We are not meeting together in person, but we offer online worship each week.
I hope you'll enjoy this collection of beautiful and exuberant music for the Easter season. If you have an extra moment or two these days, I encourage you to compare the rhythmic freedom of Gerald Near's chant settings with the robust and strictly metered hymn melodies of Bach's Orgel-Büchlein (Little Organ Book). At least, that's what organ geeks would do (I speak from experience). :-)
There are a couple of Scooby Snacks in the works, too, but this set covers most of what you could expect to hear during Easter at St. James. Take care, and happy listening!. - Rob
I encourage you to listen to these three pieces, because:
The hymn melodies are primarily associated with the 23rd Psalm, and that's why they pop up on Good Shepherd Sunday (St. Columba was included in this morning's worship). It's also fun to hear the Wright and Leighton settings back-to-back, because they both start in the same place (even the same key), but quickly diverge.
If you've been joining us for Sunday worship, you know I've been pairing Gregorian chant (Gerald Near's pieces with Latin titles) and Easter hymn settings by Sebastian Bach. While both beautiful and utterly appropriate for worship (the chants, in fact, are appointed specifically for the day you hear them), they likely are unfamiliar to you. I hope today's Scooby Snack will offer music with which you'll be able to hum along.
Today is Ascension. Unfortunately, this principal feast day suffers due to its occurrence 40 days after Easter, always on a Thursday. Even so, its topic long has captured the imagination of hymn authors and composers.
In this recording, the first work uses a Gregorian chant melody whose text is the basis for our modern hymn "A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing!"
The following two pieces are movements from Messiaen's Ascension. Luckily, St. James has an instrument that can faithfully render this colorful music. English translations of the titles follow, as do scripture references (from the Gospel of John) included by the composer:
Majesty of Christ Praying That His Father Should Glorify Him
Father, the hour is come: glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee.
Prayer From Christ Ascending Towards His Father
And now, O Father, I have manifested Thy name unto men... and now, I am no more in the world, but these are in the world and I come to Thee.
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