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Trois épiphanies, for piano solo
1. l'épiphanie du benjoin
2. l'épiphanie de la myrrhe
3. l'épiphanie de l'or
 

Omnes de Saba venient, aurum et thus deferentes, et laudem Domino annuntiantes.

(from the Gradual of the Mass for the Solemnity of the Epiphany)


Each of the Three Epiphanies quotes a phrase of the plainchant gradual from the Solemnity of the Epiphany.  The text is from Isaiah 60:6: All they from Saba will come, bringing gold and frankincense, and announcing the praise of the Lord.  The chant is divided in the following way.  In the Epiphany of Frankincense, the phrase omnes de Saba venient appears in a quiet moment, punctuated by fortissimo chords, and to be played da lontano amid the otherwise energetic rhythms of the movement.  In the Epiphany of Myrrh, the phrase aurum et thus deferentes is presented in a section marked meno mosso e tranquillo and surrounded by arpeggiations and filigreed lines.  In the Epiphany of Gold, the phrase et laudem Domino annuntiantes is played, once again very quietly, under a right hand pedal effect of arching thirty-second notes marked legatissimo e leggierissimo.

Epiphany, from the Greek, is a word meaning manifestation or revelation.  I have taken the word epiphany and the three symbols traditionally associated with the story of the magi as points of departure for reflection on the inward revelations we call insights.  Frankincense was used for sacred rituals in many ancient cultures, as incense is used today in many religions, as the symbol of adoration and reverence.  The Epiphany of Frankincense is about the inward revelation of reverence, that is to say, the insight that reverence for the divine and for all creation is essential for the attainment of authenticity.  Myrrh was the oil or ointment used for the embalming and anointing of the dead.  The Epiphany of Myrrh is about the inward revelation of death, that is to say, the insight that awareness of the reality of death is essential for the attainment of wisdom.  Gold is of course the symbol of wealth, achievement, and power, but also of that which is precious and priceless.  The Epiphany of Gold is about the insight that life, like brilliant gold, is a gift precious beyond all others.




Rimas sacras, for soprano and piano (Spanish texts)

1. Prólogo: Una copla de devoción que hizo un caballero de Córdova

(c. siglo XVI)

2. Bajo de la peña nace…

Estéban de Zafra (c. siglo XIV)

3. Al niño Jesús

Fray Íñigo de Mendoza (c.1482)

4. Canción para callar al niño

Gómez Manrique (c.1412-c.1490)

5. Tierra y cielo se quejaba

Anónimo (c. siglo XIV)

6. Mirando a un crucifixo

Mosén Juan Tallante (c. siglo XIV)

7. A la Resurreçión

Fray Juan Gallo (siglo XVI)

8. Al día del Espíritu Santo

Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681)

9. In festo Corporis XPI

Fray Juan Gallo (siglo XVI)

10. Deytado del cisma de la eglesia

Pero López de Ayala (1332-1407)

11. A la fiesta de la Magdalaena

Fray Juan Gallo (siglo XVI)

12. Epílogo: Nada te turbe

Santa Teresa de Jesús (1515-1582)

Rimas sacras, Sacred Verses, is a set of twelve songs on texts of Spanish religious poetry of the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. These twelve poems are but a few among thousands compiled in cancioneros, or anthologies, some containing both secular and sacred verses, others devoted exclusively to religious poetry, devotional and/or didactic in purpose.  The cancioneros contain works by anonymous authors, by obscure poets of whom little is known, and by well-known names, including that of Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Ávila.

I have chosen two poems to serve as prologue and epilogue to the set, using similar music in each, and the ten poems in between follow the liturgical calendar. The prologue is a devotional couplet, by a poet known only as a knight of Córdoba.

