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Helen Thomas Memorial Friday Lenten Recital March 25, 2022

March 25, 2022

Here is the full program for March 25th’s noontime recital which can also be viewed live afterwards on the Grace Church YouTube Channel. If you can come live, the performers thank you! Happy Annunciation Day!


March 25, 2022, 12:15 p.m.  The Annunciation of Mary

Magnificats and More

Patricia Ruggles, mezzo       Dr. Anne Matlack, organ

Order for Noonday Prayers                                           Book of Common Prayer p.103

The Angel Gabriel                                                                    Basque Carol

Two Settings of The Angel Gabriel (organ)                             Paul Bryant (b.1950)

                                                                                      Paul Manz (1919-2009)

Magnificat                                                                       George Dyson (1883-1928)

Magnificat and Trio (organ)                                           J.P. Dandrieu (1681-1738)

Et Exaltavit Humiles                                                     Gabriel Ruiz-Bernal (b. 1967)

    From Magnificat

Ave Maria                                                                      attrib. Guilio Caccini

Magnificat on the 9th tone (organ-3 movements)            Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654)

Esurientes Implevit                                                        J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

    From Magnificat


The angel Gabriel from heaven came

His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;

“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary,

Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

“For know a blessed Mother thou shalt be,

All generations laud and honor thee,

Thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,

Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,

“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,

“My soul shall laud and magnify his holy Name.”

Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born

In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,

And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say–

“Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

Words:  Basque carol; para. Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924) British priest and hymnodist of “Onward Christian Soldiers.”

Music:  Gabriel’s Message, Basque carol; harm. Edgar Petman (1865-1943)

The first organ setting of this carol is by British composer Paul Bryan, Director of Music at St John’s College School, Cambridge for twenty years, now a Freelance Organist, Pianist, Composer and Accompanist and Director of Chantry Sound.

The second is by the prolific American Lutheran composer, Paul Otto Manz (1919 –2009) – best known for the Advent motet “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come,” and his hymn festivals and organ settings of chorale tunes. After degrees from Concordia University Chicago and Northwestern, Manz received a Fulbright grant and studied with Flor Peeters in Belgium and Helmut Walcha in Germany. Manz concertized extensively and received awards too numerous to list from “Ten Most Influential Lutherans,” to “101 Most Notable Organists of the 20th Century.”

MAGNIFICAT                                                                                                   George Dyson

My soul doth magnify the Lord: and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For He hath regarded: the lowliness of His handmaiden.

For behold, from henceforth: all generations shall call me blessed.

For He that is mighty hath magnified me: and holy is His Name.

And His mercy is on them that fear Him: throughout all generations.

He hath shewed strength with His arm:

He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

He hath put down the might from their seat:

And hath exalted the humble and meek.

He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich He hath sent empty away.

He remembering His mercy hath holpen His servant Israel,

As He promised our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, forever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be: world without end.


The Magnificat (Latin for “[My soul] magnifies [the Lord]) is a canticle whose text is taken from the Gospel of Luke (1:46-55) where it is spoken by Mary upon the occasion of her Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist.  In the narrative, after Mary greets Elizabeth, the baby moves within Elizabeth’s womb.  Elizabeth praises Mary for her faith and Mary responds with what is now known as the Magnificat.

Sir George Dyson was an English musician and composer who studied at the Royal College of Music and became its director in 1938. Dyson’s father was a blacksmith, but also organist and choirmaster at a local Yorkshire church, and his mother was a weaver and amateur choir singer. Dyson studied at the RCM in London, with Stanford and Parry, from whom he learned a traditional style which served him well.  He served in the army in the First World War, suffered from shell-shock but later returned to the war as a major in the newly formed Royal Air Force, organizing RAF bands. After the war he was a schoolmaster and college lecturer at Wellington College and then Winchester. In 1938 he became director of the RCM, and saw it through the Second World War. He retired in 1962 to enjoy a fruitful compositional period, and died in Winchester in 1964.

Organist from 1705 at the church of St Merry in Paris, the French composer and harpsichordist Jean-François Dandrieu, member of a musical family, was in 1721 appointed an organist of the royal chapel.

ET EXALTAVIT HUMILES                                               Gabriel Ruiz-Bernal

   From Magnificat

And the humble man rejoiced.

Gabriel Ruiz-Bernal (b. 1967) is a Spanish composer and pianist who has received numerous awards for his compositions as well as his piano performances. His Magnificat, an 11 movement work for choir, orchestra and soloists, was composed in 2016.

AVE MARIA                                                                                Giulio Caccini

This Ave Maria has long been attributed to Caccini; but according to Wikipedia, it was composed by Vladimir Vavilov around 1970.  Vavilov himself published and recorded it with the ascription “Anonymous”.  After his death it is believed that the organist, Mark Shakhin ascribed the work to Caccini.

Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654) was an influential early Baroque German organist and composer who studied with Sweelinck in Amsterdam.  Scheidt’s works included sacred vocal music, notably Cantiones sacrae (1620) for eight voices, and four books of Geistliche Concerten (1631–40) for two to six voices and continuo. Harald Vogel, editor of Tabulatura Nova (three parts, 1624) calls the publication of this collection of organ music “the most important collection of keyboard works to be published in Germany before the 18th century.” This Magnificat setting is meant to be in alternatim with cantor, or choir. You can hear the chant quite clearly in all the organ verses, around which are all sorts of figurations illustrating the character of the verse. The 9th tone, or tonus peregrinus “wandering tone” actually has the chant on two different pitches.

ESURIENTES                                                               Johann Sebastian Bach

   From Magnificat

He hath filled the hungry with good things;

And the rich He hath sent empty away.

The Magnificat was Bach’s (1685-1750) first major liturgical composition on a Latin text and is one of his most popular works. At the end of this charming movement with two obligato flutes is one single bass note, illustrating “empty away.”

Anne Matlack is organist-choir director at Grace Church where she directs a full program of choirs.  She holds a B.A. in Music from Yale University and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees from the University of Cincinnati.  Her organ teachers have included Charles Krigbaum (Yale) and David Mulbury (Cincinnati) as well as serving as organist/choir director at Grace Church, she is Artistic Director of Harmonium Choral Society. This series was founded by her predecessor Helen E.J. Thomas in the 1950s, and even during 2021 we did a virtual concert of women composers in her honor which can be found on the Grace Church YouTube Channel.

Patricia Ruggles, mezzo-soprano, began her choral singing in the choir stalls of Grace Church at age seven and performed her first vocal recital in the library with Helen Thomas at the piano.  She is indebted to Mrs. Thomas for her gift of musical guidance.  Ms. Ruggles has enjoyed performing as an alto soloist in many oratorios as well as performing solo vocal recitals annually in Morris County.  Please join her for “Solace for the Soul” which will be performed at Grace Church on May 20th.  Patricia has been a cantor and section leader at Corpus Christi Church in Chatham Township since 1994. 


Upcoming Friday Lenten Organ Recitals 12:15-12:45

April 1–Henry Marinovic, organ scholar

April 8–Matlack and Marinovic organ duets

Compline chanted by candlelight in the choir stalls Thursdays in Lent 8:30-8:45 p.m.


Adult Choir and Gargoyles; music by Stanford, Smith, Gjeilo

Saturday, April 2, 2022 5 p.m.

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