At The Foot Of The Cross: A Musical Journey Through Lent {Week 5}

img_8600-2
We’ve made it to Week 5! I hope this Laetare week gave your family the respite and final push that I know ours needed to finish out Lent with rigor.

If you are just joining us, I’m so glad you are here! Take the plunge and begin this devotion with today’s two listenings and music appreciation lesson. Each week is independent of the last so there is no added pressure to immediately catch up on previously missed weeks. You can find more ideas for participating in this Lenten devotion at the Overview post.

For your family’s free listening pleasure, here is the whole work:

Dvořák’s Stabat Mater

Would you like t more free listening to your week? The Story of Dvořák in Music and Words includes his narrated biography over specific works and  can be found in the playlist below:

Week 5

6. “Fac Me Vere Tecum Flere” – Tenor Solo and Chorus

Latin Text:

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

Iuxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.

English Translation:

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

7. “Virgo Virginum Praeclara” – Chorus

Latin Text:

Virgo virginum praeclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.

English Translation:

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

For our lessons this Lent, we will be using our family’s easy ABC method for listening with purpose. It is a simple three step process that can be used with the whole family and all ages. Your family will be listening to the piece with purpose at least once with specific actions in mind. The whole lesson typically takes around 15 minutes to complete if you include all three steps. It can be expanded based on length of pieces and the extent of conversation. This method is intentionally adaptable to fit all families in hopes that it will aid in fostering a love of music and meaningful connections in your home. Read through the lesson beforehand, then pull out and use what you know will work with your child(ren). Don’t be afraid to include the youngest of children too! My 1 year old daughter and goddaughter just dances around while listening and that is perfect!

Our Easy ABCs for Music Appreciation

Begin by gathering everyone together for your family listening time. Our family reads the text and translation then participates in the lesson.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I want these lessons to be as user friendly as possible!

You can share what you like from the following or use it as an easy script:

Our music lesson today will focus on the first of our two pieces for this week, Fac Me Vere Tecum Flere”. This 6th Movement of Stabat Mater is a solo for Tenor with chorus. It has an AA’ form where the original theme is repeated, but with a few changes. After the an instrumental introduction, the soloist enters with the first motif (musical idea) on the title text followed by the echoing choir. This pattern of call and response continues throughout most of the piece. The Tenor is the higher of the two typical male vocal parts. (You can choose to further explain the remaining three vocal parts with the following:) The lower male vocal part is Bass which were heard in last week’s first listening, “Fac, Ut Ardeat Cor Meum”. The two female vocal parts are called Soprano and Alto, with Soprano having the higher vocal range and Alto the lower.

Now onto the main processes of our Listening ABCs.

A – Attentive Listening

Before you play the piece for the first time, ask your family to close their eyes and listen silently. Ask them to try and get a feeling, picture, or story in their mind of what the music reminds them of. They may remember some of the text translation read earlier. We really want them to get their imaginations running for this first listening. Ask them to share what they saw in the music. There is no right or wrong answer.

B – Bodily Movement

Now we’re going to add a bodily movement to help our brains connect our memory and the music. Your family may listen to the piece a second time here while raising their hands or standing up when the melody alternates from being sung by the soloist to the choir. Students may also draw what they hear in the music or tap out the 1-4 of the beat. If drawing is chosen, the picture may be whatever the children imagines, however detailed or abstract.

C – Conversation

This concluding segment is where we talk about the elements we hear in the music. Each time your family listens with purpose using these ABCs, they will hear and be able to verbalize more and more. Any observation is welcome and should be praised during this listening. In this section you may choose to have your family listen to the piece one last time while pointing out the elements of the music they recognize. Your family may also go straight on to the discussion. In the language of music who sings or plays a certain part of the music is called “voicing”. Were your students able to hear the change in voicing on their own when the melody swapped from soloist to choir and back? Can anyone share differences between the A and A’ portions of the music? Were any instrument families or individual instruments recognized in the piece? The mood of the piece can also be discussed here by asking how the music made your family feel and sharing your own response. If you know what vocal part you or another family member sings, that may be discussed here as well.

 

Advertisements

At The Foot Of The Cross: A Musical Journey Through Lent {Week 4}


I’m so glad you have joined us on this Forth Friday in Lent. It’s hard to believe that we are now official half-way through the season! It is sailing by for out family and I need to stay on top of things. I hope this devotion and any other disciplines your family has taken on this year are proving to be fruitful for y’all.

