Chorus & Chorale, from Cantata No. 29. "Wir danken Dir"
Cantata No. 29. "Wir danken Dir" (We thank you, God) was written for the opening ceremony of the church Council held at Leipzig in 1731. It is a festive piece, in 8 movements, of which two are choral ones: the opening Chorus and the concluding Chorale.
The unaccompanied Alleluia for four-part chorus was written at the beginning of July 1940 and first performed on the 8th of that month for the opening of the Berkshire Music Center. It was commissioned by the Center's Director, Serge Koussevitsky, to whom it is dedicated. Though the text consists entirely of the rejoicing word "Alleluia", the immediate occasion of Thompson's setting of it was his deep sadness on hearing of the invasion of France n the war in Europe.
Original words are "Alleluia", which is the same in English, which comes from a Hebrew word: the music repeats the one word over and over again, and ends with "Amen": the meaning of "Alleluia" is "Praise the Lord".
Te Deum Op. 25
Well known in Sweden as an organist and church musician, Olsson's compositions were much influenced by late 19th century French music, through a friend who often went to Paris and had become familiar with the masters there. Olsson himself never visited France. For almost 50 years he was an organist at the Gustav Vasa Church in Stockholm, where he was appointed in 1908.His best-known work, the Te Deum, had been completed in 1906, the year of the church's consecration, but did not receive its first performance until 1910. Subsequently it remained a popular work in Sweden. It is scored for string, harp and organ. The text is a very old Latin hymn, sung for occasions of particular joy and rejoicing, not only church festivals but state occasions as well.