Opera and Anchorage Opera, Friedrich Bhaer in Little Women with Syracuse Opera, Marcello in La Bohème and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Escamillo in Carmen with Utah Festival Opera, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with Mississippi Opera, Lescaut in Manon Lescaut with Dicapo Opera Theater, and numerous appearances with Connecticut Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, El Paso Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera. Mark has been baritone soloist at Carnegie Hall in the Faurè and Duruflè Requiems, The Dewi Sant by Arwell Hughes, Mozart’s C Minor Mass and Schubert’s Mass in G. Mark is on faculty at the Hartt School, The University of Connecticut School of Music, and formerly the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. http://www.markwomack.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sherezade Panthaki, is an internationally-renowned early music music specialist. Her success has been fueled by superbly honed musicianship; “astonishing coloratura with radiant top notes” (Calgary Herald); “a full, luxuriously toned upper range” (The Los Angeles Times), and passionately informed interpretations, “mining deep emotion from the subtle shaping of the lines” (The New York Times). An acknowledged star in the early-music field, Ms. Panthaki enjoys ongoing collaborations with many of the world’s leading interpreters including Nicholas McGegan, Masaaki Suzuki, Mark Morris, Nicholas Kraemer, Matthew Halls, Paul Agnew, and Stephen Stubbs. Recent concert seasons have included performances with New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Bach Collegium Japan, Wiener Akademie (Austria), NDR Hannover Radiophilharmonie (Germany), the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Early Music Festival, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Canada), Minnesota Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Mark Morris Dance Group, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue New York, The Choir and Orchestra of Trinity Wall Street, and Voices of Music. Ms. Panthaki is no stranger to 19th, 20th and 21st century concert repertoire as soprano soloist. She is widely acclaimed for her interpretations of Brahms’ Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Poulenc’s Gloria, as well as several new music premieres. Her discography includes the recently released recording of Handel’s Joseph and his Brethren with Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque, as well as solo Bach cantatas with the Cantata Collective.  Born and raised in India, Ms. Panthaki holds an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music, as well as a Masters in Voice Performance from the University of Illinois. She is a founding member and artistic advisor of the newly-debuted Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble - a vocal octet celebrating racial and ethnic diversity in performances and educational programs of early and new music. Ms. Panthaki presents vocal masterclasses across the United States, and currently teaches voice lessons at Yale University, as well as heading the Vocal program at Mount Holyoke College. www.sherezadepanthaki.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dann Coakwell, tenor, has been praised as a “clear-voiced and eloquent … vivid storyteller” (The New York Times), with “a gorgeous lyric tenor that could threaten or caress on the turn of a dime" (The Dallas Morning News). He can be heard as a soloist on the Grammy-winning The Sacred Spirit of Russia (2014), the Grammy-nominated albums The Singing Guitar (2020), Hope of Loving (2019) and Considering Matthew Shepard (2016), as well as the critically praised Zabur (2016). Coakwell has sung across Europe, Japan, and throughout the Americas, under renowned conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, Masaaki Suzuki, Monica Huggett, William Christie, Nicholas McGegan, Matthew Halls, María Guinand, and Craig Hella Johnson. Having performed in prominent venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, he has also appeared as a soloist with acclaimed organizations such as Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart in Germany, Bach Collegium Japan, Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Canada, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, Oregon Bach Festival, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Dallas Bach Society, Conspirare, and the symphony orchestras of Orlando, Charlotte, Nashville, Indianapolis, Quad Cities, and Kansas City. Serving on the voice faculty at Ithaca College, Dr. Coakwell also appears nationally and abroad as a guest teaching artist. www.danncoakwell.com

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Artistic Leadership

 

GMChorale

GMChorale has become one of New England’s finest and most engaging choruses since its founding in 1977 as The Greater Middletown Chorale. Today, the GMChorale is celebrated for its innovative symphonic choral presentations. Under the leadership of Joseph D'Eugenio, performs a wide range of choral repertoire, from beloved masterworks to newly commissioned pieces.  As the GMChorale enters its fifth decade, the organization is broadening its mission and the scope of its offerings to bring the power and beauty of choral music to people and communities across Connecticut. It is a core principle of the Chorale that the power of music is should be enjoyed for a lifetime.

