On Sunday, the choir will offer its final anthem of the season, Laudate Dominum, by W. A. Mozart (1756-1791). This beautiful piece is one of Mozart’s greatest “liturgical hits” alongside such works as his Ave Verum Corpus, Exsultate, Jubilate, and even the larger scale Requiem. This piece radiates the optimism for which Mozart is known. It begins with a simple soprano solo and grows to include full chorus without ever upsetting its delicate mood. The English translation of the Latin text is as follows:
“Praise the Lord, all nations;
Praise Him, all people.
For He has bestowed
His mercy upon us,
And the truth of the Lord endures forever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and forever,
and for generations of generations.
The prelude music, offered by me and violinist, Gosia Leska, is the first movement from a violin sonata by Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782). J. C. Bach, a son of the more famous Johann Sebastian, was known as “the English Bach” because of the amount of his life spent in London. The Baroque period in music is considered to have ended with the death of Johann Sebastian in 1750, and so his sons are usually categorized in the Galante style, a mini-period pre-dating the Classical period of Haydn and Mozart. Interestingly, Johann Sebastian’s sons were better known than he until the great Bach revival in the 19th century by Felix Mendelssohn. Johann Christian was a successful composer of popular and delightful music, although he wasn’t as successful as his older brother, C. P. E. Bach. Since the great resurgence of their father’s music, Bach’s sons have fallen into relative obscurity, but we hope you will enjoy this rare piece of music on Sunday.