Tag Archives: Crown Him with Many Crowns

Listen to “Missa in Tempore Belli” (Mass in Time of War)

Audio files of Franz Josef Haydn’s “Missa in Tempore Belli” (Mass in Time of War) from SSP 110th Anniversary Concert “Crown Him with Many Crowns” are now available for download.

Track 1: Kyrie
Track 2: Gloria
Track 3: Credo
Track 4: Sanctus
Track 5: Benedictus
Track 6: Agnus Dei

Performed by:
Stephanie Quintin, Soprano
Patricia Lim, Alto
Conrado Ong III, Tenor
Erwin Lim, Bass

SSP Church and Chancel Choirs
Manila Symphony Orchestra – Chamber Orchestra
Armando Salarza, Organist
Celia Yu Ong, Music Director and Conductor


ABOUT “Missa in Tempore Belli”
(From the Program Notes of “Crown Him with Many Crowns”)

Franz Josef Haydn, internationally acclaimed artist of his time, was born in Austria in the year 1732. Being a devoted Christian, he marked the beginning of his musical works with the words “In nomine Domini” (In the name of the Lord) and ended them with “Laus Deo” (Praise be to God).

It was in 1796 that Haydn composed the “Missa in Tempore Belli” (Mass in Time of War). This was a time in Austrian history when the nation was defending itself and mobilizing its troops for war. It is said to be struggling in hostile engagements and dealing with the fear of invasion.

Thus, Haydn’s piece of work was a reflection of the troubled mood of the times. “No Austrian was to speak of peace until the enemy has been driven back to its borders,” decreed the government.

References to battle are in the Benedictus and Agnus Dei movements. This mass also has joyful tones bespeaking hope and inspiration in many parts. These are enhanced by orchestral sounds, among which are the timpani, strings and wind instruments like the trumpet.

The Kyrie opens slowly, moving towards its theme, and is like a symphony in sonata form. The Gloria has its vivace-adagio-allegro, always deeply felt, with the much anticipated baritone-solo and the cello part. It is a choral symphony.

The Credo strongly declares the Christian faith, “rhythmic, joyous,” and with conviction. Very interesting are the different vocal parts as they enter, with each part singing different words of the text. The Sanctus slowly builds to a forte in the spirited “pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua” (heaven and earth are full of Thy glory). It then moves to the refined “osana in excelsis.” The Benedictus is characterized by the short phrases of the solo-quartet, said to be suggestive of the unsettling time of war.

Agnus Dei continues to depict a sense of “foreboding and anxiety,” a cry for mercy and a longing for peace. The music then “brightens up” and finally ends with a victorious celebration of peace in “dona nobis pacem” (grant us peace).

Laus Deo!

Leave a comment

Filed under 110th Anniversary, Concert, Crown Him with Many Crowns, Photos, Audio Files & Videos

St. Stephen’s Parish choirs sing anthems of hope and glory



By Antonio C. Hila
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Episcopalian St. Stephen’s Parish is celebrating this year its 110th founding anniversary. Established in 1903 by the American Episcopal Church representatives headed by Bishop Henry Brent, it belongs to the Episcopal Church in the Philippines.

Bishop Brent arrived in Manila in 1902 and had initially set up a church intended for American and civilian military personnel and their families. The presence of Chinese believers in the congregation prompted the bishops to address the need for missionary work in the local Chinese community.

Thus was born St. Stephen’s Church in downtown Manila, which held its first worship service on Nov. 8, 1903.

From its original address on San Fernando Street, it transferred to Nueva and Reina Regente Streets before moving to its present home on G. Masangkay Street.

In 1917, it opened the St. Stephen’s School, initially for girls; it became co-educational in 1945, producing successful professionals and businessmen.

Music is held like a jewel in its church service. In fact, the Anglican-Episcopal church treasures the tradition of upholding and using fine music in its service all done in praise of the Almighty.

It articulates the biblical dictum: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Inspired singing

A choral concert, offered as a thanksgiving, was a highlight of the parish’s founding anniversary.

Held in its main sanctuary, the concert featured the Churchwomen’s Choir, Youth Choir, and Church and Chancel Choir; and the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO).

The choral rendition was interspersed with the audience’s singing of hymns, collaborated on the pipe organ by no less than renowned organist Armando Salarza.

The Rev. Samuel Sia, rector of the church, gave the invocation and led the audience in singing the hymn “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”; “Crown Him with Many Crowns”; and the capping song “Because He Lives.”

Singing was facilitated with the projection of the  lyrics on screen, much more with the well-projected, rich baritone of the reverend.

Committed and inspired singing elicited deep listening. The Churchwomen’s Choir, composed of both the elderly and the young, conducted by Patricia Lim, sang in joyful mood a composition of Gordon S. W. Chin’s, “Ye Are to Praise Jehovah,” in Mandarin.

The Youth Choir, conducted by Johanna Ting, followed with the “Alleluia” of Mozart and the spiritual “Dry Bones” by Kirk. Exposing the young to serious and good choral music is certainly an admirable musical virtue.

Popular Mass

The program’s main fare was Franz Josef Haydn’s “Missa in Tempore Belli,” or “Mass in Time of War,” one of his more popular Masses. Haydn wrote the composition during the troubled time Austria was in conflict with France and Germany during the European wars, greatly fearing an invasion.

The choice of the work underscores its relevance to the troubled state the country faces now.

On the podium was music director and conductor Celia Yu Ong, leading the Church and the Chancel Choir and the soloists: Stephanie Quintin, soprano; Patricia Lim, alto; Conrado Ong III, tenor; and Erwin Lim, bass. In collaboration with organist Salarza and the MSO, the entire ensemble under her leadership unfolded the majesty of Haydn’s work.

When an amateur choir is made to sing like a professional choir, there can never be a dull moment of listening. Every choral articulation is relished.

From phrasing to projection, tonal balance, color and dynamic nuances, the choir was in perfect form.  Ong cut an authoritative stance of a veteran choral conductor. She conducted with warmth, leading the entire ensemble to glorious music-making.

The soloists managed to achieve balance, thanks to the good natural acoustics of the church. The anxiety of the troubled time was convincingly depicted first in the short solo parts in “Benedictus,” which the soloists did with conviction.  (The soprano and the bass had good vocal projection).

In the succeeding “Agnus Dei,” Roby Calderon sounded the timpani to bring out the apprehension brought about by an agitated situation. A bright mood soon followed characterized by celebrative fanfare sounded by the trumpets. Peace, at last had reigned.

The audience left the hall touched and recharged. Truly, optimism makes life tick.

(This article was published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer,  Lifestyle Section, on November 18, 2013.)

Leave a comment

Filed under 110th Anniversary

Crown Him with Many Crowns – The 110th Anniversary Thanksgiving Concert


Choir Concert 2013

Leave a comment

Filed under 110th Anniversary, Events