NC Worship Arts Classics Night


Sunday Morning Worship: 9:15 am & 11:00 am, Christian Ed: 9:15 & 11 am | Wednesday Night: Girls Ministry and Royal Rangers: 6:15 pm, Wednesday Prayer Service, NC Students Service 6:30 pm l Thursday The Summit (Y/A) Service: 7:00 pm

 August 08, 2021

 6:00 PM

 101 NW 99th St Kansas City, MO 64155

NC Worship Arts Classics Night takes place on Sunday, August 8 at 6 pm and features a variety of music, along with vocal and instrumental soloists. The program includes timeless classics, sacred works, and new music that will warm your heart and bring a smile to your face! 

2021 Classics Concert Program Notes

Praise to the Lord the Almighty

A hymn based on Joachim Neander’s German chorale Lobe den Herren, published in 1680.  John Julian in his A Dictionary of Hymnology, calls the German original “a magnificent hymn of praise to God, perhaps the finest creation of its author and of the first rank in its class.” The melody used by Neander, first published in 1665, exists in many versions and is probably based on a folk tune. The text paraphrases Psalms 103 and 150, with the first English translation published by Catherine Winkworth in 1863.  It was the favorite hymn of King Frederick William III of Prussia.  This arrangement for church orchestra is by Camp Kirkland, who in addition has served as a church music director and has been arranger for music for Walt Disney World.

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Ludwig Von Beethoven: Sonata for Violin

Beethoven’s violin sonatas are, like many of his works, revolutionary. This sonata, often known as his “Spring sonata” (1801) notably features the violin and piano in equal parts, rather than focusing more heavily on the piano in accordance with classical custom. The first movement takes the form of a conversation between the two instruments, trading melodies back and forth until they are reunited in unison at the end. The nickname “Spring” was not appended to the work until after Beethoven’s death, though the expressive and lively themes are reminiscent of the season. 

Peformed by Reilly Nash

Eric Ewazen: Sonata for Trombone and Piano

Ewazen was bornin 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio. He studied composition with Sameul Adler, Milton Babbitt, Warren Benson, Gunther Schuller, and Joseph Schwantner at the Eastman School of Music, Tanglewood, and The Juilliard School. He has been a member of the Juilliard faculty since 1980. This work was commissioned by and is dedicated to Michael Poweel who premiered the work at the 1993 Aspen Music Festival. Mr. Ewazen writes: “The trombone, with its golden resonant tone and beautiful baritone range, is an instrument which has always appealed to me. I sought to create a piece exploring all the many facets of its expression. The last movement, a bravura rondo, is a joyous affirmatio of life with energetic rhythms, tuneful melodies and colorful, virtuistic textures.”

Performed by Michael Murphy

Fairest Lord Jesus

Also known as Beautiful Savior, this hymn dates to the mid 19th century and is based on a Silesian folk song.  It was first published with the German text in 1842 by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben and Ernst Richter under the name Schönster Herr Jesu (Most beautiful Lord Jesus). According to some accounts, it was called Crusader's Hymn because it was often sung by German Crusaders as they made their way to the Holy Land. However, William Jensen Reynolds dismisses as "completely erroneous" any association of this hymn with the Crusades. The tune emerges in Franz Liszt's oratorio Legend of Saint Elizabeth—wherein the tune forms part of the Crusader's March—but no evidence of the tune exists prior to 1842, when the hymn appeared in Schlesische Volkslieder.

Here is the 1873 translation by Joseph A. Seiss:

Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,

O Thou of God and man the Son,

Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,

Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown

Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!

Son of God and Son of Man!

Glory and honor, praise, adoration,

Now and forever more be Thine.

