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Sunday Music Musings October 23, 2021

October 23, 2021

Due to ACTUAL LIVE CONCERTS this weekend, this blog may be less detailed! But for very detailed program notes to tonight’s concert at Grace (also Sunday afternoon in Maplewood) try here!

Our Organ Scholar Henry will play a prelude by Italian composer Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726) organist of the Jesuit Church in Rome who later became a Jesuit missionary and organist in Córdoba, Argentina.

The Daughters of Zion will sing the Kyrie from the Messe Basse of Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), with solos by Elisabeth Wielandy, Mia Melchior, Meredith McKeever and Claudia Sydenstricker.

For pandemic distancing choirs, we are exploring a few pieces in which the trebles sing from the gallery, and the adults from the chancel. In our offertory anthem I Shall See, a gorgeous setting of Psalm 27 by composer/conductor Michael John Trotta (b.1978), the gallery trebles take the solo line, while the adults provide sumptuous harmonies.

Henry will play Verset, a movement of French composer Léon Boëllmann’s Eucharistic Suite. (Next week you will hear more Boëllmann (1862 –1897) in honor of Halloween.)

Another quest during pandemic choir re-entry is to make sure that we know the staples of the repertoire, such as O Taste and See (Psalm 34 vs.8) by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), one of my favorite composers. This gem of a piece will again feature the gallery trebles on the solo and the adults from the chancel.

Our hymn of the day is the great Charles Wesley (1707-1788)’s O For A thousand Tongues to Sing. This opening phrase celebrates universality—wishing for every language imaginable to praise God, although I think my kids when younger envisaged some sort of thousand-tongued dragon! It also references the healing of the blind for today’s Gospel. Lowell Mason (1792 – 1872), “The Father of American Music Education,” adapted the tune AZMON from a melody composed by German Carl G. Gläser in 1828.

You can read more about Alfred Fedak (b.1953), who composed the exciting “little toccata” or “toccatina” on AZMON which is our postlude on my blog from July 3.

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