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Sunday Music Musings August 15, 2020

August 16, 2020

Johann David Heinichen (1683 –1729) was a German Baroque composer and music theorist who brought the musical genius of Venice to the court of Augustus II the Strong in Dresden. Heinichen enrolled at Leipzig’s Thomasschule at the age of 13 where he received musical training from the cantor Johann Schelle (1648-1701) and studied organ and was mentored by the influential Johann Kuhnau (1660-1722). Heinichen took a law degree at the University in Leipzig, practiced law in his hometown of Weissenfelds. After some minor court appointments, and dabbling in opera, in 1710, he published the first edition of his major treatise on the thoroughbass . Shortly after this he made the life-altering decision to travel to Italy, to learn from Italian masters, just as Schuetz did early in his career. In 1716, Heinichen met Prince Augustus III of Poland, son of King Augustus II the Strong, in Venice, and thanks to him was appointed the Royal-Polish and Electoral-Saxon Kapellmeister in Dresden, where he flourished for many years.

Johann David Heinichen - Home | Facebook
Heinichen–not about beer!

The Love family (and friend) will play an Allegro (fast movement) from his Triosonate. Although there are four players, the basso continuo (cello and keyboard) are considered one part, hence “trio.”

Psalm 133 is short and sweet, so Grace and I have duetted on a favorite children’s choir anthem, Hine Ma Tov by Allan Naplan. It sets verse 1 of Psalm 133 in a klezmer style. It is in Hebrew and then also “translates itself” in English. Allan Naplan grew up on the North Shore near Boston, surrounded by both Jewish and classical music. Naplan composes Jewish works that are universal; songs that can be performed “all throughout the year, not just for Hanukah.” His works have sold 1.3 million copies and have been performed in such high-profile venues as the White House and Carnegie Hall – and, tragically, aboard the space shuttle Columbia, when his “An American Anthem” was the wake-up call on the first morning of its doomed 2003 voyage. Naplan is also a cantorial soloist for multiple houses of worship, and in the past has been an opera singer. He currently lives and works in Arizona as executive and producing director of the Arizona Musicfest performance series. Another piece we sing in the Grace Choirs is Al Shlosha, a real favorite.! Here is a video of us singing it in 2014, so a real trip down memory lane—and guess what? Charlie Love, who played piano in our prelude was the opening treble soloist!Al Shlosha by Naplan – when our high schoolers were in the red choir!

The hymn of the day is a Trinitarian one, “Thou Whose Almighty Word,” words by John Marriott, tune name Moscow.  This tune is also sometimes known as Italian Hymn as it is by Felice de Giardini (1716-1796). Giardini was born in Turin, Italy, studied violin, harpsichord, voice, and composition in Milan and Turin; and from 1748 to 1750 he conducted a very successful solo violin tour on the continent. He came to England in 1750 and for the next forty years lived in London, where he was a prominent violinist in several orchestras. This hymn was written the request of Selina Shirley, the famous evangelically minded Countess of Huntingdon. It was included in Martin Madan’s Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1769), published to benefit the Lock Hospital in London where Madan was chaplain. In 1784 Giardini traveled to Italy, but when he returned to London in 1790, he was no longer popular. His subsequent tour to Russia also failed, and he died in Moscow in poverty. (Condensed from A sad foornote to the tune name!

Lady Huntingdon and Her Friends
Selina Shirley, evangelical Countess of Huntingdon.

John Marriott (1780-1825) Rector of Cottesbach, in 1780, and educated at Rugby, and Christ Church, Oxford where he was the second ever to obtain honors. He was also Student of Christ Church, and for about two years a private tutor in the family of the Duke of Buccleuch. The Duke presented him to the Rectory of Church Lawford, Warwickshire. This position he retained to his death, although his wife’s health compelled him to reside in Devonshire, by the sea. He published books of sermons, but his hymns were never published with his permission. Also known as the “Missionary Hymn,” this was written “about 1813,” according to his son.

 Our postlude is the last movement of Christine Schulz’s Variations on the Ash Grove that I wrote about in this blog July 18. Next week we will do a different setting of service music, so I say goodbye to The Ash Grove with this cheerful Finale. You can hear the tune in the pedals and the choir bombarde (loud trumpet stop), and hey, we all need something cheerful! Since playing a few movements in July and sharing my blog with her, the composer and I have become kind of penpals. We have a lot in common making virtual pandemic church and having been a long time at our respective churches!

I also made a longer video, as promised for my choirs to warm-up to.

One other thing we are working on is a virtual zoom hymn-sing for next week. We realized that with Covid-19, it is going to be a really long time before we are using hymnals in church, and I have a large amount of not-so-gently used hymnals in the choir room that we are boxing up and offering for drive-thru pick-up (or drop-off). It is gratifying to actually get some response to this. Yes, people want to have a hymnal in their home. That makes me smile. Sunday I will have the hymnals out between 10 and noon. I can also drop them off for you. Hymnsing is Thurdasy August 20 in the Grace Church Zoom room!

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Drive thru hymnal pick-up 10-noon!

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