The second, third, and fourth refer to the Virgin and the Christ Child.  “Bajo de la peña nace…” is a poem by Estéban de Zafra, who lived in the fourteenth century, but of whom little is known.  “Al niño Jesús” is by Fray Íñigo de Mendoza (c.1430-c.1490), a Franciscan priest, who was one of the favorite poets of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel, and, from what little account survives, became the queen’s almoner and preacher, having spent more of his life at court than in his monastery. The “Canción para callar al niño” is by the fifteenth century poet, Gómez Manrique, and, judging from the final verse, was written for women religious: “Let us sing joyfully, gracious sisters, for we are brides of blessed Jesus.”

The fifth and sixth songs are based on poems on the subject of the crucifixion.  The fourteenth century anonymous “Tierra y cielo se quejaba” depicts the cosmic lament at the moment of Christ’s death, recalling the gospel account that the earth shook and the sun was darkened, while in the final verses the poet turns to the mother of Jesus, who, of all creation, suffered the most.  “Mirando a un crucifixo” is a devotional poem by the fourteenth century poet, Mosén Juan Tallante. The poet incorporates two phrases in Latin: O Agnus Dei, and Memento mei, the latter being the words of one of the thieves crucified with Jesus.  This poem is set for voice without accompaniment.

The seventh poem, “A la Resurreçion,” is by the Dominican priest and theologian, Fray Juan Gallo (16th century), of whom quite a lot is known. He was born in Burgos and taught theology at the Universidad de Santiago. His name is listed among He wasthe doctors of theology sent by Philip II to take part in the proceedings of the Council of Trent.  After the Council, he taught at the Colegio de San Gregorio de Valladolid and then was placed in charge of theological discussions and debates at the Universidad de Salamanca.  His treatises on various theological subjects are available to readers today.  For example, his treatise of 1572, “Whether a pronouncement by the Supreme Pontiff is infallible in matters of the dogmas of faith,” makes persuasive arguments from history, Sacred Scripture, and the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, in favor of the much debated question of the authority of the pope speaking alone, i.e. apart from a general council of the Church, in matters of faith and morals, a highly debated topic in light of Luther’s attack on this belief.  It is also known that, as a Dominican and theologian of great reputation, Juan Gallo was named by the Holy Office to be qualificator, or examiner, of books and propositions for the Inquisition.  As a poet he was quite prolific, and this poem on the Resurrection (from which I have set only eight of the 65 tercets) demonstrates a refined sense of rhyme and imagery. The music, in binary form, is a series of recto tono lines, each a whole step higher than the preceding one, leading to a climactic point.

“Al día del Espiritu Santo” is a sonnet by Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681), born in Madrid into a noble family (his father was minister of finances under Philip II and III, his mother of flemish nobility).  He enlisted with the duke of Alba and accompanied him on campaigns in Flanders and Italy, though without having achieved any military glory. Instead, he was to distinguish himself as a dramatist and poet, was Jesuit trained, and studied at the Universidad de Salamanca. The sonnet makes reference to words and phrases used in Veni, Sancte Spiritus, the sequence for the day of Pentecost.

“In festo Corporis XPI” is a sonnet by Fray Juan Gallo depicting the events of the feast of Corpus Christi, when the consecrated host is carried in procession encased in a golden and traditionally ornate ostensorium, or monstrance. This procession is still part of the Corpus Christi celebrations in many countries. The procession often moves through the streets of the town accompanied by instrumental music, hymns, and amid the acclamation of the people.  My setting of the text depicts the procession from the vantage point of one standing at a given spot, waiting for the procession to pass, hearing it approach and seeing it pass into the distance. The sonnet is a didactic one to explain in poetic form the dogma and mystery of the real presence, uses the term “accidents” in its specific meaning in connection with the concept of transubstantiation, and reminds the reader that it is only through the eyes of faith that one can recognize Christ under the appearance of the bread.