If you are new to this devotion: Hello! Welcome! Please don’t hesitate to jump right in with today’s two listenings and music appreciation lesson. All the weeks are independent of each other so there is no added pressure to immediately catch up on previously missed weeks. You can find more ideas for participating in this Lenten devotion at the Overview post.

For your family’s free listening pleasure, here is the whole work:

Dvořák’s Stabat Mater

 

Should you chose to add more free listening to your week, The Story of Dvořák, including his narrated biography over specific works, can be found in the playlist below:

Week 4

4. “Fac, Ut Ardeat Cor Meum” – Bass Solo and Chorus

Latin Text:

Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

English Translation:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

 

5. “Tui Nati Vulnerati” – Chorus

Latin Text:

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.

English Translation:

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

 

For our lessons this Lent, we will be using our family’s easy ABC method for listening with purpose. It is a simple three step process that can be used with the whole family and all ages. Your family will be listening to the piece with purpose at least once with specific actions in mind. The whole lesson typically takes around 15 minutes to complete if you include all three steps. It can be expanded based on length of pieces and the extent of conversation. This method is intentionally adaptable to fit all families in hopes that it will aid in fostering a love of music and meaningful connections in your home. Read through the lesson beforehand, then pull out and use what you know will work with your child(ren). Don’t be afraid to include the youngest of children too! My 1 year old daughter and goddaughter just dances around while listening and that is perfect!

Our Easy ABCs for Music Appreciation

Begin by gathering everyone together for your family listening time. Our family reads the text and translation then participates in the lesson.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I want these lessons to be as user friendly as possible!

You can share what you like from the following or use it as an easy script:

Our music lesson today will focus on the second of our two pieces for this week, “Tui Nati Vulnerati”. This 5th Movement of Stabat Mater is a chorus like last week, with no solo voices. Its ABA form contrasts an upbeat, joyful first section and a more penitential second section. With its 6/8 time signature, the first section of the piece is similar to the water music sung by gondoliers of Venice, Italy called Barcaroles. The 6 beats per measure gently rock you back and forth while still continuing the forward motion of the piece. The changing dynamics (how the notes are sung, volume and articulation) of the vocal lines are also reminiscent of the sweeping, gentle pull of waves. In spite of the text it is a nice splash of cheerfulness as we approach Laetare Sunday.

Now onto the main processes of our Listening ABCs.

A – Attentive Listening

Before you play the piece for the first time, ask your family to close their eyes and listen silently. Ask them to try and get a feeling, picture, or story in their mind of what the music reminds them of. They may remember some of the text translation read earlier. We really want them to get their imaginations running for this first listening. Ask them to share what they saw in the music. There is no right or wrong answer.

B – Bodily Movement

Now we’re going to add a bodily movement to help our brains connect our memory and the music. Your family may listen to the piece a second time here while gracefully rocking side to side during the A sections of the piece. You may incorporate counting the 6 beats in each measure as everyone sways if both activities fit the ability of your children. Students may also draw what they hear in the music. If drawing is chosen, the picture may be whatever the children imagines, however detailed or abstract.

C – Conversation

This concluding segment is where we talk about the elements we hear in the music. Each time your family listens with purpose using these ABCs, they will hear and be able to verbalize more and more. Any observation is welcome and should be praised during this listening. In this section you may choose to have your family listen to the piece one last time while pointing out the elements of the music they recognize. Your family may also go straight on to the discussion. Can anyone share differences between the A and B portions of the music? The mood of the piece can also be discussed here by asking how the music made your family feel and sharing your own response. For comparison, you can also share the video below of a famous barcarole, “Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour”, from Offenbach’s opera Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann).

At The Foot Of The Cross: A Musical Journey Through Lent {Week 3}


The third Friday of Lent is upon us! Hopefully your family has found its rhythm and is now in the full swing of the season. It always takes our family a little bit to reacquaint ourselves with the discipline of Lent. To those who may be just now starting this musical journey with us, feel free to take the plunge and join us with today’s listening selection and music appreciation lesson at the bottom of the post. Don’t worry, each lesson is independent of the previous week. You can find more ideas for participating in this Lenten devotion at the Overview post.

For your family’s free listening pleasure, here is the whole work:

Dvořák’s Stabat Mater

If you chose to include The Story of Dvořák listenings, where his biography is narrated over specific works, that playlist is below as well:

Week 3

Movement 3: “Eia, Mater” – Chorus

Latin Text:

Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

English Translation:

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

For our lessons this Lent, we will be using our family’s easy ABC method for listening with purpose. It is a simple three step process that can be used with the whole family and all ages. Your family will be listening to the piece with purpose at least once with specific actions in mind. The whole lesson typically takes around 15 minutes to complete if you include all three steps. It can be expanded based on length of pieces and the extent of conversation. This method is intentionally adaptable to fit all families in hopes that it will aid in fostering a love of music and meaningful connections in your home. Read through the lesson beforehand, then pull out and use what you know will work with your child(ren). Don’t be afraid to include the youngest of children too! My 1 year old daughter and goddaughter just dances around while listening and that is perfect!

