Didòmhnaich Adhradh: 01/30/11

St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti

February is here already.
Prelude: This is my Father's World - arr. Gilbert M. Martin (o)
Choir: Jesus, O what a Wonderful Child - arr. Lloyd Larson (pf)
Offertory: Prelude in A-flat Major - Stephen Heller (pf)
Postlude: Sonata Op. 109 III, Thema - Ludwig von Beethoven (pf)
In a congregation of inclusive conformity I doubt we would ever sing these words to Terra Beata. What a loss! Gilbert (love the name) includes a sweeping crescendo-with-modulation-up-a-half-step. The high F of the church organ could use some tuning however.
I do appreciate a contemplation of Christ's kenosis at times other than Christmas. What it's hard to appreciate is that tiny church choir trying to pull off a joyous gospel number. The congregation was clapping by the end. This one also had a modulation!
Stephen Heller's Twenty-Four Preludes Op. 81 has some wonderful early-Romantic writing. This piece strikes me as very pastoral in nature: rolling compound meter, undulating hills, shepherd drones, and even a Coo-coo. I played the Doxology in G-flat because I didn't want a strident transition from A-flat to D to G. It was more solemn to my ears that way.
This is what I am going to call an anti-postlude. No flash. No frills. Only an embryonic, contemplative benediction. Whether or not it is because I am familiar with the piece as a Theme with amazing Variations, I think the piece works well as a "go and live under His grace." There is a feeling of frustrated expectancy, as though much more needs to be said. It would have worked better if I had played the repeats as written.

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