“Deytado del cisma de la eglesia” (old spelling for ‘iglesia’) is a didactic poem about what is sometimes referred to as the Western Schism, which began, as mentioned in the third line of the poem, in 1378 after the papal election of the Archbishop of Bari (Urban VI).  Within months a second, more secretive, conclave was called electing Cardinal Robert de Genève (Clement VII of Avignon), launching the dispute over the rival papacies in Rome and in Avignon. This complex state of affairs ended in 1417 when the Council of Constance elected Odo Colonna (Martin V) thus ending the 40-year rift. The poet, Pedro López de Ayala (1332—1407) did not live to see the end of the schism and in the first octava of his poem (I have set the first of the four octavas) uses a well-known image of the Church as a ship at sea (“the ship of St. Peter”), bemoaning the sad situation as hopeless without divine intervention.  As a politician and diplomat, serving four monarchs and chronicler for each of them, he would have found himself right in the midst of the many discussions and debates over this internal dispute of the Western Church. The music for the setting of this poem utilizes a 12-tone row.

“A la fiesta de la Magdalaena” is another poem by Fray Juan Gallo.  Unlike all the other poems in this cycle, the text of this one, in the form of a sonnet, is cast in a tightly knit structure of double and opposite meanings, making a line by line translation nearly impossible.  The story of and tradition surrounding Mary Magdalene (feast July 22) is well known. She has often been referred to as the “Penitent,” in view of the understanding that she abandoned a life of sin when she met Christ and spent the rest of her days repenting.  The poem pits past happiness with present sadness, but indicates that past happiness was sadness itself compared to the present higher joy.  The weeping over the past is in fact a sign of a higher joy and consolation.  Juan Gallo devotes several poems to the subject of the Magdalene, some in the same vein as the above, others in connection with the Resurrection of Christ.

For the epilogue, I have set the text of the simple yet exquisite “Nada te turbe,” by Saint Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582), thus rounding out the prayer of the prologue by the knight of Córdoba.

The composer welcomes additional information regarding any of the poets, poems, or historical aspects discussed in these notes.

 



 



 


 

.

Our Father, Which in Heaven Art, for chamber choir and chamber ensemble


Thomas Sternhold (?-1549), a Hampshire gentleman educated at Oxford and Groom of the King’s Wardrobe during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, published nineteen ‘holye songes’ for the English court a year before his death. These metrical versions of psalms were the first entries of what was to become a complete book of psalms and hymns.  After his death, with an additional eighteen settings having been found and with seven by his colleague John Hopkins, a clergyman of Suffolk, a collection of forty-four was published with the title ‘Al suche Psalmes of David as Thomas Sterneholde, late grome of ye Kinges Maiesties Roobes didde in hys lyfe tyme draw into English metre.’  This collection was used by the Protestant exiles who, during the reign of Mary Tudor, established communities in Frankfurt and Geneva.  Many of the tunes used by Sternhold and Hopkins were of English provenance, but, unlike the French and Dutch practice of settings psalms to popular tunes, virtually all were austere modal melodies anonymously composed. 

 

Calvin encouraged the use of metrical psalms, considering the psalms to be the best texts for congregational singing, as they were directly from the Scriptures and thus inspired by the Holy Spirit. However, unlike the Lutheran and Moravian practice, he counseled that the psalms be sung in unison and without accompaniment.  In 1558, Calvin recommended that fifty psalms of Clément Marot, some of which were translated into English, be joined with those of Sternhold and Hopkins to form an Anglo-Genevan Psalter.

 

Upon the accession of Elizabeth I to the throne of England and the return of the exiles, newer editions of the Psalter were published by John Daye in 1560, 1561, and in its final and complete form in 1562. This version of the complete psalms dropped most of the Genevan Psalter settings in favor of those by Sternhold and Hopkins.  To the psalms were added metrical settings of other “spiritual songs” such as the Lord’s Prayer, various texts from both the Old and New Testament, e.g. the Magnificat in translation, as well as the Veni Creator Spiritus and Te Deum (the only two hymns from the Divine Office not discarded by Thomas Cranmer in his reform of the English Service and publication of the Book of Common Prayer).