Alchemy, the vocal chamber ensemble of GMChorale, was established in 2016 as a company of skilled ensemble singers, professional soloists, music educators, and instrumentalists. Alchemy’s mission is to advance GMChorale’s mission of “Singing for a Lifetime” through concert tours, collaborations, musical leadership, education, and community engagement. In 2018, Alchemy was a featured ensemble at the convention of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. The ensemble is known for its ability to adapt its sound to a broad variety of repertoire.

Joseph D'Eugenio (Artistic Director / Executive Director) has been bringing music to life across Southern New England for three decades as a conductor, artistic director, executive director, educator, pianist, organist, and coach for vocalists and conductors. He frequently conducts productions of major choral-orchestral masterworks, most often with GMChorale, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Performances include the oratorios of Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, and Carissimi; the masses of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, and Bruckner; and the requiems of Mozart, Duruflé, Brahms, Fauré, and Cherubini.  D’Eugenio conducts this afternoon’s performance of F. Joseph Haydn’s oratorio, The Creation, in a debut performance with Orchestra New England and internationally-renowned soloists Sherezade Panthaki, Mark Womack, and Dann Coakwell. Under D’Eugenio’s leadership, GMChorale has become known as one of New England’s finest choruses, awarded and celebrated for its creative choral presentations, commissioned works, and dynamic collaborations. In 2009, D’Eugenio was named Conductor of the Year by the Connecticut Chapter of ACDA. In demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and collaborative pianist, D’Eugenio has led various workshops and festivals, and has conducted choral groups in high schools, colleges, and universities across Connecticut, including as visiting instructor at Wesleyan University in Middletown. D’Eugenio has served as Director of Music and organist at First Congregational Church in Cheshire, Connecticut since 2003, where he directs the church’s vibrant music program and chancel choir. D’Eugenio earned the Bachelor of Music (cum laude) in piano performance from The Hartt School, University of Hartford, and the Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Connecticut.

Robert O'Brien (Managing Director) joined GMChorale in February 2020 after having worked with many Hartford area arts organizations, including the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and TheaterWorks. He brings a wealth of experience in arts management to GMChorale having previously completed a Masters Degree in International Arts Management at HEC Montreal, Southern Methodist University, and Bocconi University. Robert is an experienced performing arts producer and production manager having completed many projects in theater, music, dance, and interdisciplinary arts. Additionally, he has participated in virtual talks to various groups on Arts Management including at Universidad de los Andes located in Bogotá, Colombia. In addition to his work with cultural organizations, Robert is an accomplished vocal musician, holding a Bachelors of Music from McGill University where he studied under the renowned baritone, Sanford Sylvan.

Allan Conway (Accompanist) is in constant demand as a pianist, organist and accompanist, with extensive experience in the choral, vocal, operatic and instrumental literature. His commanding technical facility at the keyboard, ease and familiarity with a wide array of repertoire, sensitive interpretations, and keen sense of musical collaboration inform his many and varied performances. Mr. Conway received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from the Hartt School of Music, where he studied with Raymond Hanson and was recipient of the prestigious Harold Bauer Memorial Scholarship. Active in the liturgical field, Mr. Conway has served numerous churches. Presently, he is Minister of Music at the United Congregational Church of Tolland. Mr. Conway is Organist and Choir Director at Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford a position he has held since 1977.

Elm City Girls' Choir

The Elm City Girls’ Choir, founded by Thomas Brand in 1993, has earned the reputation of being one of America’s finest youth choirs. The Saecula Singers ensemble of girls and young women is known for its vibrant sound, infectious energy, and creative programming, with a repertoire ranging from Renaissance polyphony to Broadway show tunes.

Tom Brand (Elm City Girls' Choir) grew up singing in New Haven’s Trinity Boys Choir under Walden Moore and in the American Boychoir under James Litton.  He earned degrees in choral conducting at Yale University and is Music Director of the Saecula Choir Institute, Earthly Sound Vocal Ensemble, Saecula Women’s Choir, VocalJoy, and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Bridgeport, CT.

Rebecca Rosenbaum (Elm City Girls' Choir) has conducted various ensembles of Elm City Girls’ Choir, Saecula Singers, and United Girls’ Choir, and also served as Director of Choral Activities at Vassar College, where she taught classes and conducted the Vassar Women’s Choir.  She also has taught at Yale University and Bay Path College, and has appeared as guest conductor and clinician for several regional choral festivals and music programs throughout the country. Rebecca earned a BA in music from Vassar College and her MM and DMA in choral conducting at Yale University.

