Hosanna – a shout of praise.
The psychologist Carl Jung has described the first half of life as devoted to the establishment of self and of place in the world, and the second half as the journey towards God. Once past the age of 70, which Gary and I both are, this focus becomes intent. With it comes an attitude of surprise, acceptance and praise – the shout of praise – for all that is. Everything is divine, and it is our clear, sharp intention to bring this understanding to the generations coming up behind us. It is my pleasure and honor to offer this music to my friend, Gary Green, as he moves onward in his music making, teaching, and mentoring – his service to the world.
This music shows once again my long-time engagement with J.S. Bach’s 371 Four-Part Chorales. I have been singing these pieces almost daily for nearly 25 years, and composing my own chorales in the old style. The practice has become an ever deepening meditative prayer. The melodies and titles are certainly Christian in origin, yet I have come to see and feel them as a deep expression of a common humanity, transcending origin and label. Their attitudes in this composition are centered and quiet, opening the space for self reflection and the voice of praise.
Chorale melodies are the basis for the first, third, and fifth movements:
You are three in one
O Sacred Head now wounded
Jesus, You, who have rescued my soul
The final movement of Hosannas is a transcription of my 1988 composition A Litany for Courage and the Seasons. The original was for SATB chorus, clarinet, and vibraphone. The poem is by my long-time friend, Richard Beale.
- A Litany for Courage and the Seasons
- May the apple blossoms flower on my birthday.
- May my heart be calmed if it snows on the jonquils.
- May the Fall not come too soon,
- And if it does may the maples splash enough color
- To seem warm, not cold.
- May I be thankful on Thanksgiving
- Even though I might not remember what for
- And Joyful at Christmas for the same reason.
- I am not sure that by myself
- I would pray for all these things.
- But if I did not pray
- Not even knowing what I pray to,
- I would lose my reason.
- May God come and stay in my heart
- Through the round of seasons.
- May God make me love each season more
- Though none are new.
- And if I should die before
- The birds come back from the South
- May my spirit be waiting for them in the trees
Program Note by David Maslanka