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Sunday Music Musings April 10, 2021

April 10, 2021

Our prelude is an organ and brass arrangement of Awake Thou Wintry Earth from J.S. Bach’s Cantata 129, (Gelobet sei der Herr – final chorus) arranged for brass and organ by Mark Scott. We often play this during communion on Easter, so we recorded this back in March at our big live Easter recording session to have some more festive music for Eastertide.

The cheerful offertory is Christo resurgenti by François Couperin “le Grand” (1668 –1733). It is from a longer motet in Élévations et motets published in 1700-06 in Paris. I am happy we have a new microphone and I have added another singer to our livestream offering to sing duets and descants for Eastertide. If you watch and see her sitting right next to the organ, it is because she is my daughter and lives with me! So now I have two former head choristers to help. They sang a duet psalm in our Epiphany Evensong (5:17) and sounded great together, even across the chancel.

The traditional hymn for the first Sunday after Easter is O Sons and Daughters, based on a French Noel (O filii et filiae) and telling the story of doubting Thomas. The text is attributed to French Franciscan monk Jean Tisserand (d. 1494) in translation by the prolific Anglican priest and scholar, John M. Neale (1818 -1866).

The postlude is a setting of this tune by renowned Lebanese-French organist, composer, and improviser Naji Hakim (b.1955). He studied under Jean Langlais, and succeeded Messiaen as organist at the Église de la Sainte-Trinité, Paris. This short variation cycle in was composed in 2012. The four short variations are Andante – Energico – Allegro – Allegro.

Please excuse a shorter blog from a church musician the week after Easter! If you missed last week’s Easter videos, they are now included in last week’s blog. When researching Charles Tindley (composer of The Storm is Passing Over) I found that there is a beautiful children’s picture book about his life story, and I bought it for myself and enjoyed sharing it with the choristers over zoom yesterday.

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