Orchestra New England

Orchestra New England (O.N.E.) is one of the most versatile and exciting orchestras in America. Since its founding in 1974, Orchestra New England has presented over 700 concerts with a passion for excellence, signature enthusiasm and innovation. Most of these performances were presented at Yale’s Battell Chapel, with other engagements taking place in concert halls throughout New England. From its 1974 debut performance of an unpublished work by Charles Ives to its almost 150 performances of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, O.N.E. continues to set the standard for outstanding performances of both familiar and neglected works. O.N.E. has made commercial recordings for many prestigious labels.

James Sinclair (Orchestra New England) has served as the Music Director of Orchestra New England since its founding in 1974. His versatility in delivering superb performances in a variety of styles – from the Baroque to pops literature – drives the remarkable success of Orchestra New England.  James Sinclair is also among the world's pre-eminent scholars and champions of the music of Charles Ives.  He is the Executive Editor for the Charles Ives Society,  supervising the work of Ives scholars throughout the United States. A native of Washington, DC, James Sinclair earned his bachelor's degree in music at Indiana University and taught at the University of Hawaii, where he earned his master's degree. He relocated to New Haven in 1972, where he served as an Assistant Professor and a Visiting Lecturer in Music at Yale University. Sinclair is an Associate Fellow of Berkeley College at Yale and oversees both the John Kirkpatrick Papers and the Charles Ives Papers at Yale.

 

To our audience ~ 

 

Welcome to this afternoon’s performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s magnificent oratorio, The Creation. Since being composed in 1798, musicians and audiences alike have been inspired by Haydn’s exuberant music for more than two centuries. The music paints a vivid portrayal of God bringing all of creation into being with resounding awe and splendor. The beauty of creation manifests before our eyes and ears reminding us that music can express the joyfulness found within the depths of our individual and collective humanity.

 

As the world groans with grief and unfathomable heartache, our shared experience in music aims to lift spirits and provide hope and positivity to those in our community. The chorale began to study and prepare the oratorio during the pandemic as a means to reflect upon creation itself - and to ultimately share it with you, our audience - reminding us all that we are surrounded by goodness and gratitude even when times are dark and confusing. Haydn sets the affirming text “achieved is the glorious work” for the chorus of “heavenly hosts” to give praise and elevate our thoughts to become more mindful of the beauty that surrounds us.

 

And so, we sing on, and we connect with Haydn’s goodness, humor, and strength through his music which meets us right where we are in 2022 to lift our spirits and give thanks.

 

Joseph D’Eugenio

Artistic Director

 
 

Program Notes

There are so many aspects of Haydn’s The Creation (Die Schöpfung) that bear closer examination that it is difficult to choose just one subject about which to write the program notes for this performance.  One need look no further than Boston to see the high esteem in which Haydn was held during and just after his lifetime; it is largely because of this oratorio that Boston musicians named their new oratorio ensemble the Handel and Haydn Society in 1815.  Indeed, an argument could certainly be made that it was The Creation, alongside the oratorios of Handel in England, that ignited the great appetite for large scale dramatic oratorios in the 19th century, penned by such composers as Mendelssohn, Berlioz and Dvorák.

 

So many subjects could be given their own essay treatment here… The role of the three archangels, inherited from Milton’s Paradise Lost.  The relative importance (one-third of the work) that is given to Adam and Eve, reflecting the centrality of rational Man to the universe.  The structure of the work, in which each day ends with a different song of praise.  The many examples of text-painting, from sunrise to different animals (even the lowly worm), to the use of the contrabassoon and trombones to represent the heaviest of the beasts.  The way that Haydn uses different classical musical forms to reflect the text, from sonata-allegro form to rondo.  There is little question why The Creation occupies such an important place in the choral repertoire when one considers just how rich a work it is.

 

But I have gone back to the very genesis of this oratorio for my subject, to explore a behind-the-scenes connection that I have always found quite interesting.  In reading widely of the music of the Classical period, one encounters from time to time a very interesting background figure, Baron Gottfried van Swieten.  Without his input, it is likely that this work wouldn’t have existed.  To pay him tribute, I would like to explore the rather important role that this quintessential Enlightenment figure played in the lives of the three major composers of the late 18th century.