Performed by the Cathedral Orchestra

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Rhapsodie on a Theme of Paganini

The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43, (Russian: Рапсодия на тему Паганини, Rapsodiya na temu Paganini) is a concertante work written by Sergei Rachmaninoff for piano and orchestra, closely resembling a piano concerto, all in a single movement. Rachmaninoff wrote the work at his summer home, the Villa Senar in Switzerland, according to the score, from 3 July to 18 August 1934. Rachmaninoff, a noted interpreter of his own works, played the piano part at the piece's premiere on 7 November 1934, at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore, Maryland, with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski. The slow 18th variation is by far the best known, and it is often included on classical music compilations without the rest of the work. It is based on an inversion of the melody of Paganini's theme. In other words, the A minor Paganini theme is literally played "upside down" in D♭ major, with a few other changes. Rachmaninoff himself recognized the appeal of this variation, saying "This one is for my agent." It has been used extensively to varying degrees in television and movie scores including Somewhere in Time, Groundhog Day, and The Good Wife.

Performed by Dr. Calvin Permenter and Rev. Ron Steen

Zez Confrey: Dizzy Fingers

Edward Elzear "Zez" Confrey (1895–1971) was an American composer and performer of novelty piano and jazz music. His most noted works were Kitten on the Keys and Dizzy Fingers. While studying at the Chicago Musical College, he became enthralled with French impressionists.  This played a critical role in how he composed and performed music. Confrey was born in Peru, Illinois, United States, the youngest child of Thomas and Margaret Confrey. Aspiring to be a concert pianist, he attended Chicago Musical College and studied with private teachers. He later abandoned that idea for composing, encouraged by his oldest brother, James J. Confrey, an organist. In 1921 Confrey wrote his novelty piano solo Kitten on the Keys, inspired by hearing his grandmother's cat walk on the keyboard of her piano. It became a hit, and he went on to compose many other pieces in the genre. Dizzy Fingers (1923) was Confrey's other biggest seller. Following the 1920s, Confrey focused primarily on composing for jazz bands. He retired after World War II but continued to compose until 1959. He died at age 76 in Lakewood, New Jersey after suffering for many years from Parkinson's disease. He left behind more than a hundred piano works, songs and miniature operas, and numerous piano rolls, music publications and sound recordings.

Performed by Dr. Calvin Permenter and Rev. Ron Steen

Ennio Morricone: Gabriel’s Oboe 

Morricone is an Italian composer, orchestrator, and conductor, who has written music for more than 500 motion pictures and television series, as well as contemporary and modern classical works. Perhaps his most well-known work is the soundtrack for the Clint Eastwood “Spaghetti Western” The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.  His scores have been included in over forty award-winning films. Gabriel’s Oboe, one of his most popular and enduring works, is from the film The Mission.  Greatly loved for its beautiful and haunting melody and rich harmonies, Gabriel’s Oboe has become a modern staple in orchestral repertoire.

Performed by Nola Dawson

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Jeremiah Clarke: Fanfare

Clarke (C. 1673-1707) was an English baroque composer and organist, best known for his Trumpet Voluntary, a popular piece often played at wedding ceremonies or commencement ceremonies. He was one of the pupils of John Blow at St Paul's Cathedral and a chorister in 1685 at the Chapel Royal. Between 1692 and 1695 he was an organist at Winchester College, then between 1699 and 1704 he was an organist at St Paul's Cathedral. He later became an organist and 'Gentleman extraordinary' at the Chapel Royal, he shared that post with fellow composer William Croft, his friend. They were succeeded by John Blow. Today, Clarke is best remembered for a popular keyboard piece that was originally either a harpsichord piece or a work for wind ensemble: the Prince of Denmark's March, which is commonly called the Trumpet Voluntary, written in about 1700. From c. 1878 until the 1940s the work was attributed to Henry Purcell, and was published as Trumpet Voluntary by Henry Purcell in William Spark's Short Pieces for the Organ, Book VII, No. 1 (London, Ashdown and Parry). Clarke wrote extensively for church and ceremonial purposes and this Fanfare comes from this body of works. This arrangement is by Stanley Drummond Wolff (1916 – 2004), an English organist, choirmaster, composer, and music educator who was primarily active in North America. His compositional output primarily consists of anthems for choir and works for solo organ. In the 1980s he completed and published four volumes of hymns. Many of his compositions have been published by Concordia Publishing House and MorningStar Music Publishers.

