With his concert Saturday at the Red Hill Lutheran Church, conductor Richard Raub will end his 23-year career as head of the Orange Coast Singers and a faculty member at Orange Coast College.
"It just seems the right time to leave," Raub, 59, said in a phone interview Tuesday from his office at the college. "Orange Coast has been a great place to teach and a great place to have the performance opportunities I've had. But it seems the right time now to move on. . . . "I really don't have any plans right now. In all likelihood, I'll be doing something connected with music. But I want to take some time off for at least a few months and get a little rest."
For his final concert, Raub has programmed Mozart's Mass in C minor and two works by Haydn--the Symphony No. 99 and a little known work, "Der Sturm."
The first two pieces are mainstream works. But the performance of "Der Sturm" is being billed as a first for Southern California.
"The music is not easy to come by," Raub said. "We imported the music from Germany on rental. It's a short piece, very programmatic, which depicts a storm and a prayer for calm. . . . The writing is highly reminiscent of the music from 'The Creation' and 'The Seasons.'
"The text (by Peter Pindar) was originally in English. Haydn made a German translation. We're singing the German, which somehow fits the music better."
Knowing it is last program, he said, "I wanted to end with a really fine piece in the literature. So I chose Mozart's Mass because it's been one of my favorites."
The C-minor Mass includes the Kyrie and Gloria, but breaks off after the "Et Incarnatus" in the Credo. No one is certain why the composer didn't finish the work.
"People tend to compare it to the Requiem," Raub said. "But there's not too much comparison. To my taste, the music tends to be different from the Requiem," left unfinished when the composer died. "There is much more tension from the older style of music. Mozart had gotten in touch with Bach and Handel, and the music of the Mass reflects this.
"But in addition to that, every note, incomplete though the work is, is all Mozart, whereas in the Requiem, there is a lot completed from sketches he left but by another person."
* Richard Raub will lead the Orange Coast Singers in Mozart's Mass in C minor, Haydn's Symphony No. 99 and "Der Sturm" on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Redhill Lutheran Church, 13200 Redhill Ave., Tustin. Tickets: $10. (714) 432-5880.