Our Easy ABCs for Music Appreciation

Begin by gathering everyone together for your family listening time. Our family reads the text and translation then participates in the lesson.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I want these lessons to be as user friendly as possible!

You can share what you like from the following or use it as an easy script:

Our listening for today is the third movement of Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, “Eia, Mater”. In the English translation of the half a stanza we read earlier, we see that this piece is a prayer pleading for our Lady to help unite us to her suffering, that our hearts would be pieced as hers was during Christ’s passion. This piece as a chorus features no solo voices since it is to be the cry of not one soul, but of all the Mother’s children. Dvořák depicts this further by offsetting the final, petition line, “fac ut tecum lugeam,” with its own separated sections in addition to its place in the other full text portions. This work is in 4/4 time, where each measure of music has four beats. In the first sung motive (musical idea) of the piece the lower voices introduce each line of text and are then mirrored by the higher voices. The melody (tune) and rhythm (length of notes) are the same until the end of the last line of text. The voices switch their order in the second motive (musical idea) and the higher voices take the lead and continue to alternate. The form of this movement is AA’, as the first section repeats but is changed in a small way.

Now onto the main processes of our Listening ABCs.

A – Attentive Listening

Before you play the piece for the first time, ask your family to close their eyes and listen silently. Ask them to try and get a feeling, picture, or story in their mind of what the music reminds them of. They may remember some of the text translation read earlier. We really want them to get their imaginations running for this first listening. Ask them to share what they saw in the music. There is no right or wrong answer.

B – Bodily Movement

Now we’re going to add a bodily movement to help our brains connect our memory and the music. Your family may listen to the piece a second time here while tapping the 4/4 beat with on their lap. You may choose to have your family count the 1,2,3,4 of the music as well, either all together or silently. The beat is slower than the rhythm of the string instruments that begin the piece and the voices come in on a 4 beat.

C – Conversation

This concluding segment is where we talk about the elements we hear in the music. Each time your family listens with purpose using these ABCs, they will hear and be able to verbalize more and more. Any observation is welcome and should be praised during this listening. In this section you may choose to have your family listen to the piece one last time while pointing out the elements of the music they recognize. Your family may also go straight on to the discussion. Can anyone share differences between the two A parts of the music? What instruments were heard – the strings at the beginning or the Tympani playing during one of the “fac ut tecum lugeam” portions? The mood of the piece can also be discussed here by asking how the music made your family feel and sharing your own response. There is no wrong answer to this question. Here you can also remind your family of the prayerful intent of the text. Does you family think that the music successfully showed that intention? Can they give examples from parts of the piece? In the language of music this is called “text painting.”

At The Foot Of The Cross: A Musical Journey Through Lent {Week 2}

Here we are, Week 2 of our Lenten journey, At The Foot Of The Cross. I hope your family was able to ease on into this penitential season last week with the aid of Our Lady of Sorrows and Antonin Dvořák’s Stabat Mater. If you are just now finding us, go ahead and jump in with today’s listening selection and music lesson. Feel free to visit last week’s post here if you would like to catch up or see more ideas for participating in this devotion with us. Our music appreciation lessons do NOT build on each other, so please do what fits into your family’s schedule and energy level.

Like last week, the whole work can be found for free listing in the playlist below:

Dvořák’s Stabat Mater

I also discovered that The Story of Dvořák is on Spotify. Each hour long CD in this series presents works of a different composer overlaid with short narrations about their life. You may choose to incorporate these tracks in your family’s future free listening as well.

Week 2

Movement 2: “Quis Est Homo, Qui Non Fleret” – Quartet

Latin Text:

Quis est homo, qui non fleret
Matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

Quis non posset contristari
Piam Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?

Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis
et flagellis subditum.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
morientem, desolatum
dum emissit spiritum.

English Translation:

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother’s pain untold?

