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  • Mitchell Covington

Sub tuum praesidium

In this season of social distancing, I'm offering a series of virtual micro-concerts for anyone to enjoy. On the first Wednesday of each month, I’ll post one fine performance of notable music for women’s voices. The selections and performing groups will be varied and eclectic. Most will be in the 3-5 minute range. Each post will include an audio recording, brief notes, text & translation and, when practical, a PDF copy of the score in case you want to follow along.

This blog is supported by Voci Women’s Vocal Ensemble.

www.vocisings.org

Introduction

Well, two weeks turned into three weeks! And now that I’m back, I realize that I probably couldn’t sustain a weekly schedule for much longer. Also, a weekly schedule may be too much for most of our audience too. The changes brought about by the Coronavirus notwithstanding, people seem to be just as busy as ever, what with making sourdough bread and sewing their own clothes and Zooming all the time. 😊

So, I’ve decided to move to a monthly schedule. Going forward, the VMC blog will come out the first Wednesday of every month.

Editorial Comment

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m an enthusiastic believer in, and advocate for music for women’s voices. This little blog is just one small way that I’m trying to bring women’s choral music to people’s attention and to emphasize the power and diversity f women’s choral music. My strategy is to highlight excellent performances of beautiful and interesting choral music for women’s voices, performed by highly skilled, talented and passionate women, and to include thoughtful notes about the composer, the music and the performance.

However: for me to continue this effort, I’d like to confirm that there is an audience and interest in this blog. You can help by leaving comments and, even better, by thinking about who you know who might be interested and helping spread the word.

Another change, coming in September, will be the addition of a Forum where people will be able to participate in a conversation about the music, about the performance (nice comments only!), about women’s choral music in general, or whatever…

I am so grateful for those who’ve been faithful readers and listeners and for those who’ve shared this blog with their friends and colleagues. Let’s keep this going!


About the Composer

Miklós Kocsár was a Hungarian composer, born in Debrecen, Hungary in 1933. He studied composition at the Academy of Music in Budapest, graduating in 1959. After completing his studies, he took a position as Professor at the Béla Bartók Conservatory in Budapest, teaching theory and composition.


A large proportion of Kocsár‘s music consists of choral compositions. He wrote songs, cantatas, masses and oratorios. He is a celebrated composer for choirs and his works are sung worldwide. Kocsár was a frequent guest of honour at choir competitions.

Many of his choral pieces were settings of verses by Hungarian poets. His music is characterized by a quest for beauty of sound and insistence on strict formal proportions.

Miklós Kocsár died in 2019.

About this Performance

This piece was performed by Women Sing of Orinda, California, currently directed by Ofer dal Lal. Find out more about WomenSing here:

https://womensing.org/



The Text

Sub tuum praesidium (Beneath Thy Protection) is the oldest preserved Christian hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix.

Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus,

sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper,

Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.

We fly to thy patronage, Holy Mother of God;

despise not our petitions in our necessities,

but deliver us always from all dangers,

Glorious and blessed Virgin.


Listen to this week's music here:

https://youtu.be/Sx20alslmDk

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Mitchell Covington is an award-winning composer and conductor who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent adjudicator for choir competitions and festivals and workshop clinician. He has led choir tours and festivals throughout Europe. Mr. Covington has several choral compositions in print with major U.S publishers and his music has been performed by choirs throughout the U.S and Europe. Mr. Covington is the Founding Artistic Director of Voci Women's Vocal Ensemble.

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