Cantatas for Christmas and Easter highlight this CD with more than 70 minutes of music! Both cantatas offer superb, liturgically sound texts from librettist Almeda Berkey, who also conducts these premiere recorded performances. With the composer at the piano throughout, the choral forces bring the words of Christmas and Easter to life!
The Glory of His Majesty (Christmas) is an eclectic mixture of musical style and textures in whcih we experience the angularity of the baroque, jazz of the 20th Century, as well as dissonance associated with the avante garde. The simplicity of a treble solo is juxtaposed with the robust sound of a male quartet, and the suggestion of Gregorian chant is also heard. Jackson and Almeda call it their personal gift of praise to the God of might and power, and to His son. The Glory of His Majesty is scored for large mixed chorus, varied soloists, piano, organ, electric piano and synthesizer.
Come, Follow Me! (Easter) was written to function as a major, dramatic presentation for Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, or during the Great Fifty Days following the Resurrection. This cantata has been performed annually in Omaha by the Berkeys since 1980. Since 1988, it has opened the Great Fifty Days Concert Series at St. Cecilia's Cathedral, the tenth largest Catholic cathedral in the United States. Come, Follow Me! is scored for large mixed chorus, varied soloists, piano, 2 organs, synthesizer, full percussion, earthquake and dramatic narrator.