Home > Winter’s Song

Sunday, January 31, at 3 PM

Premiering on YouTube - Watch Here on YouTube

A Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music

Recorded at Highland United Methodist Church in Raleigh NC

Featuring:

Phyllis Vogel, piano & harpsichord

Ann Pearce, flute

George Deaton, tenor

Jo Anne Swartz, soprano

Concert Preview

Enjoy this brief preview of Winter's Song.

Program

Click here for a downloadable copy of the program (pdf)

Prelude in D major, BWV 532 for Piano                                                  Johann Sebastian Bach  (Transcription by Ferruccio Busoni)

Nocturne, op. 9, no. 2                                                                                 Frédéric Chopin, arr. Kolman

Greensleeves Variations                                                                            English Folk Tune, arr. Fleury

Recitative and Aria from Elijah                                                                Felix Mendelssohn

  • Ye People, Rend Your Hearts
  • If With All Your Hearts

Wedding Song                                                                                               Heinrich Schutz

Italian Concerto for Harpsichord, BWV 971                                           Johann Sebastian Bach

  • Movement 1: Allegro
  • Movement 3: Presto

Happy We! (Act I Duet from Acis and Galatea)                                     George Friedrich Handel

Program Notes

Prelude in D major

This Prelude in D major was composed for organ by Bach around 1710. Many of his greatest and most well-known organ works were written during this period. Featuring a lengthy, complex, self-contained fugue (not being played today), the work is preceded by this multi-sectional prelude

Ferruccio Busoni (1 April 1866 – 27 July 1924) was an Italian composer, pianist, conductor, editor, writer, and teacher. His international career and reputation led him to work closely with many of the leading musicians, artists and literary figures of his time, and he was a sought-after keyboard instructor and a teacher of composition. His compositions include works for piano, among them transcriptions of the works of others, notably Johann Sebastian Bach .This transcription for piano being performed today is a brilliant example of Busoni’s art of transcription.

Nocturne

Chopin composed this wistfully dreamy piano piece between 1830 and 1832, while in his early twenties. He dedicated it to Marie Pleyel, a student of his and wife of famed pianist/composer Camille. It is one of three nocturnes in this opus and is by far, the most popular. It prompts quiet reflection, a style that has been appreciated in many settings of popular culture.

Greensleeves

There is no consensus as to the composer of this traditional English song, though it is often attributed to King Henry the VIII, with speculation that the words were inspired by Anne Boleyn. It is first documented in history from 1580. Shakespeare’s mentioning it twice in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" is only the first of numerous references to it across cultural lines over the years.

Recitative and Aria from Elijah

The Oratorio opens with a highly original feature: before the overture, Elijah pronounces God's curse that there shall be no dew or rain for these years; the ensuing Overture depicts the years of drought and leads without a break into the first chorus. The people lament God's punishment. Then the tenor as Obadiah calls on the people to repent in the recitative and aria.

Wedding Song

Heinrich Schutz (1585-1672) was generally regarded as the most important German composer prior to Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). He was a catalyst in bringing the progressive Italian baroque style to Germany. Schutz made many scholarly pilgrimages to Italy throughout his career as a composer to study newly developing techniques, bringing to northern Europe the colorful polychoral methods of his mentor Gabrielli. On one such trip, Schutz studied in great detail the works and compositional innovations of Claudio Monteverdi. He was fascinated by Monteverdi's use of a solo voice paired with an obbligato instrument over a harpsichord or organ continuo, and perhaps this fascination was the inspiration for "Wedding Song." The text of this lovely aria comes from Ruth 1:16-17, one of the most famous Old Testament passages. These 2 brief verses express the paradigm of how people in a just society should live, each faithful to the other, fulfilling the Law (Torah), in unity as the family of God. Ruth is remembered today as a symbol of loyalty, faith and determination

Italian Concerto for Harpsichord

This Concerto was originally titled Concerto nach Italienischen Gusto (Concerto in the Italian taste). It is a three-movement concerto for harpsichord solo composed by Bach and published in 1735. The Italian Concerto has become popular among Bach's keyboard works and has been widely recorded both on the harpsichord and the piano. Today the first and third movements will be presented for sheer fun as the Italians would have liked.