 

Baron Gottfried van Swieten and Haydn’s Creation

 

With the possible exception of Melvil Dewey, who devised the eponymous Dewey Decimal System, it is difficult to imagine a more influential librarian in western history than Baron Gottfried van Swieten (1733-1803).  But even though van Swieten, who succeeded his father in the sinecure post of Imperial Librarian in Vienna, is credited with inventing the first card catalog system, it is actually his service to the field of music that has ensured his posthumous fame, at least among musicologists.

 

Van Swieten’s father, a Dutch doctor and scientist, was awarded the lucrative post of Imperial Librarian as thanks for his years as personal physician to the Empress Maria Theresa.  Thanks to his father’s connections, Gottfried received a first-rate Jesuit education, after which he entered the diplomatic ranks, eventually serving as ambassador to Prussia during an especially delicate period.  During his years in Berlin, Van Swieten, who had an abiding interest in music, was exposed to the music of J.S. Bach, through one of the Leipzig master’s students.  This exposure was to change the course of music history.

 

Although the Classical period in music history is much shorter than other eras (it is usually defined as 1750-1800 or 1810), its footprint is considerable, owing to the music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, the three great late 18th-century composers.  (And even there, Beethoven only “half counts” as a Classical composer, since the latter part of his career ushered in Romanticism.)  The lasting popularity of their music—sonatas, string quartets, concerti, symphonies and operas—is rooted in the very tenets of Classicism itself, in which the music was a reflection of the social and intellectual movements of the time.  Socially, it was the last gasp of the aristocracy, which supported the arts through patronage.  The call of the day was for music that was accessible, elegant, gracious, and to a certain extent, anodyne.  Intellectually, this was the period of the Enlightenment, glorifying man’s achievements and vast potential.  This Rationalism ushered in a period of philosophical and scientific inquiry hearkening back to the original Classical period of the Greeks and Romans.

 

These influences, social and intellectual, produced a movement in music that eschewed the complex counterpoint of Bach and Handel for a musical language that stressed a clear melody (often in the first violins) accompanied by more simple harmonies.  This new musical language was cast in clear forms, themselves reflecting the balanced architecture of ancient Greece and Rome.  Gone were the hidden codes found in the rhetorical gestures of the Baroque; instead, the new aesthetic demanded clear lines spun from diatonic scales.  Such a musical language, combining the frivolity of the French and the vocally-inspired melodies of the Italians, gave birth to a style that culminated most perfectly in the exquisite operas of Mozart.

 

If this is true, then, why do we find so many Baroque-inspired fugues in the later compositions of Haydn and Mozart?  After all, the learned counterpoint of fugue most closely represents the complex Baroque music theory against which the classicists rebelled.  Enter Baron Gottfried van Swieten.  Though hardly a friend of bourgeois composers (the social structure was still too rigid for that, until swept away by the oncoming tide of revolutions), van Swieten became a patron to Haydn, Mozart and the young Beethoven.  Indeed, Mozart was often a participant in van Swieten’s regular salons in which fugues by Bach and Handel were performed.  Further, van Swieten commissioned Mozart to re-arrange several Handel oratorios (including Messiah), expanding the orchestra to flesh out what had been the continuo part with more woodwinds, as was the Classical practice.  

 

It seems that van Swieten also encouraged Haydn to pick up Handel’s mantle as a composer of oratorios.  After many decades in the full-time service of the Esterházy family, Haydn was really only free to pursue such personal work after the death of Prince Nikolaus in 1790.  Haydn then spent much of his time in Vienna, where he was in constant contact with Baron van Swieten.  Even more important, Haydn was finally in a position to accept the invitation of the impresario Johann Peter Salomon to visit London, where he was received to great acclaim.  While in England, Haydn heard several Handel oratorios performed, and he was evidently inspired to follow in the Baroque composer’s footsteps.  He was given an English-language libretto about the Old Testament creation story to take back to Vienna with him.  It has even been suggested that Handel himself had once considered setting the libretto, which contains material from Genesis, the Psalms and Milton’s Paradise Lost.  When he returned to Vienna, Haydn gave the English libretto to van Swieten, who fashioned the German version that Haydn set between 1796 and 1798 as Die Schöpfung.  Given the British provenance of the libretto, it is not surprising that van Swieten then retranslated the German libretto to English for performances in English-speaking countries, where it is called The Creation.  However, much has been said and written about the unfelicitousness of van Swieten’s translation, so it is often presented in German. The Creation is surely Haydn’s greatest masterpiece; between its first performance in 1798 and his death in 1809, it was performed nearly fifty times.  

