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Label:
Name: INTRADA
Number: INTMAF7134

MIKLOS ROSZA: BEN-HUR / KING OF KINGS: THE TWELVE CHORUSES (CD)
Composed by: Miklos Rozsa

In modest departure for Intrada's Excalibur Collection, we stay ostensibly with film scores by Miklos Rozsa but travel into his original choral writing domain. Project is a favorite of our conductor, Allan Wilson, encompassing twelve choral presentations drawn from Ben-Hur and King Of Kings, prepared for public performance by school, church choirs, albeit not necessarily intended for performances of all twelve at once. Intrada release is first in decades to feature entire cycle. Most were arranged by Rozsa shortly after respective films were relased (1959, 1961), published by Robbins Music, publishing arm of MGM, with all of them scored for chorus plus either piano or organ. In this recording, organ is heard. Two include then newly-composed material: "The Mother's Love", "The Sermon On The Mount", making them of particular interest. Rozsa made no attempt to literally transcribe his orchestral sonorities into these pieces, rather he exploited colors, ideas best represented in choral terms. Fun to note this present recording came about after Intrada premiered Rozsa's The Red House, where chorus was needed in certain key sequences. Working with conductor Wilson, producers Paul Wing, Paul Talkington, it was natural to engage superb singers of Westminster Cathedral. That fortuitous relationship led to current choral recordings. In addition to "The Twelve Choruses", Intrada CD features incredibly complex original Rozsa choral work, drawn from text of "The Twenty-Third Psalm, Op. 34." This remains one of Rozsa's most challenging choral pieces, with multiple tonal centers, challenging rhythmic material maintaining interest throughout. Notes by Frank DeWald, conductor Allan Wilson, engineer Niall Acott. George Castle plays organ. Allan Wilson, George castle conduct Winchester Cathedral Chamber Choir. Beautiful music results! - INTRADA

1. The Christ Theme – From Ben-Hur
Alleluia.

2. Star of Bethlehem – From Ben-Hur (Text by Harry Robert Wilson)
Star of Bethlehem, star above, Star of Bethlehem, star of Love, Bringing happy tidings of the Savior’s birth, Good will and peace on earth. O start of stars whose light reflects the story, O Star of hope shine down on us in glory. O wondrous star we heed thy call, Lead us one and all, To the manger stall, So that we may kneel and worship Him. Star of Bethlehem, star above, Star of Bethlehem star of Love, Bringing happy tidings of the Savior’s birth, Good will and peace on earth.

3. The Nativity – From King of Kings (Text by Harry Robert Wilson)
Long ago as the angels did sing, there was born in a manger the King of Kings. Three wise men followed a star, bearing gifts for the Babe from afar. Shepherds tending their sheep on a dark night looked up and saw a great light. The light shone down on the place where He lay within a stable so bare. The heavens rang with a song full of love in praise of the Holy Child so fair. Oh glory be to the Father on high and glory to the son, Jesus. May peace on earth fill heaven again as we sing of good will to all men. Oh, lullaby, little one, softly sleep, while angels their vigil keep. Oh, lullaby, little one, softly rest, while lying so gently on Mary’s breast. And so may we all people kneel down and pray. Worship the heavenly King. Oh, joyful the song that we sing. Alleluia.

4. The Kings of Bethlehem (Text by Attila József; English text adaptation by John Mitri Abash)
We’re the Kings of Bethlehem, Holy Child, With your birth all heaven smiled. Flaming star above us stood, we came on foot as best we could. A little lamb did tell us the way: “Jesus Christ has come to earth today,” Alleluia. “King Melchior is my name, from a distant land I came.” We adore You, Son of God, Son of God, You have been where angels trod. When we heard that You were born, we knew You’d bring a bright new morn, And so we traveled ‘cross the nation, seeking in You our salvation. Alleluia. “I am Caspar, King on Earth, here to celebrate Your birth.” Dearest Lord, we worship You, worship You. Let us pay You homage, too. Though our food has long been gone, We’ve traveled on through dusk and dawn to bring to You our gold and incense. Gold and incense we have brought You. Alleluia. “I have travelled long and far, my name is King Balthazar.” Blushing gently Mary cries, Mary cries. Seeing us through tear-dimmed eyes, Shepherds’ music softly playing while the rest of us are praying, She must feed her infant now. “Dear three Kings, the stars are bright, and we wish you all good night.” Alleluia.