For the sins of His own nation,
She saw Jesus wracked with torment,
All with scourges rent:

She beheld her tender Child,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

For our lessons this Lent, we will be using our family’s easy ABC method for listening with purpose. It is a simple three step process that can be used with the whole family and all ages. Your family will be listening to the piece with purpose at least once with specific actions in mind. The whole lesson typically takes around 15 minutes to complete if you include all three steps. It can be expanded based on length of pieces and the extent of conversation. This method is intentionally adaptable to fit all families in hopes that it will aid in fostering a love of music and meaningful connections in your home. Read through the lesson beforehand, then pull out and use what you know will work with your child(ren). Don’t be afraid to include the youngest of children too! My 1 year old goddaughter just dances around while listening and that is perfect!

Our Easy ABCs for Music Appreciation

Begin by gathering everyone together for your family listening time. Our family reads the text and translation then plays the piece for the day. At the bottom of this post is a worksheet for Instrument Bingo that you may print for each child to participate. All instruments shown are in the piece. (Just click on the picture to download) If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I want these lessons to be as user friendly as possible!

You can share what you like from the following or use it as an easy script:

 

This week we are listening to the second movement of Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, “Quis Est Homo, Qui Non Fleret”. The piece is a quartet, written for four solo voices. Woodwinds and strings, like flute, oboe, violin, and bass, are featured in the orchestration. Each voice enters one after the other with the same melody (tune). As a new voice begins to sing the earlier voice(s) switch to singing the harmony, also called “counterpoint”in the language of music. The form of this piece is ABA with a coda, or “tail”, added to the end. The first section of this movements continues until the third stanza beginning with “Pro peccatis suae gentis”, “For the sins of His own nation”. Here the tone of the piece shifts, listen carefully to here it. This B section contains the last two stanzas of this week’s text. Listen for the return of the A section and the opining melody and text, “Quis Est Homo, Qui Non Fleret”. Finally the coda (small musical idea tacked onto the end of a segment like a puppy dog tail.) brings a sudden change in dynamics (the way the music is sung and/or played) to piano (“quiet”) with the last stanza showing Christ’s death and fading away with “Dum emissit spiritum” (“Till His spirit forth He sent”).

Now onto the main processes of our Listening ABCs.

A – Attentive Listening

Before you play the piece for the first time, ask your family to close their eyes and listen silently. Ask them to try and get a feeling, picture, or story in their mind of what the music reminds them of. They may remember some of the text translation read earlier. We really want them to get their imaginations running for this first listening. Ask them to share what they saw in the music. There is no right or wrong answer.

B – Bodily Movement

Now we’re going to add a bodily movement to help our brains connect our memory and the music. Your family may listen to the piece a second time here using the Instrument Bingo worksheet provided below. Younger children may have an easier time circling or coloring the instrument your family hears while older children may be able to write the names of the instruments too. Older children might like the competition of racing siblings to see who can hear the most instruments or hear them more quickly.

C – Conversation

This concluding segment is where we talk about the elements we hear in the music. Each time your family listens with purpose using these ABCs, they will hear and be able to verbalize more and more. Any observation is welcome and should be praised during this listening. After Instrument Bingo is done, discuss what was heard. Did anyone notice the piano (soft, quiet) ending? How about the ABA form of the piece? Now you could remind them of that coda (tail) on the end as well. The mood of the piece can also be discussed here by asking how the music made your family feel and sharing your own response. There is no wrong answer to this question.

(Just click on the picture to download)

img_6961

At The Foot Of The Cross: A Musical Journey Through Lent {Week 1}

img_8600

Welcome to Week 1 of our musical journey through Lent,  At The Foot Of The Cross! I’m so thankful your family will be joining us!

Each week we will visit a movement or two of Dvořák’s cantata Stabat Mater. YouTube videos of each week’s selection(s) will be provided, along with the sung Latin text from the Medieval hymn its based on and an English translation that may be used as a devotional or for family meditation. Finally at the end of each post. I’ll share a free music appreciation lesson, fit for the whole family, based on one of Dvořák’s ten Stabat Mater movements. This devotion is meant to be very flexible for families of all ages and sizes. Some may only want to read the English translations and listen to the pieces. Others may want to try all the activities below. Do what will work for and help your family grow closer to the Christ is His suffering this season – everything else is straw. If you just found us and would like more background on this Lenten devotion, please visit the Overview post from earlier in the week.

Here are some ways to participate:

  • Simply read the Latin text and English translation then listen to the week’s movement(s)
  • Have older child(ren) read along with the sung text while listening to the pieces
  • Have older child(ren) compare the Latin and English texts
  • For older child(ren), use the texts for handwriting or dictation
  • Pick one movement’s text tomemorize as a family
  • Listen to the full master work during the day as free listening
  • Enjoy the weekly music appreciation lesson (at end of this post) as part of your homeschool, morning time, before Lenten devotions, or whenever best suits your family’s schedule

Please let me know in the comments how you plan to participate with your family!