 

Van Swieten’s efforts in encouraging Franz Joseph Haydn to turn his hand to oratorio composition would have been enough to ensure his fame as one of the most influential patrons in music history, earning his place alongside the great popes and kings of old, or more recent impresarios like Diaghilev and Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge.  But returning to the Imperial Librarian’s love of the counterpoint of Bach and Handel, we see that van Swieten’s imprint on Haydn’s greatest oratorio goes beyond simply inspiring the composer to write an oratorio.  One of the aspects of the work that lifts it beyond the appealing simplicity of so many other late 18th-century works is the abundance of fugues in The Creation, giving the work a timeless appeal that combines the melodic beauty of the Classical melodies with the Germanic heritage of the fugue, creating a pan-European form that is also found in works like Mozart’s C Minor Mass and Requiem.  So many of the praise choruses in Haydn’s masterpiece are cast as Baroque fugues, redolent of Handel’s oratorios yet somehow still so completely Haydnesque—ebullient, optimistic, and even just a little cheeky. 

 

It is interesting to note that so much of the music for which Haydn is remembered today—his London symphonies, the late string quartets, his major oratorios The Creation and The Seasons, and the final six masses—all postdate Haydn’s deepened association with Baron van Swieten.  We clearly owe much to this man, the archetype of the Enlightenment aristocrat: rational, well-educated, well-versed in many different areas, and a generous patron of the arts. 

 

Chris Shepard

© March 2011

Board Members

Michael Balinskas, President

Chris Hart, Vice President

Walter Ryan, Treasurer

Marjorie Mehler, Secretary

Jo Anne Burgh

Carol Corliss

Deborah Crakes

Patricia Holloway

Joyce Kirkpatrick

Lorie Martin

Anthony Pandolfe

Nancy Schultz

 
 

In Memoriam

 

Angela Patricia Vitali

1936-2021

The GMChorale (GMC) sadly marks the passing of beloved alto singer, Pat Vitali. Pat sang with the Chorale for many years, enriching it with her musical expertise and her warmth. 

Pat taught music for many years at all grade levels in the Middletown public schools. She brought this experience and love of music to the GMC. In her time with GMC, she served on the Board of Directors, headed up the Hospitality Committee, and served as alto section leader. As a pianist, Pat filled in when extra hands were needed for alto sectional rehearsals, doing so with grace and skill. 

Fellow alto, Christine Rogers, remembers Pat as a “gentle shepherd.”  In Christine’s words, “I feel grateful to Pat for giving me a good, positive start in the Chorale. She gave me a kind welcome and remained a steadfast resource throughout.”

In her role as Hospitality head, Pat was the coordinating genius behind the Chorale’s well-loved post-concert receptions and numerous potlucks. On concert days, busy singers rushed in and dropped off their trays of cookies, brownies, sandwiches, and cheese. Pat and her team calmly transformed this initial chaos into a delightful gastronomic display. She did this with a sense of fun and a kind heart. 

Pat knew when those around her needed friendship, encouragement, or a kind word. Her selfless dedication to excellence was evident in all the ways she contributed to the GMC community.  This is how alto, Janet Donston, remembers her dear friend. “Pat was always the first to show up to help and the last to leave. We truly miss her.”

This past July, members of the GMC sang to honor Pat, and to offer comfort to her loved ones, at her funeral service in Middletown. 

As we lift our voices in song today, we remember Pat and the joy she brought to singing.

In Memoriam

Charles Coe

John Coghill

Michael D’Eugenio

Raymond DeMeola

Santo Fragilio

Dzintra Infante

Adele Johnson

Christine Laird

David Morgan

William R. Morico

Hugo Noridge

Lynn Norige

Mark Nowakowski

Roger & Jacqueline Olander

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Fred Savage

Jack Schultz

Mary Schultz

Barbara Smith

Patricia Vitali

In Honor Of

Joseph D’Eugenio

Patricia Holloway

Joyce Kirkpatrick

Robert O’Brien

Deirdre Roberts

Michael Sciola

Your great leader, Joe D’Eugenio

 

Donors

 

CONDUCTOR'S CIRCLE ($3000 and up)

Community Foundation of Middlesex County

Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts

Deborah & Gary Crakes

CT Humanities

Joyce & Bob Kirkpatrick

Margaret Livengood & Leslie Sosno

Dan & Lorie Martin

Middlesex Commission on the Arts

Elizabeth Morgan

Mark & Nancy Schultz

Patricia Vitali

BENEFACTORS ($1000 to $2999)

