It's Christmas Eve, so I'm off to conduct Fenno's "The Lamb" at First Parish Arlington, where I was first welcomed by Graham and Liz (Hopkins) Stevens ('90 and '91) and later worked with Jonathan (Markowitz) and Rebecca (Benefiel) Bijur ('01?), who we met singing. My only good memories of Yale are of food and music, and that's a lot, thanks to Maggie Brooks, to the Glee Club, and to Fenno.
F F Heath Jr. 12-30-1926 to 12-05-2008
About the blog:
Please feel free to share your memories with us about Fenno/Dad. Send your stories/memories to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly post your letter, unless you indicate otherwise.
Thank you. Your letters bring us joy.
~Carol, Sarah, Lucy, Peggy, and Terry Heath
Friday, December 24, 2010
It just started snowing in Boston, so it's time for Fenno's winter music. Our favorite is Fenno "Winter Prayer," which I first encountered at eighteen in a handwritten version on a snowy afternoon in the Glee Club room - Miriam Pelikan (Pittenger) ('89) and Karen Daehnick (Poirier) ('90), sitting on either side of me, remarking that it sounded a little like Britten to them (we'd just sung his "Festival Te Deum" in Battell). It was the first piece of Fenno's in which I could really hear his training with Paul Hindemith (all those fourths!) and feel a sense of repose and serenity in a CT winter (I certainly never felt a sense of response during my own studies!). Now "Winter Prayer" is my favorite of his works, although I'll always remember Tom Porter ('90) singing "Fern Hill" and see Fenno's "whip" gesture during the downbeat rests in the four-spirituals-by-Fenno-Heath (that's the way the Princeton and Harvard Glee Clubs used to announce our second half set).
Posted by at 1:17 PM
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Alleluia is a piece for unaccompanied SATB chorus by Randall Thompson. Composed over the first five days of July in 1940, it was given its world premiere on July 8 of that year at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood under the direction of G. Wallace Woodworth.
The work was written on a commission from Serge Koussevitzky, director of the Tanglewood Festival. Koussevitzky wanted a "fanfare" for voices to be performed at the opening exercises of the new Berkshire Music Center, and he asked Thompson to contribute such a piece. Instead of the joyous work expected of him, the composer produced a quiet and introspective piece. Thompson was inspired by the war in Europe, and the recent fall of France; given these events, he felt that to write a festive piece would be inappropriate.
The text of the work is simple; it consists of the word "Alleluia" repeated over and over again. The only other word in the text is "Amen", which is used once at the end. The end also divides the choir into seven parts.
Thompson once wrote that the Alleluia is
a very sad piece. The word "Alleluia" has so many possible interpretations. The music in my particular Alleluia cannot be made to sound joyous. It is a slow, sad piece, and...here it is comparable to the Book of Job, where it is written, "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
The piece has become Thompson's most popular work, and is frequently performed today.
Posted by at 8:22 AM