Whole Work Free Listening Playlist

You can find a few ideas for how to incorporate free listening into your day here.

Week 1

Movement 1: “Stabat Mater Dolorosa” – Quartet and Chorus

Latin Text:

Stabat Mater dolorosa
iuxta crucem lacrimosa
dum pendebat Filius.

Cuius animam gementem
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta
Mater unigeniti.

Quae moerebat et dolebat
pia Mater, cum videbat
Nati poenas inclyti.

English Translation:

At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her son to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

 

For our lessons this Lent, we will be using our family’s easy ABC method for listening with purpose. It is a simple three step process that can be used with the whole family and all ages. Usually your family will be listening to the piece three times with a different purpose and activity each time, but this first movement is on the longer side so just listen to as much as possible. The whole lesson typically takes around 15 minutes to complete if you include all three steps. It can be expanded based on length of pieces and the extent of conversation. This method is intentionally adaptable to fit all families in hopes that it will aid in fostering a love of music and meaningful connections in your home. Read through the lesson beforehand, then pull out and use what you know will work with your child(ren).

Our Easy ABCs for Music Appreciation

Begin by gathering everyone together for your listening time and explain how your family will be using this devotion as well as the name of this first movement. Also, at the bottom of this post is a worksheet you may print for each child to participate. (Just click on the picture to download) If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I want these lessons to be as user friendly as possible!

You can share what you like from the following or use it as an easy script:

Antonin Dvořák’s Stabat Mater is a cantata, a musical work composed for voice and instruments, usually with a choir. The Stabat Mater, “Standing Mother”, Latin text is taken from a 20 stanza Medieval hymn often said to be written by Pope St. Innocent III. The death of his three young children was Dvořák’s inspiration for this composition. As we are all called to do, he turned to the example and comfort of Our Blessed Mother in his time of profound grief. The first movement that we will be listening to is Andante con moto, meaning “moderately slow with movement.” This piece is a quartet of four solo voices in addition to a choir. Written in 1875, it is from the Romantic era of music. The movement begins with a lengthy instrumental introduction similar to those found in the operas of Richard Wagner. It takes the form of AABA, where the title text, “Stabat Mater Dolorosa” returns. It has portions in the expected sad sounding minor keys, but also parts in the happier major keys as well.

A brief biography can be found from Classics for Kids here. I usually include this type of information in the C – Conversation portion of our lesson, but feel free to insert it where you think would work best for your family.

Now onto the main processes of our Listening ABCs.

A – Attentive Listening

Before you play the piece for the first time, ask your family to close their eyes and listen silently. Ask them to try and get a feeling, picture, or story in their mind of what the music reminds them of. They may remember some of the text translation read earlier. For older children, this may be two different answers given the two contrasting segments of major and minor keys. We really want them to get their imaginations running for this first listening. Ask them to share what they saw in the music. There is no right or wrong answer.

B – Bodily Movement

Now we’re going to add a bodily movement to help our brains connect our memory and the music. Here a child can use the printed worksheet to write and or draw what they saw while listening the first time through. It may be more than one thing to make a music collage. If a child recognized specific instruments or elements in the music, they can be included here as well.

C – Conversation

This concluding segment is where we talk about the elements we hear in the music. Each time your family listens with purpose using these ABCs, they will hear and be able to verbalize more and more. Any observation is welcome and should be praised during this listening. Some may hear and mention a specific instrument like the violin, oboe, or bassoon. While others might hear how the instrumental motive (musical idea) in the introduction goes down in pitch. Did anyone notice the key changes? They may say something like, “it sounded happier at one part.” etc…” The mood of the piece can also be discussed here by asking how the music made your family feel and sharing your own response. Again there is no wrong answer to this question.

If not already included previously, you may share the Classics for Kids biography here.

(Just click on the picture to download)

img_6961

At The Foot Of The Cross: A Musical Journey Through Lent {Overview}

For years music had been one of the simple ways our family reflects and prepares our souls for the greatest feast of the Christian year. With so many littles, employing music in our Lenten devotions it is an easy, no-cost way to help tune their hearts to the sacrifice of our Lord and prayerfully await the “Easter-Feaster,” as they are fond of saying. The calmer Lenten musical works that we use as our soundtrack for the season are a gentle reminder of the penitential tone we are called to embrace.

