Felix Mendelssohn: A romantic composer
Felix Mendelssohn is known as one of the magnificent composers of the Romantic period. After traveling to Italy, Mendelssohn wrote Symphony No. 4. The final movement, the dance called the "Saltarello," opens the recital with a majestic and energetic atmosphere. Due to the piece's fast tempo, a high level of technique is demanded for the orchestra.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the most representative composers of the Classical era. His Gloria is more popular in South Korea than in any Western country. Many of South Korea's church choirs sing the Gloria as a Sunday anthem; thus, most Korean singers in the church are familiar with this piece.
"The Beatitudes" is very well-organized and has become a standard piece of literature in the sacred choral repertoire. The piece is composed in a combination of a modern polyphonic style, where each voice has an independent melodic part, and a homophonic style. When the polyphonic section is performed, the building energy creates an exciting tension for both performer and listener. Tempo and dynamic changes are frequent and are significant elements in the piece.
Paul Basler, a professor at the University of Florida, is the composer of the multi-movement work Songs of Faith. Only three of the five movements will be performed in this recital: "Psalm 150," "Be Thou My Vision," and "Alleluia." The works were originally composed for chorus, piano, and french horn. Piano and horn play a very important role in the works. In this recital, however, the cello will be substituted for the horn.
"To Thee We Sing" is the one of the movements from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. The Liturgy is composed for a cappella chorus and is organized into a total of twenty movements. The general atmosphere is calm, but spiritually strong. The piece will be sung in Russian, which is the original language scored by the composer, Rachmaninoff.
Joseph Martin's choral music is often performed as Sunday anthems in many Korean churches. The style of Martin's music suggests the popular trend of Korean church choral music today. "The Awakening" starts with a mysterious atmosphere. Using dissonance, the composer has expressed strong musical tension throughout the piece.
Haydn was influenced by Handel, so their oratorios have many stylistic similarities. Haydn composed The Creation in 1798 after listening to a performance of Handel's Messiah. "The Heavens Are Telling" is one of the movements from The Creation and one of the most popular choral pieces ever written.
"Arirang" is a popular traditional folk song in Korea. The song is also becoming famous worldwide due to its beautiful and impressive melody, organized around a pentatonic (5-tone) scale. The word "Arirang" is a native Korean word, but it doesn't have a specific meaning today. The general content of the text is about the sadness of a person who is discarded by his or her lover. The arranger, Sonja Poorman, is a Minister of Music at FUMC in The Colony, TX.
Sungjoon Lee is a Korean conductor, composer, and keyboardist. He came to the U.S. in 2001 to enter the University of North Texas, where he completed his bachelor's degree in composition. While enrolled at UNT, Sungjoon studied organ performance as well, thus cultivating another facet of being a church musician. "Teach Me, O God" was composed in 2008 under Dr. Michael Cox's tutelage. The text was created by Sungjoon based on Psalm 27:1, 7-14.