Performed by Carlton Quattlebaum & the Cathedral Orchesstra

George Gershwin: Preludes, transcribed by Jascha Heifetz

George Gershwin; born Jacob Gershwin (1898–1937) was an American composer and pianist, whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), the songs Swanee (1919) and Fascinating Rhythm (1924), the jazz standards Embraceable You (1928) and I Got Rhythm (1930), and the opera Porgy and Bess (1935), which gave birth to the hit Summertime. Three Preludes are short piano pieces by George Gershwin, which were first performed by the composer at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in 1926. Each prelude is a well-known example of early-20th-century American classical music, as influenced by jazz. In 1942 Jascha Hiefetz arranged the prelude for violin and piano.  Heifetz, (1901–1987) was a Russian-American violinist. Born in Vilna (Vilnius), he moved as a teenager to the United States, where his Carnegie Hall debut was rapturously received. He was a virtuoso since childhood—Fritz Kreisler, another leading violinist of the twentieth century, said on hearing Heifetz's debut, "We might as well take our fiddles and break them across our knees."[He had a long and successful performing career. However, after an injury to his right (bowing) arm, he switched his focus to teaching and had a distinguished career at the University of Southern California. The second and third preludes are featured in this performance.

The second Prelude, in C-sharp minor, also has the distinct flavor of jazz. The piece begins with a subdued melody winding its way above a smooth, steady bassline. The harmonies and melodies of this piece are built on thirds, emphasizing both the interval of the seventh and the major/minor duality of the blues scale. In the second section, the key, tempo, and thematic material all change; only the similarity of style binds the two sections together. The opening melody and bass return in the final section, more succinct but otherwise unchanged, and the piece ends with a slow ascent of the keyboard. Gershwin himself referred to the piece as "a sort of blues lullaby."

Gershwin himself called the Prelude in E-flat minor "Spanish", but modern ears may find the description puzzling. After a brief and dramatic introduction, the main theme is revealed: two melodies that together form a question-and-answer pair. This theme is used throughout to provide harmonic structure. The "question" is harmonized using E-flat minor chords, the "answer" by E-flat major chords. After a brief, highly syncopated middle section, the melodic pair returns assertively in octaves, causing a battle between major and minor. Major wins, and the piece concludes with a flourish.

Performed by Matthew Bennett

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Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Movement 1)

Rachmaninoff’s first piano concerto was initially published in 1891 when Rachmaninoff was only 18 years old, though it would not reach its final form until Rachmaninoff’s final revision of the work 28 years later. The young composer based his work on the structure of Edvard Grieg’s famous concerto, from the opening flourish to the relatively short main theme. The concerto was well-received for such an early work, but Rachmaninoff was unhappy with its state. With two more successful concertos under his belt, Rachmaninoff made major revisions to this concerto in 1917, transforming the piece into a musically mature masterpiece without losing its youthful spirit.

Performed by REILLY Nash

The Sparrow’s Medley (Martin/Gabriel), arranged by Carl Zornes

Zornes has been active as pianist, keyboardist, accompanist and teacher/coach in NC Worship Arts for many years. He has done several arrangements for soloists, ensembles, and orchestra. Here is his description of this arrangement based on the classic gospel hymn, His Eye is on the Sparrow..

Set in the feel of Benjamin Godard’s Allegretto from Suite de Trois Morceaux, the lyrics of the iconic hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” come alive through the sound of the flute.  Imagine, if you will, our sparrow arrives and is perched to begin an aria of encouragement.  In a gentle melody, she reminds you, “When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He.”  But as she sings, the joy in her heart bubbles over and just cannot be contained.  

The excitement and tempo build as our soprano adds the songs “In My Heart There Rings a Melody” and “I’ve Got the Joy” in different styles each time coming back to the refrain, “I sing because I’m happy.  I sing because I’m free. If His eye is on the Sparrow, I know he watches me.”  Originally arranged for this artist, the piece ends in a huge high note trill and flurry of activity as our sparrow, having delivered her message of hope from the Lord, quickly flies away.  