Our practice has been to listen to a different musical setting of the “Stabat Mater Dolorosa” each Friday of Lent. This Latin hymn from the 1200’s consists of 20 stanzas depicting the experience of Our Blessed Mother at the foot of the Cross and is often sung as part of the Stations of the Cross. Although the debated authorship of the hymn is attributed to a few like St. Bonaventure, or Jacopone da Todi, a Franciscan friar, Pope St. Innocent III is the one that always comes to my mind first.

This Lent, I want to invite your family to join us as we delve a little deeper into a Romantic era setting of this medieval hymn, Antonin Dvořák’s Stabat Mater. Similar to our Advent Calendar with Handel’s Messiah, every Friday I’ll offer a selected listening from the featured masterwork and a related music appreciation lesson, based on our Easy as ABC method, for your whole family to enjoy.

As free listening, the whole work is in the playlist below:

 

At The Foot Of The Cross

Week 1

 1. “Stabat Mater Dolorosa” – Quartet and Chorus

Week 2

2. “Quis Est Homo, Qui Non Fleret” – Quartet

Week 3

3. “Eja, Mater, Fons Amoris” – Chorus

Week 4

4. “Fac, Ut Ardeat Cor Meum” – Bass Solo and Chorus

5. “Tui Nati Vulnerati” – Chorus

Week 5

6. “Fac Me Vere Tecum Flere” – Tenor Solo and Chorus

7. “Virgo Virginum Praeclara” – Chorus

Week 6

8. “Fac, Ut Portem Christi Mortem” – Soprano and Tenor Duet

9. “Inflammatus Et Accensus” – Alto Solo

Week 7

10. “Quando Corpus Morietur” – Quartet and Chorus

Awaiting the Messiah: A Musical Advent Calendar {Week 2}

image

Welcome to Week 2 of our Advent journey with Handel’s Messiah. If you are joining us for the first time, just jump on in reading and listening to each day’s selection, and enjoying this week’s music appreciation lesson with you family! For the full list of ways to participate and a little bit of background, you can visit Week 1 and our Overview Post. Please share with me how your family is liking this calendar in the comments or on Instagram by tagging me (@barefootabbey) and using #awaitingthemessiah . I can’t wait to see!

This week includes some of my most loved movements from Messiah and is heavy on soprano and choir voices. (The only exception is Day 11’s Alto showcase, “He Was Despised”.)  The Angel Recitatives, featured in this week’s music appreciation lesson, have been dear to my heart ever since I was assigned them as a jury piece in college.

{Week 2} Playlist:

(For supplemental free listening)

Dec 4th, DAY 8:

  • Part 1 Pifa – Pastoral Symphony

  • Part 1 Angel Recitatives for Soprano: (music appreciation lesson 2 below)

    “There Were Shepards Abiding In The Field”
    “And Lo! The Angel Of The Lord Came Upon Them”

    “And The Angel Said Unto Them”

    “And Suddenly There Was With The Angel”

Luke 2:8-13

[Slightly altered wording] And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Sung Text:

There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying:

  • Part 1 “Glory To God” – Chorus

Luke 2:14

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Sung Text:

Glory to God, glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, Glory to God, glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men. (overlapping voices) Glory to God, glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, Glory to God, glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men. (overlapping voices)

Dec 5th, DAY 9:

  • Part 1 “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter Of Zion” – Air for Soprano

Zachariah 9:9-10

[Slightly altered wording] Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: (he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off:) and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: (and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.)

Sung Text:

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice greatly, rejoice O daughter of Zion! O daughter of Zion! rejoice, rejoice, rejoice! O daughter of Zion! Rejoice greatly, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:
behold, thy King cometh unto thee, behold, thy King cometh unto thee, cometh unto thee; He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen, He shall speak peace, He shall speak peace, peace, He shall speak peace unto the heathen, He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak, He shall speak peace, peace, He shall speak peace unto the heathen. Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice greatly, rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Rejoice greatly, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:
behold, thy King cometh unto thee, rejoice, rejoice, and shout, shout, shout, shout, rejoice greatly, rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Rejoice greatly, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, behold thy king cometh unto thee.

  • Part 1 “Then shall the Eyes of the Blind Be Opened” – Recitative for Alto

Isaiah 35:5-6

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

Sung Text:

Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.

  • Part 1 “He Shall Feed His Flock Like a Shepherd” – Air for Alto and Soprano (Soprano only in this recording)

Isaiah 40:11

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Matthew 11:28-29

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Sung Text:

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm,with his armand carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. And gently lead those, and gently lead those that are with young.

Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him ye that are heavy laden, and He will give you rest. Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him ye that are heavy laden, and He will give you rest. Take his yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Take his yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Dec 6th, DAY 10:

  • Part 1 “His Yoke Is Easy, And His Burden Is Light” – Chorus

Matthew 11:30

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Sung Text:

His yoke is easy, His burden is light, His burden, His burden is light. (overlapping voices)

  • Part 2 “Behold The Lamb Of God” – Chorus

John 1:29

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Sung Text:

Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (overlapping voice)

Dec 7th, DAY 11:

  • Part 2 “He Was Despised” – Air for Alto

Isaiah 53:3

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 50:6

I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

Sung Text:

He was despised, despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He was despised, rejected, He was despised and rejected of men;  a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He was despised, rejected, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and acquainted with grief, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.

He gave His back to the smiters, He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting, He hid not His face from shame, from shame, He hid not his face from shame, from shame and spiting.

He was despised, despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He was despised, rejected, He was despised and rejected of men;  a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He was despised, rejected, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and acquainted with grief, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.

Dec 8th, DAY 12:

  • Part 2 “Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs” – Chorus

Isaiah 53:4-5

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Sung Text:

Surely,surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, surely,surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.

  • Part 2 “And With His Stripes We Are Healed” – Chorus

Isaiah 53:5

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Sung Text:

And with his stripes we are healed. (overlapping voices)

  • Part 2 “All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray” – Chorus

Isaiah 53:6

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Sung Text:

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way. And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (overlapping voices)

Dec 9th, DAY 13:

  • Part 2 “All They That See Him, Laugh Him To Scorn” – Accompanied recitative for Tenor

Psalm 22:7

All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

Sung Text:

All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn; they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying:

  • Part 2 “He Trusted In God That He Would Deliver Him” – Chorus

Psalm 22:8

He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

Sung Text:

He trusted in God that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, if He delight in Him. (overlapping voices)

Dec 10th, DAY 14:

  • Part 2 “Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart” – Accompanied recitative for Tenor

Psalm 69:20

Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.

Sung Text:

Thy rebuke hath broken His heart: He is full of heaviness, He is full of heaviness; He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was no man, neither found He any to comfort him. He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was no man, neither found He any to comfort him.

  • Part 2 “Behold, And See If There Be Any Sorrow” – Air for Tenor

Lamentations 1:12

(Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?) beho, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.

Sung Text:

Behold, and see, behold, and see, if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow. Behold, and see, if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow. Behold, and see, if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow.

Music Appreciation Lesson 2

This specific grouping of movements, including the “Pifa” – Pastoral Symphony,  makes manifest for us one of the most paramount moments in the history of the world, as told in Luke 2. Handel sets the scene for us through his only means available  – the written notes on the page. Even without the aid of set and costume, the symphony transports us to the piecing cold of peaceful pastures in Bethlehem with the part of shepherds’ pipes played, not by their closest cousin the oboes but, the strings. The tranquility, however, is broken with the arpeggio (where each note of a chord is played alone in succession) of the harpsichord at the start to the first Angel Recitative, “There Were Shepherds Abiding In The Fields.” As we go on through the recitatives and the eventual chorus, the symbolism of the angel Gabriel’s announcement is mirrored masterfully in the music itself. When we arrive and the end of the third recitative, “And The Angel Said Unto Them”, Christ has not only come down to redeem mankind, but to conquer the devil in all things, even music itself. The interval of a tritone, consisting of three whole steps, has long been associated with evil and devil. Within Handel’s melody the “Diabalos in musica,” as it was called in the middle ages, is reclaimed as the soprano completes the offending augmented fourth interval with the name of Christ as she sings, “which is Christ the Lord.” The rich complexity of musical theory and theology continue in the following chorus of “Glory to God” with the disparity between the two contrasting high and deeper voiced potions of the A theme. The choir of angels’ high pitched text is in clear opposition to man’s lower earthly predicament, represented by the text of “and peace on earth.” A fallen world cries out again and again in dialogue with heaven’s descended hosts, like the foam laced waves ever curling back towards shore. After “peace on earth” Handel illustrates the excitement of the visit with staccato (jumpy, quickly accented) grouped eighth note chords (3 or more notes played at the same time) in the instrumental accompaniment. With the return of the theme, the tenor voices of man rise as the angelic voices stoop until their paths have crossed, closing the gap between heaven and earth. Then, finally, in the last recurrence, the basses (lowest mens’ voices) join the throng, confirming that even the lowly of us are invited to partake in the Glory of God and we are left with the echos of hope for goodwill between God and man, both fugutatively and literally, before the ethereal fly home with the final decrescendo.