 

The Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter was the first of its type to reach the shores of North America. Though there is controversy about some parts of the account, Sir Francis Drake is said to have spent five weeks anchored off the coast of northern California to repair his ships in the spring of 1579 during his voyage around the world. He and his men camped along the shore and came into contact with the Indians of the area, who, according to the written account of Drake’s chaplain, Francis Fletcher, took pleasure in hearing the English singing psalms. It is most probable that the psalter they had with them was that of Sternhold and Hopkins. The Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter was used in Episcopal churches in Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas well before the founding of either the Plymouth or Massachusetts Bay colonies. The Pilgrim (Separatist) founders of the Plymouth colony brought the Henry Ainsworth Psalter with them in 1620. The Puritan members of the Church of England who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony brought the Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter with them a decade later, but were dissatisfied with it on the grounds that the translations were not faithful to the original Hebrew.  In 1640, an assembly of divines produced instead their own, entitled The Whole Book of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre, which came to be known as the Bay Psalm Book, the first book published in North America.  As for the Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter, it continued to be reprinted until 1828, despite the publication in 1696 of a New Version by Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady, which caused the 1562 Psalter to become known thenceforth as the Old Version.

 

The metrical text of the Lord’s Prayer (8.6.8.6.8.6.D[oubled]) as printed in the Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter is as follows: 

 

                                    Our Father which in heaven art,

                                    Lord, hallowed be thy name;

                                    Thy kingdom come, thy will be done

                                    In earth, e’en as the same

                                    In heaven is.  Give us, O Lord,

                                    Our daily bread this day;

                                    As we forgive our debtors, so

                                    Forgive our debts we pray.

                                    Into temptation lead us not,

                                    From evil make us free.

                                    For kingdom, power, and glory thine,

                                    Both now and ever be.

 

The tune is listed as No. 11 in Maurice Frost’s 1953 book English & Scottish Psalm and Hymn Tunes: 1543-1677.  Frost’s description of the contents of the 1561 Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter (the first compilation) lists those pieces that were included before the psalms themselves: “Veni Creator; Venite exultemus; The songe of S. Ambrose [Te Deum]; Benedictus (from Eng. 1560); The songe of Blessed Mary [Magnificat] (from Eng. 1560); The Song of Simeon [Nunc dimittis] (from Eng. 1560); The Simbole (Quicunque vult); The Lamentation of a Sinner (‘O lorde turne not away thy face’); The Lordes Praier (‘Our father which in heauen art’, 8.6.8.6.8.6.D); the X Commandments (‘Hark Israel & what I say’).”  The version of 1562 contains all of the above plus several additions.

 

The present setting of the Lord’s Prayer for SATB chorus and chamber orchestra attempts to capture several aspects of the history of English psalmody as it was brought to this country well before the arrival of the Puritans, as well as of the text of the prayer itself.  In harmonized (and polyphonic) versions of the psalms and spiritual songs, the original melody, called the “Church Tune,” was often found in the tenor and sung by the entire congregation.  An example is a 1621 four-part homophonic setting by John Farmer (c.1570-1602) of the tune as found in Sternhold and Hopkins (Frost 11), with some rhythmic differences and inclusion of raised leading tone.  In the present setting, the original modal tune—placed in the tenor as a cantus firmus—is neither harmonized, interrupted, nor altered in any way.  Neither is the tune accompanied in the usual sense of the term.  Rather, it is surrounded by vocal and instrumental gestures totally unrelated to it musically.  At the appropriate places in the cantus firmus, the sopranos, altos, and basses sing, speak, or whisper fragments of the Lord’s Prayer in Old English, a text which dates from about the 11th century and which is used here both as an echo of and a link to an ancestral past stretching back long before our colonial beginnings. (It is to be noted that the Old English text does not contain the concluding doxology, which was added to the text in the King James Bible in 1611, based in part on evidence of early liturgical use and probably based on 1 Chronicles 29:11.  The doxology was added to English musical settings even before its appearance in the King James Bible, as well as to the recitation of the prayer from the time of the Reformation to the present day.  In the reform of the Eucharistic liturgy of the Roman Church, the doxology was added after the embolism.)