Michael & Nancy Balinskas

Choral Arts New England

Richard & Pat Holloway

Paula and Ed Messina

Dr. & Mrs. Adam E. Perrin

Richard Pugliese

PATRONS ($500 to $999)

Carol Any

Victor & Marilyn Cassella

Mr. & Mrs. Alexander Castaldi

Carol Corliss

Dennis and Gail Deninger

Anonymous

Janet Donston

Dr. Michael & Heather Greenaway

Anonymous

Michael Lombardi

Middletown Racial Justice Coalition

Walter and Lynn Ryan

Jonathan E. Stone & Thomas C. Flanigan

SPONSORS ($300 to $499)

Anonymous

Benevity Community Impact Fund 

Richard Coffey & Jason Charneski

Laura Frenzel

Elaine & Richard Lau

Jim & Jean O'Herron

Walter & Lori Shephard

Donna & C. William Stamm

Karen Zyko

DONORS ($100 to $299)

Mark Adams

John & Terri Addesso

Janet Staudt Allen

Greg Balinskas

Jeff Balinskas

Maxine Balinskas

Martin & Patience Benassi

John Biddiscombe & Gail Gorton

Bruce & Marcia Rebman

John Boccalatte & Michele Salonia Boccalatte

Becky & David Bohy

William S. Boyd, Jr.

Pat Brennan

Maria Buatti

Jo Anne Burgh

Philip & Marie Cacciola

Marnie Clark

Randall & Cynthia Clegg

Community Bag Program Stop and Shop

Connecticut Lighting Center, Inc. 

Christine Cooke

Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Crum, Jr.

Elisa Currie

Bob Cyranowicz

Cheryl Czuba

Kathy & Joe D'Eugenio

Celeste Finison

Dale & Sophia Fuller

Susanne Fusso & Joe Siry

Thomas & Evelyn Gerzo

Dawn & Gary Hoffman

Bill & Ellie Howard

Richard & Beth Kelpen

Dr. & Mrs. David R. Langley

Jan Leird

Frank Levering & Elizabeth Henley

Vincent J. Loffredo

Dan & Lorie Martin

Jane McMillan

Wayne and Sarah Kyder

Nancy & John Meyers

Alan Morgan & Janet Norris

K. Scott & Barbara Taras Morgan

Aunt Joan

Lisa Nappi

Susan Nathiel

Debi & Dave Newirth

Kathryn Nowell

MaryAnn O'Bright

Roger & Carolyn Olander

Anthony Pandolfe

Sandy Pavlowski

Mabel & Steve Peterson

Regina Regolo

Lucinda Reynolds

Charles & Mimi Rich, Jr.

David Edson & Deirdre Roberts

Christine Rogers & Marc Croteau

Melissa Rowe

Lauren Santos

Ursel Shaffer

Claire Shea

Mark Sheptoff Financial Planning LLC

David & Pat Taddei

Lewis and Kathy Traester

Gordon & Marlene Turnbull

Tina West

Virginia & Jeremy Zwelling

CONTRIBUTORS ($50 to $99)

Marlene Barrante

Peggy Carey & Jonathan Best

Ed & Jane Bower

Gary & Ginger Brown

Wayne & Margot Chapman

Frank & Cheryl DeMatteis

The Fir Patch

Jeannie Griffith

Welles & Lillian Guilmartin

Wendolyn Hill

Joseph & Nijole Janik

Jay G. Keiser

Peggy Kilgore

Ralph B. Levering

Walter & Anne Mayo

Nan Meneely & Gary Sepulvado

Jolanta Nowakowski

Susan Ostuno

Sheila Robida

Betsy Rosenfeld

Ralph & Nancy Sager

Catherine Savage

Jean & Biff Shaw

James Smith

Lynn Taylor

Kara Vitali

William Wasch

Terri Zammataro

Irina Zayaruzny

THOUGHTFUL GIFTS (up to $49)

Nicholas Adams

Marianne Beckmann

Beth Collins

Alex & Beth Curtis

Evelyn Farbman

James & Linda Garrett

Louise Gordona

Nancy Liddell

Lisa Liesener

Network for Good Grants Department

Robert O'Brien

Pledgeling Foundation 

Susan von Reichenbach

 

GMChorale Is Generously Funded By

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