4.10.2011

Didòmhnaich Adhradh 4/3/11 and 4/10/11


Prelude: Song of the Fisherman - S. Gubaidulina (pf)
Offertory: Jesus Christus, unser Heiland - J. Pachelbel (o)
Communion: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross - T. Smith (pf)
Postlude: Sinfonia in C minor - J.S. Bach (pf)
Picture
St. Benedict the African
I bought Gubaidulina's colletion Musical Toys: A Collection of Piano Pieces for Children at Dubliner's Music in Vienna. Kendall has gotten me into her chamber music (especially Die Sieben Worte for cello, bayan, and strings) and her keyboard music in this instance has a lot to offer. She utilizes the piano's sympathetic vibrations to great effect, such as in No. 4 "The Magic Smith," No. 9 "The Woodpecker," and especially No. 12 "The Echo." This Sunday's Prelude, No. 6 "The Song of the Fisherman," has a bit of that too with a silently depressed D-A fifth at the very end to ring in shimmering quietude. The rest of the piece is filled with a Dorian melody and sequences of open fifths, often with long sustain pedal. The effect as a prelude is one of open, thoughtful silence. It cannot be hurried and requires the rests and decaying sounds to speak. Difficult to play. One must be completely immersed in the misty world, unperturbed, confident.
The offertory is a solid Baroque chorale prelude. Two imitative voices based on the next line of the chorale melody which enters in descant. Very interesting with a key signature of one sharp and ending A minor with a Piccardy third. I love how pieces so simple transcend their simplicity with the orchestration powers of a good, rumbly, partial-ridden organ.
I improvised for a while on the first few measures in a misty, Postmodernist sort of way. I cadenced before the modulation where it gets kickin' to keep with a more contemplative and Lenten mood.
We got a new piano! It's black, a Wellington, playable keys. Just needs a tune or two. Anyway, I got out my Bach Inventions and Sinfonias book which I had gone through in Roseville in 2009-2010 and decided to end church with a miniature musica instrumentalis of revolving mini planets in C minor. Look mom! Three melodic voices and only two hands!
Picture
St. Magdalen of Canossa
Prelude: Pensées Musicales No. 17 - S. Thalberg
Offertory: On the Cross of Calvary - T. Smith
Postlude: Magnificat primi toni - D. Buxtehude

That was in the bulletin.

However, today I let the church know that I am resigning from Church Musician come May 1st. Yes. Tensions seemed a bit high. So I changed last minute to this:

Prelude: A Firm Foundation - T. Smith (pf)
Offertory: Prelude on "Prelude on St. Thomas" (o)
Postlude: On the Cross of Calvary - T. Smith (pf)

I needed something upbeat after letting everyone know at the opening announcements: rumbling octaves, schmaltzy harmonies.
Someone forgot the offering plates, so I don't remember a lot of this piece except for laughter from the congregation as the Deacon ran down the aisles collecting monies and checks with his hands. It's probably pretty. I should do it again some time.
I cut this one a little short for time's sake. I picked it because it has the world Calvary in the title and UCC peeps need a little Gospel in their lives.
More about our decision and where we're off to later!

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