 

The title page of the 1562 edition of the Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter:





 

Vísperas de la Santa Cruz, for four soloists, SATB chorus, and orchestra
Though I have attempted to capture some of the ambience of ritual, Vísperas de la Santa Cruz is a concert work and is not intended for liturgical use.  The work combines the traditional format of the Office of Vespers with the modern day revised order of worship for the Liturgy of the Hours.  The theme of the Vísperas is that of the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, celebrated on September 14 in the Roman Church.  The liturgy for the feast is closely connected with the theme of Christ’s Passion and Death and, by extension, of Mary’s suffering at the foot of the Cross.  In the Roman liturgical calendar, the feast of Mary, the Sorrowful Mother, is celebrated the day after, on September 15. The traditional language of the Divine Office is Latin.  I have chosen to retain some parts in Latin: the hymn, Vexilla Regis, of Venantius Fortunatus (verses 1, 4, 6, and 7) in the original plainchant; all the antiphons; the final oration; and the Salve, Regina.  The psalm texts, New Testament canticle, Magnificat, lectura brevis, and preces are in Spanish.  The concluding motet, Sancta Mater dolorosa, utilizes Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Quichua, Quechua, Guaraní, and Náhuatl. The strophic hymn is traditionally sung after the chapter (lectura brevis) and its short versicle and response.  In the revised order, it is sung as an opening hymn.  In Vísperas de la Santa Cruz the traditional Deus in adjutorium and doxology are replaced by the opening brass fanfare. In the traditional rite five psalms are chanted.  I have followed the modern practice of including two psalms and a New Testament canticle.  The antiphon attached to each psalm is traditionally repeated after the doxology concluding the psalm.  Many communities who use the revised rite have retained this practice, and some editions actually print the antiphon after the psalm as well as before.  I have chosen, however, not to repeat the antiphon, keeping to the original meaning of the term, as that which “sounds before.”  Neither have I set psalm-prayers, which have become part of editions of the revised order of worship for the Liturgy of the Hours. I have chosen not to set the traditional responsory to the chapter (lectura brevis, or short biblical reading).  The revised rite includes intercessions, similar to the prayer of the faithful in the celebration of the Eucharist. These follow the Magnificat. I have included five intercessions (preces) and the concluding prayer (oración).  I have chosen not to set the Lord’s Prayer, nor to have it chanted.  Rather, the traditional plainchant melody appears in the orchestra as an underpinning to the oración.
Finally, I have added a short Salve service, following the Ibero-Latin American custom of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.  This service includes a setting of the Salve, Regina and a concluding Marian Motet, Sancta Mater dolorosa, reflecting the theme of the Vísperas. The Spanish biblical texts are based on La Biblia, o el Antiguo y Nuevo Testamento, traducidos en español por el Rmo. P. Phelipe Scio de S. Miguel, de las Escuelas Pias, Obispo de Segovia, Madrid, 1824.

 
The movements of the Vísperas are as follows:

1.Fanfarria e Himno Procesional: Vexilla Regis* -- TB chorus: plainchant a cappella

2.Antífona 1: O magnum pietatis opus! --  Soprano solo and orchestra

3.Salmo 111 -- SATB chorus and orchestra

4.Antífona 2: O Crux benedicta! -- Alto solo and orchestra

5.Salmo 113 -- SATB chorus and orchestra

6.Antífona 3: Nos autem gloriari oportet -- Tenor solo and orchestra

7.Cántico: Filipenses 1, 5-11 -- SATB chorus and orchestra

8.Lectura breve: Hebreos 2, 9-10 -- Bass solo and orchestra

9.Antífona: Adoramus te, Christe -- SATB chorus and orchestra

10.Magnificat: Lucas 1, 46-55 -- Soloists, SATB chorus, and orchestra

11.Preces -- Soloists, SATB chorus, and orchestra

12.Oración -- Tenor solo, SATB chorus, and orchestra

13.Salve, Regina -- SATB chorus a cappella

14.Motete: Sancta Mater dolorosa -- Soloists, SATB chorus, and orchestra


* Hymn of Venantius Fortunatus, c540--c600.