Happy We! (Duet from Acis and Galatea)

In Act I, Shepherds and nymphs enjoy "the pleasure of the plains." Galatea, a semi-divine nymph, is in love with the shepherd Acis, and tries to hush the birds that ignite her passion for him. Acis's close friend, the shepherd Damon, provides counsel to the lovers as they pursue each other. The act closes with a duet by the young lovers, "Happy We," which is echoed by a chorus, sung in this presentation as an extension of the duet. (Revised from Wikipedia)

The Performers

Phyllis Vogel, piano and harpsichord, received her DMA from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University. She studied piano under Walter Hautzig and Leon Fleisher at the Peabody, Menahem Pressler at Indiana University, and Robert and Jean Casadesus at the American Conservatory in France. Her theory work while in France was under the direction of Nadia Boulanger. Dr. Vogel has held positions in piano and theory at the Peabody Conservatory, West Chester University, and the University of South Carolina.  After 34 years, Dr. Vogel retired from North Carolina State University where she taught piano, theory, and various survey courses including Music in the 19th Century, and a course titled Women in Music.  Her theory courses have been televised on the educational TV channel. In the spring of 2009, one of them titled Exploring Music Theory was put on line for Distance Education students. She has performed widely as a solo pianist, as a member of the Chekker Duo, and as a harpsichordist. Dr. Vogel also appears frequently with various chamber music ensembles and she was artistic director of the North Carolina Bach Festival. Phyllis is an active member of Highland.

 Ann Pearce, flute, is a Raleigh native and a co-founder of the Raleigh Area Flute Association (1985) and the Raleigh Flute Choir (1986), specializing in contrabass flute for sixteen years.  She was the adjunct flute instructor at Saint Mary’s School for twenty years and Shaw University for five.  Her other area of musical expertise is handbells, for which she was the director at Highland UMC from 1987 through 2018.  In addition to performing and teaching, she also enjoys arranging and composing music for both flutes and handbells, with 155 published pieces to her credit.  She and her son, Jason, established www.ScoreVivo.com, an online music publishing company which has over 800 customers worldwide.  From 1992 to 2015, she was Director of the Chaplains’ Cooperative Ministry at NCSU, the organization that supports religious groups on that campus.   She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from UNC at Chapel Hill and Duke Divinity School.  She and her husband, Irv, joined Highland in 1971, and have been pleased to have served this church family in many different capacities over the years.

Jo Anne Swartz, soprano, has been actively involved in teaching and directing church music for over 50 years. She directed her first choir (in a small church in Dover Mill near her hometown of Shelby) when she was in high school. She is an honors graduate of Appalachian State University with degrees in music education (K-12) and a master's in voice, piano and music supervision. Later studies include certification in Suzuki method (piano) and Gifted Education (AIG). She taught music in schools across eastern NC as she moved with her UM pastor husband Alan. Jo Anne's biggest thrill is seeing former students working in church music, teaching in schools and universities, performing with NC Opera or in Nashville, because she believes God gave the gift of music to give us abundant, inspired, rich lives. The holiest moments in life are those spent rehearsing and making music for the worship of God - such music is used by the Spirit to draw hearts to Him and transform us forever.

George Deaton, tenor, began singing as a child in church choirs and has been active as a singer since. A native of Virginia, he made his professional debut as tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Roanoke Symphony in 1961. As tenor soloist in opera, oratorio and vocal concerts, he has performed in the USA, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Bulgaria. He has been a tenor soloist and recitalist since 2006 at the Assisi Music Festival in Assisi, Italy where he was invested as a Cavaliere in the Knights of Malta in 2007. His oratorio singing is highlighted by performances of the role of The Evangelist in Bach’s Passion According to St. John on tour in Krakow (Franciscan Cathedral), Brno, Prague (Dvorak Hall), and Budapest (Liszt Hall). His musical training has been through teachers, coaches, master classes, and workshops. He has a degree in physics form VA Tech. George’s singing has been adjunct to his professional careers at NASA, IBM and as a consultant. At Highland, George and his wife, Beth, began participating in the music program when they became members in 1974.

Acknowledgements

The performers are grateful to the following for their support of the concert:

Mr. John Robinson, videographer, announcer and production support

Dr. Thomas Wolcott, provider of the harpsichord

Rev. Janet Baucom, publicity and production assistance

Highland United Methodist Church, provider of the venue