For our lessons this Advent, we will be using our family’s easy ABC method for listening with purpose. It is a simple three step process that can be used with the whole family and all ages. Your family will be listening to the piece three times, but with a different purpose and activity each time. The whole lesson should take about 15 minutes if you include all three steps. This method is intentionally adaptable to fit all families. Read through the lesson beforehand and pull out and use what you know will work with your child(ren).

Our Easy ABCs for Music Appreciation

Begin by gathering everyone together for your listening time and explain how your family will be using this Advent calendar as well as the name of this first movement. Also, at the bottom of this post is a Listening Map (sometimes called “music maps” or “listening journeys” as well) you may print for each child to participate. (Just click on the picture to download) Our sons love these maps due to Treasure Island and the pirate treasure map connection. They are an especially fun way to engage boys in classical music. And making them with stickers is another treat. Lastly, please don’t hesitate to include the youngest of children. My adorable, 18 month old goddaughter just dances to the music, which is perfect for that age!  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I want these lessons to be as user friendly as possible!

You can share what you like from above and the following or use it as an easy script:

Today we will be learning about movements (or parts) of Handel’s Messiah called the “Angel recitatives and the “Glory to God Chorus”. They are only a total of about three minutes long. These parts of the oratorio bring to life the angel, Gabriel’s” announcement of the birth of Jesus to the shepherds in Luke 2. The first type of pieces we will hear are recitatives sung by one vocalist. They are short, pieces with little music (instrumental accompaniment). Many words are sung on the same note and in opera, this is where the dialogue and action (narrative progress) happen. The second piece will sound very different, it is called a chorus because many voices will be singing together. Listen very carefully to the chorus and try to hear the different sections of the music and their pattern. Similar to the word’s meaning in literature and poetry, in music the pattern of a piece is called Form. So great were the parallels and his skill that Handel was referred to a “the Shakespeare of music” by King George II. After the first part of music (musical phrase, theme), the Chorus has two parts that switch back and forth. We call that ABAB pattern Binary Form.  Older children may be able to pick up in that pattern on their own. You may choose what to share based on your child’s ability.

Now onto the main processes of our Listening ABCs.

A – Attentive Listening

Before you play the piece for the first time, ask your family to close their eyes and listen silently. Ask them to try and get a feeling, picture, or story in their mind of what the music reminds them of.  We really want them to get their imaginations running for this first listening. Ask them to share what they saw in the music. There is no wrong answer to this question.

B – Bodily Movement

For the second listening our eyes should be open and we’re going to add a bodily movement to help our brains connect our memory and the music through kenesthetic learning. Here a child can use the printed worksheet to follow along with the listening map. They can follow along with their finger, color as they go, or an older child can cut the pictures out to make a puzzle to put in order, paste the cut-out pictures on construction paper and draw the arrows, or can draw their own listening map after the form makes sense. This can be done for one or both sections of the this week’s lesson selection. Choose what will work best for the ages of your children.

Explain that the Listening Map below begins each line of the first page with the brief instrumental into of each section (harpsichord or violin). The picture that looks like a piano is called a harpsichord. It is a more metallic sounding, piano-like instrument that was popular during the Baroque (“bar-oak”) musical era when Handel’s Messiah was composed (written). The lines are each of the recitatives for Day 8’s listenings, but I have split the longer third one into two lines for simplicity. The second picture in each line of the first page matches the sung text. For the second page, the “Glory to God” Chorus, pictures for the text are used first, then the instrumental  portion. Finally the Chorus ends with a decrescendo symbol, or gradual softening of the music’s volume.

C – Conversation

This third listening is where we talk about the elements we hear in the music. Each time your family listens with purpose using these ABCs, they will hear and be able to verbalize more and more. Any observation is welcome and should be praised during this listening. Some may hear and mention a specific instrument like the violin and harpsichord. While others might hear how the piece gets louder at each repeated theme (musical phrase, like a sentence in language) with the text of “Glory to God” or at the end where it is  quieter and we see the > and “decrescendo” on the listening map. Did any anyone notice the form (theme pattern) of the Chorus? If not, remind them again with the information for the beginning of the lesson. possibly someone can tell if the piece is in a major or minor key. Major keys sound happy while minor keys have a sadder tone. The mood of the piece can also be discussed here by asking how the music made your family members feel and sharing your own response. Again there is no wrong answer to this question. Older children who can write may use the back of the listening map to write down what they heard in the music as well.

(Just click on the picture to download)

img_6961