Veni, Sancte Spiritus
, for SATB chorus and orchestra


Instrumentation: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 B-flat clarinets, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, 4 timpani, 3 roto-toms, tubular bells, suspended cymbal, large tam-tam, temple blocks, SATB chorus, first violins, second violins, violas, violoncellos, double basses.

Text: sequence of the solemnity of Pentecost

 

Veni, Sancte Spiritus                                                          

Et emitte caelitus

Lucis tuae radium.

Veni, pater pauperum.

Veni, dator munerum.

Veni, lumen cordium.

Consolator optime,

Dulcis hospes animae,

Dulce refrigerium .

 In labore requies,               

In aestu temperies,             

In fletu solatium.

O lux beatissima,

Reple cordis intima

Tuorum fidelium.               

Sine tuo numine,

Nihil est in homine,

Nihil est innoxium..

Lava quod est sordidum,

Riga quod est aridum,

Sana quod est saucium.

Flecte quod est rigidum,

Fove quod est frigidum,    

Rege quod est devium.

Da tuis fidelibus,

In te confidentibus ,

Sacrum septenarium.

Da virtutis meritum,

Da salutis exitum,

Da perenne gaudium.

Amen.  Alleluia.

 

 

Come, Holy Spirit

And from your heavenly home

Shine upon us the rays of your light.

Come, father of the poor,

Come, give of all good gifts.

Come, light of our hearts.

Most wonderful comforter,

Sweet guest of our souls,

And sweet refreshment.

In toil you are our rest,

In the heat, our coolness,

In sorrow, our solace.

O most blessed light,

Come into our hearts

Of your faithful.

Without you

There is nothing good in us,

Nothing free from sin.

Wash that which is soiled,

Water that which is arid,

Heal that which is ill.

Bend that which is rigid,

Warm that which is cold,

Guide that which has gone astray.

Give to your faithful,

Who place their trust in you,

Your seven holy gifts.

Give them reward for their virtue.

Give them final salvation,

Give them unending joy.

Amen.  Alleluia.

The Plan of the Work:

The work is based on the following tone row: D Eb Bb A E G# Db F C B F# G, hexachord II being the retrograde inversion of hexachord I. 

There are ten stanzas of the sequence.  As the stanzas proceed, pitches from the row are deleted.  The first two stanzas use the full row; stanzas three and four use a 10-tone row; stanzas five and six an 8-tone row; stanzas seven and eight a six-tone row; stanza nine a four-tone row; and stanza ten only two remaining pitches, D and G.  The following chart shows the order of the deletion of the tones:

                                               

12 tones (P0)

D

Eb

Bb

A

E

G#

Db

F

C

B

F#

G

10 tones (P0)

D

Eb

Bb

A

E



F

C

B

F#

G

8 tones (P0)

D

Eb

Bb


E



F


B

F#

G

6 tones (P0)

D

Eb

Bb







B

F#

G

4 tones (P0)

D

Eb









F#

G

2 tones (P0)

D











G

The Amen is spoken and then whispered.  In the Alleluia section which follows, the full 12-tone row is restored for the remainder of the work.

The orchestration used in the ten stanzas presents a series of ten rotations of a selection of high, medium, and low instruments, which is then retrograded in the Alleluia, with the Temple Blocks acting as the axis at the Amen.

  

The matrix:

D

Eb

Bb

A

E

G#

Db

F

C

B

F#

G

C#

D

A

Ab

Eb

G

C

E

B

Bb

F

G

F#

G

D

C#

G#

C

F

A

E

D#

A#

B

G

Ab

Eb

D

A

C#

Gb

Bb

F

E

B

C

C

Db

Ab

G

D

F#

B

Eb

Bb

A

E

F

Ab

A

E

Eb

Bb

D

G

B

Gb

F

C

C#

D#

E

B

Bb

F

A

D

F#

C#

C

G

G#

B

C

G

F#

C#

F

Bb

D

A

G#

D#

E

E

F

C

B

F#

A#

Eb

G

D

C#

G#

A

F

Gb

Db

C

G

B

E

Ab

Eb

D

A

Bb

Bb

B

F#

F

C

E

A

Db

Ab

G

D

Eb

A

Bb

F

E

B

D#

Ab

C

G

F#

C#

D

.