Matthew 6:26 

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Performed by Nicole Tattershall

Paul Creston: Sonata for Eb Alto Saxophone, Second movement: “with tranquility”

Creston (born Giuseppe Guttoveggio, 1906–1985) was an Italian American composer of classical music. Born in New York City to Sicilian immigrants, Creston was self-taught as a composer. His work tends to be fairly conservative in style, with a strong rhythmic element. His pieces include six symphonies; a number of concertos, including two for violin, one for marimba and orchestra (premiered by Ruth Stuber), one for one piano, one for two pianos, one for accordion, and one for alto saxophone (the latter dedicated to Cecil Leeson); a fantasia for trombone and orchestra (composed for and premiered by Robert Marsteller). He also wrote Rhapsodie for alto saxophone  for Jean-Marie Londeix; a suite (1935) and a sonata (Op. 19, 1939), both dedicated to Cecil Leeson (the sonata was arranged by Marco Ciccone for saxophone and orchestra in 2008); and also a suite for organ, Op. 70. Creston was also a notable teacher, whose students included the composers Irwin Swack, John Corigliano, Alvin Singleton, Elliott Schwartz, Frank Felice, Charles Roland Berry; accordionist/composer William Schimmel; and the jazz musicians Rusty Dedrick and Charlie Queener. He wrote the theoretical books Principles of Rhythm (1964) and Rational Metric Notation (1979). He taught at Central Washington State College from 1968 to 1975.

Performed by Will Duncan

Gaetano Donizetti:  Una furtiva lagrima (A furtive tear)

Una furtiva lagrima  is the romanza from act 2, scene 3 of the Donizetti’s opera L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love). It is sung by Nemorino (tenor) when it appears that the love potion he bought to win the heart of his dream lady, Adina, works. Nemorino is in love with Adina, but she is not interested in a relationship with an innocent, rustic man. To win her heart, Nemorino buys a love potion with all the money he has in his pocket. That love potion is actually a cheap red wine sold by a traveling”quack doctor,” but when he sees Adina weeping, he knows that she has fallen in love with him, and he is sure that the "elixir" has worked.

Performed by Dr. Joshua Baum

Rolf Løvland:  You Raise Me Up

You Raise Me Up is a song originally composed by the Norwegian-Irish duo Secret Garden. The music was written by Løvland, and the lyrics by Brendan Graham. After the song was performed early in 2002 by the Secret Garden and their invited lead singer, Brian Kennedy, the song only became a minor UK hit. Since 2002, the song has been recorded by more than a hundred other artists including American singer-songwriter Josh Groban in 2003 and Irish boy band Westlife in 2005 whose versions were hits in their countries. Welsh singer Aled Jones and all-female Irish ensemble Celtic Woman have also recorded successful covers. This arrangement is by Bob Krogstadt, an active contemporary arranger, orchestrator and composer.

Performed by Dr. Joshua Baum

V. Monti:  Csárdás (or "Czardas")

Csárdás is a rhapsodical concert piece by the Italian composer Vittorio Monti. Written in 1904, the well-known folkloric piece is based on a Hungarian folk dance known as a csárdás. It was originally composed for violin, mandolin, or piano, and arrangements have been done for orchestra and for a number of solo instruments. Csárdás is about four-and-a-half minutes in duration and has seven different sections, usually of a different tempo (and, occasionally, key). The first half of the piece is in D minor; it modulates to D major, then back to D minor, and then finally finishes in D major. The tempo changes make the piece exciting and interesting, but even with the dramatic tempo changes, it is generally expected that there should be some rubato (tempo variation) to add feeling to the piece. There are also many different dynamic changes in the piece, ranging from pianissimo to fortissimo. In the Meno, quasi lento section, the violin plays artificial harmonics. This involves the violinist placing their finger down on the note and playing another note, with the finger only just touching the string 5 semitones above. This gives the effect of the violin sounding two octaves (24 semitones) higher.

Performed by Dennis Bogart