5. Adoration of the Magi – From Ben-Hur (Text by Harry Robert Wilson)
In a stable bare lay the Little Babe so fair, Alleluia, Alleluia. And a shining star led the Wise Men from afar, Alleluia, Alleluia. They came bearing gifts to the Heavenly King, Alleluia, Alleluia. At His feet they knelt and with praises did sing, Alleluia, Alleluia. Let us bring our gifts to the Holy Child, Alleluia, Alleluia. We will sing the praise of the Babe so mild, Alleluia, Alleluia. And we humbly pray to the Lord, our God, today, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

6. Blessed Mary – From King of Kings (Text by Harry Robert Wilson)
Blessed Mary, Mother of God, O Mother of all, hear our prayer. Thou who bore a Holy Child, so meek and mild, so undefiled, sweet and fair, Hail, O Mary beautiful one, O Beautiful one, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Praise to the Son and to the gracious Mother. Blessed Mary, Mother of God, O Mother of all, favored maid. Thou who bore a Holy Babe, we come to Thee on bended knee unafraid Ave Maria, Amen.

7. The Mother’s Love – From Ben-Hur (Text by Mary Ann Eager)
Mother sweet and tender hums her baby a lullaby. In her arms she enfolds Him, In her heart a sigh. Baby’s eyes closed in slumber, Tiny hands so new, Fill her heart with wonder and love forever true. Golden hours given through God’s wondrous part, His gift from heaven so closely held to her heart she hums lullabies. My precious One, listen and you’ll hear, Angels whisper in Your ear. And the stars come through the night. So peacefully they light God’s miracle of life. So sweet and tender, hums her baby a lullaby. In her arms she enfolds Him. In her heart a sigh. Mother’s love is sunlight, lighting heaven so blue. Warm, enduring forever, The mother’s love is sunlight, lighting heaven so blue. The mother’s love is true.

8. The Prayer of Our Lord – From King of Kings (Text: Matthew 6: 9–13)
Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen

9. The Sermon on the Mount – From King of Kings (Text: Matthew 5: 3–10)
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

10. The Way of the Cross – From King of Kings (Text by Harry Robert Wilson)
Take up the cross and follow Me, Thus saith the Lord before Calvary. Deny thyself for Me and I will comfort thee. Come now and follow, follow, follow Me. To follow Me thou must keep the holy laws and love the Lord, thy God, With all thy mind and all thy heart, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Take up the cross and follow Me, thus saith the Lord before Calvary. Come follow now, o world tempest tossed, the way of the cross. The way of the cross.

11. Pietà – From King of Kings (Text by Harry Robert Wilson)
Pietà, Pietà, Pietà. At the cross her station keeping, sadly Mary stood weeping, And through her heart His sorrow sharing, all His bitter anguish was bearing. How sad and sore distressed now was she the mother blessed. Watching by Him until the last. For lo! The piercing sword, the piercing sword had passed. In the tomb gently laid, In the tomb gently laid. Oh, such sorrow, such sorrow, Holy maid, Holy maid. Pietà, at the sepulchre unfolding, in the arms ever holding, Thy dear Son with devotion, we worship thee in deep emotion. Pietà, Pietà, Pietà. Amen.

12. King of Kings Theme – From King of Kings
Hosanna!

13. The Twenty-Third Psalm, Op. 34
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for though art with me: thy rod and thy staff comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointed my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the House of the Lord. Alleluia.

Total Disc Time: 49:12

  
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