Totus Tuus – Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933-2010)
Sicut Cervus – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)
Church Sonata no. 14 in C, KV 278 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Mass no. 7, Missa in honorem Sanctissimae Trinitatis, KV 167 – W. A. Mozart
Ave Verum Corpus, KV 618 – W. A. Mozart
Welcome to the Hope of the World – Art & Faith United concert.
It is indeed a great honour for the Hong Kong Youth Choir to be invited by Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong and Holy See Study Mission in Hong Kong. On this, we would also like to extend our gratitude to Christ the King Chapel for giving us the opportunity to perform in this magnificent and monumental venue. We will be bringing you an array of choral pieces and a Church instrumental work tonight.
We will start our concert with Totus Tuus (All Yours) by contemporary Polish composer Henryk Górecki. Totus is composed for unaccompanied mixed choir in 1987 to commemorate Pope John Paul II’s visit to Poland. Its simple texture clarifies the text presentation, while the harmonised repeating chant at the end almost acts as the reaffirmation of faith.
Then bringing back to 1604, the next piece is Sicut cervus (As the deer), composed by the Italian Renaissance giant of sacred music Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. This musical setting of the beginning of Psalm 42 examines imitative counterpoint throughout. We can easily spot word-painting technique being used: the long, meandering, faster desiderat (longing) with rising, and the melodic peak fontes (streams).
Church Sonata KV 278 by W. A. Mozart was composed in 1777. KV 278, like other Church Sonatas of his, is a short, single-movement work. They are played between the Epistle and the Gospel traditional, hence also named sonatas of the epistle. Most of Mozart’s Church Sonatas are scored for two violin parts and basso continuo (a bass instrument and a harmonic instrument). KV 278 is, among the fewer ones, scored for a larger instrumentation with the inclusion of oboes, trumpets, and timpani. Exciting dynamic changes and exchanging melodies between different parts can be found in this witty composition.
The choir will then perform Missa in honorem Sanctissimae Trinitatis (Mass in honour of the Most Holy Trinity), composed in 1773, is the only Mass without employing solo singers. As opposed to missa brevis, this is a missa totae (complete Mass) meaning a setting of Mass Ordinary, while missae breves usually consist of Kyrie and Gloria only. The Mass is characterized by its formal simplicity, balance structure, and close tonal relationship between movements.
To conclude the concert, we will be performing what Austrian-American pianist Artur Schnabel once described “too simple for children, and too difficult for adults,” the very famous Ave verum corpus (Hail, true body), also composed by Mozart. Ave was composed in 1791 for his friend Anton Stoll, the choirmaster of a church in Baden, Austria. These 46 bars of music demonstrate the mastermind of the genius. Structurally, an introduction, transition, conclusion and two choral parts exist, sounding so simple yet full of sublime harmonic progression. Tonally speaking, he could almost foresee modulations in the 19th Century: by composing daringly in F major for Cujus latus perforatum (whose side was pierced) in a piece of D major (making a tonic-flat mediant relationship) when Classical Period was favouring modulations to traditional dominant, subdominant and relative major/minor keys.
Hong Kong Youth Choir