Malachey Elyon

premiere: March 18, 2009, the Hartke Theatre on the campus of The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

A 27-minute radio broadcast from the campus of The Catholic University of America on the evening of November 16, 1938, placed on the airwaves through the collaborative efforts of NBC and CBS, and featuring members of the Catholic clergy and laity from around the country, was among the earliest reactions in this country to the horrific events that took place one week earlier in Germany, the Nazi-instigated pogrom against Germany’s Jews of November 9 and 10, 1938.  The pogrom has come to be called Kristallnacht, now viewed as the beginning of what would become known as the Holocaust.  November 2008 marked its 70th anniversary.  The efforts of Patrick Cullom and Maria Mazzenga of the archives department of the Mullen Library of The Catholic University of America have brought this recording to light, and the first report of the finding was published in the fall 2007 issue of the CUA Magazine.  In the publication, the article, “The Record, the Broadcast and the Nazis: An Archivist’s Discovery Rewrites History,” by Maggie Master, recounts the discovery of the 78rpm record, its restoration onto an MP3 file, and the significance of the extraordinary find. A website, http://libraries.cua.edu/achrcua/packets.html, presents a 1938 press release, also discovered among the scrapbooks kept of the period, along with a clip of the broadcast.
Intrigued by the article, I requested a copy of the CD of the broadcast and downloaded the transcript, which revealed an amazingly strong, humanitarian statement denouncing the tragic violence in Germany. The statement was heard that evening throughout the United States, from coast to coast, in a program organized and coordinated within five weeks of the event. The participants were: Father Maurice S. Sheehy, Ph.D., professor of religion and head of the Department of Religious Education at CUA, avid supporter of the broadcast medium, who served in the Pacific in World War II as Navy chaplain, the first priest to receive the rank of rear admiral, called in 1957 from his over thirty-year faculty position at CUA to serve as pastor of Immaculate Conception parish, Cedar Rapids, Iowa until his retirement in 1961 (d. 1972); Monsignor Joseph M. Corrigan, Rector of the university (titular bishop of Bilta from 1940-1942; d. 1942); three trustees, Archbishop John J. Mitty of San Francisco (d. 1961), Bishop Peter L. Ireton of Richmond, Virginia (d. 1958), and Bishop John M. Gannon of Erie, Pennsylvania (d. 1968).  To their voices was added that of Alfred (Al) Smith, former four-term governor of New York and first Catholic candidate for President of the United States, who ran on the Democratic ticket against Herbert Hoover in 1928 (d. 1944).
The present work incorporates recorded excerpts of the words of all the above participants (with the exception of Governor Smith) as their voices were recorded on the evening of November 16, 1938. This music cannot and should not stand on its own. It is a vehicle for the recorded words of sadness, outrage, sympathy, and support from five American Catholic clergymen who were courageous enough to stand up quickly and without hesitation in the face of the violence and injustice about which they had only recently learned the news. Their voices were in opposition, as well, to other voices who also took to the airwaves in those days to instigate hatred and anti-semitism.
The performance of this work requires double woodwinds and brass, temple blocks, piano, strings, tenor solo, and SATB chorus. The title, Malachey Elyon, is taken from the opening song of the Shabbat service: Shalom aleichem malachey ha-sharet; malachey elyon... [Peace be with you ministering angels, messengers from the Most High...]
I express thanks and appreciation to Maria Mazzenga of the CUA archives department of the Mullen library at CUA; to Cantor Rosalie Boxt of the Kensington Hebrew Congregation, and to Dr. Saúl Sosnowski, Associate Provost for International Affairs at the University of Maryland, College Park, for their invaluable assistance with the Hebrew texts; to Michael Mermagen, faculty, School of Music at CUA, for editing the original broadcast audio file for use in this musical work; and to Murry Sidlin, dean of the School of Music at CUA, for his support of this project.

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