Oberlin Musical Union

Parkorn Wangpaiboonkit, manager
Travis Gu, pianist

Verdi and Wagner

December 2013

From Dr. Harris:

Our December concert will be a collaboration with the Oberlin Orchestra and Oberlin College Choir celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of both Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi. These titans of romantic opera are synonymous with the nations that they represent, and we will perform a number of selections from their most famous operas, including "Wach auf" from Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg and "Va pensiero" from Nabucco. It will be a thrilling performance under the baton of Oberlin's Director of Orchestras, Raphael Jimenez.

For our May concert we will perform Ludwig van Beethoven's Mass in C. Although not as well known as the titanic Missa Solemnis, the work possesses the same excitement and revolutionary spirit present in much of Beethoven's oeuvre, while at the same time being steeped in a similar 18th century artistic aesthetic as his contemporaries Mozart and Haydn. This performance will mark Musical Union's first collaboration with the new Arts and Sciences Orchestra, conducted by Professor of Accompanying and Coaching Philip Highfill.

For those of you who will be local during July of 2014 we have a very unique event planned. The Oberlin Conservatory, in collaboration with Credo Chamber Music, will sponsor a special performance of Haydn's Creation at Cleveland's Severance Hall (home of the Cleveland Orchestra) led by internationally acclaimed conductor John Nelson. The chorus will be made up of volunteer singers from all across northeast Ohio, and I hope that you will be our foundation for this unique opportunity. More information on this event will come later in the year.

In the meantime, I hope you contact your friends, family, accountants, and invite them to join us for our 176th season. Because of your help in recruiting last summer, our membership from fall of 2011 to the fall of 2012 increased by 25%, which is HUGE! Here is a flyer that you may post anywhere you think would see the most foot traffic, or send to friends and family. Again, you are our greatest resource; I sincerely hope you will all get the word out to as many people as possible in order to maintain the growth that we are doing so well with. In fact, I want to challenge everyone here to bring one person with them to rehearsal on the 9th. With possible performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem on the horizon I want to be sure that our numbers are at their absolute peak. Keep up with the good work! We will be accepting new members until October.

Rehearsal and performance schedule



MU Resources

Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 8 pm in Finney Chapel, conducted by Raphael Jiménez and choral direction by Jason Harris.

Program and YouTube links to works:

Richard Wagner:

Prelude to Act I from "Lohengrin"

Bridal Chorus from "Lohengrin"

Pilgrim's Chorus from "Tannhauser"     Part two

Prelude to Act I from "Die Meistersinger"

Chorus: Wach Auf! from "Die Meistersinger"

Finale: Ehrt eure deutschen Meister from "Die Meistersinger"

Giuseppe Verdi:

Overture to "La forza del destino"

Vedi le fosche (Anvil Chorus) from "Il Trovatore"

Prelude to Act III from "La Traviata"

Va, Pensiero from "Nabucco"

Triumphal March and Ballet Music from "Aïda"

And as an added bonus, here's my favorite recording of Va, pensiero. In this recording from the Teatro San Carlo in 1949, the audience began an uproar of cheers in the middle of the piece, shouting "Viva Italia!" again and again. Don't listen to this recording for textual or musical clarity, but use it to realize how much historical importance this piece has in Italian national identity.

Va, pensiero (Naples, 1949):

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Musical Union rehearses Monday nights from 7:15-9:30pm onstage in Finney Chapel or other locations as announced. Musical Union is open to all who wish to join, student or community resident alike.