Yet I Will Rejoice is the premiere recording of the choral and vocal chamber music of Jerry Casey whose recent flurry of performances has shown her popularity in central Ohio and other venues. Mrs. Casey has had commissions from such diverse groups as Columbus Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI), Iowa Composers Forum (ICF), Ohio Federated Music Clubs (OFMC), Columbus Women’s Orchestra, a church in New Jersey, and a Ministers’ Chorus from Pennsylvania. She has received the ASCAP Plus Award annually since 1996.
The music of Jerry Casey is lyrical even when dissonant. Harmonies are frequently modal and quartal. Word painting, mood setting, sharp accents, driving rhythms, and judicious use of sudden silence all help enhance the meaning of the words. The sacred works on this CD have texts that resonate to all peoples such as trust overcoming calamity, the desire to praise and hope, the question of what life is really all about, the joy in a newborn child, the search for serenity, and the recognition of the power of the Creator. Two of the secular works evoke the spirit of the fall season; one is a three-fold look at love, and one is a dark call to death.
Click on the titles below to see more information about each work.
The CD also contains fine works by two other composers: “Concertino” for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra by C. Edward Hupton and a choral work, “The Falcons of Arcos de la Frontera” (Requiem in Memoriam) by Louis Dean Nuemberger.
The beautiful poem calls the sun to wake the skylark and the moon to wake the nightingale. I listened to the calls of these two birds and tried to imitate them and make them a part of this work.The skylark always appears in the bright Lydian mode; the nightingale, in the darker Phrygian mode. The first and third stanzas are set in a somewhat similar fashion while the middle stanza has a slightly different character. The nightingale is the true thrust of the poem.
The text for this choral work is from the Old Testament book of Habakkuk. The prophet ponders the most tragic circumstances that could overtake an agrarian society—the fig tree shall not flourish, or grapes not grow on the vine, there is no food in the fields, or no sheep in the folds or no cows in the stalls. These words are set in a dark mode and in a fugal style. A long pause follows this grim tale. Using the pivotal word, “yet,” and starting with the low basses, a gradual crescendo reaches the highest sopranos in dramatic fashion. The choir bursts forth with the prophet’s affirmation, “I will rejoice in the Lord; I will joy in the God of my salvation.” These words set in a bright mode carry the anthem to its joyous conclusion, “I will rejoice in the Lord.”