Saturday, September 20, 2014

Music for the Service of Sunday, September 21, 2014

From: Richard Thomas
Sent: Saturday, September 20, 2014 12:21 AM
Subject: Music for the Service of Sunday, September 21, 2014

The opening hymn is Hymn No. 266 by Brian A. Wren, “Thank You, God, for Water, Soil, and Air.”

                Note: The hymn number is missing in the bulletin.

The Rev. Brian A. Wren was born in 1936 and is Emeritus Professor of Worship at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.  He is a minister of the United Reform Church (UK).  His wife, the Rev. Susan Healfield, is a minister in the United Methodist Church.  So Rev. Wren says he is “reformed by tradition, Presbyterian by membership, and United Methodist by marriage.”  You can see and hear Brian Wren make some very short remarks on the subject of hymn writing here:   (59 seconds long).
   Brian Wren and wife, Susan Heafield, November 2011

The tune is AMSTEIN, composed by John Weaver in 1988.  John Weaver was born in Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, in 1937 and retired as Director of Music and Organist at Madison Avenue Presbyterian  Church (NYC) in May 2005.  He was chair of the Organ Department at Julliard from 1987 to 2004.

John and I visited Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, many years ago.  The train station sign still used that name, but the village had changed its name to Jim Thorpe.  (Jim Thorpe, whose Native American name was Wa-Tho-Huk, was a baseball star, a winner of gold medals in the 1912 Olympics, and then a football star.)

You can hear the hymn sung here:

       “Thank You, God, for Water, Soil, and Air,” by Brian Wren, tune AMSTEIN by John Weaver

The second hymn is Hymn No. 200, “To Bless the Earth,” which is based on Psalm 65.

Psalm 65:9 You visit the earth and give it rain;
you make it rich and fertile
with overflowing streams full of water.
You provide grain for them,
for you prepare the earth to yield its crops.
65:10 You saturate its furrows,
and soak its plowed ground.
With rain showers you soften its soil,
and make its crops grow.
65:11 You crown the year with your good blessings,
and you leave abundance in your wake.
65:12 The pastures in the wilderness glisten with moisture,
and the hills are clothed with joy.
65:13 The meadows are clothed with sheep,
and the valleys are covered with grain.
They shout joyfully, yes, they sing.

The tune, CHRISTUS, DER IST MEIN LEBEN (“Christ Is My Life”), was composed Melchior Vulpius.   Vulpius was his Latin name.  He was actually German and his true surname was “Fuchs."

Melchior Vulpius was born about 1560-1570 in Thuringia (Germany) and died 07 Aug 1615 at Weimar.

The melody was used repeatedly by Bach (BWV 95, Mvt. 1; BWV 281; BWV 282; BWV 1112) in his compositions, and was also used by Pachelbel, Telemann, Walther, Max Reger, and many others.

You can hear it sung beautifully in German, a cappella, here:

       Go to bottom of first column and click the play icon.  You get to hear the first minute.

The closing hymn is Hymn No. 256, “Let the Whole Creation Cry,” by Stopford A. Brooke.

Stopford Augustus Brooke was born in the Glendoen rectory in Donegal, Ireland, on 14 Nov 1832.  He died on 18 Mar 1916.  He was ordained in 1857 in the Church of England and was a “chaplain in ordinary” to Queen Victoria.  (That means he answered to the Queen, not to the Archbishop of Canterbury.)  When Stopford Brooke was 48 he decided he no longer believed in the tenets of the Church of England, seceded from the church, and became an unofficial Unitarian minister at Bloomsbury until he retired in 1896.

You can read some of Stopford Brooke’s sermons here: The Early Life of Jesus, Sermons Preached at Bedford Chapel, Bloomsbury, by Rev. Stopford A. Brooke, M.A. (published in 1888).
The tune is SALZBURG (1678) by Jakob Hintze (1622-1703), harmonized by J. S. Bach.
Jakob Hintze was known as an excellent contrapuntist.
       “Let the Whole Creation Cry” by Rev. Stopford Brooke, sung in 2013 at First Plymouth Church of Lincoln, Nebraska

Here’s just the tune, on piano:

       SALZBURG by Jakob Hintze, as harmonized by J. S. Bach, on piano

Instrumental Music

Prelude: “Diapason Dialogue” by Gordon Young

       "Diapason Dialogue"" by Gordon Young

The diapasons are a kind of organ pipe.  They are frequently included in the façades of pipe organs, often painted and decorated.  In Old South Haven’s Hinners organ, the diapason rank of pipes is an open 8’ diapason stop.  These are “flue pipes.” They don’t attempt to sound like some other instrument.

Flue pipes are sometimes called “labial pipes” as the sound is produced by the air passing a sharp lip, just as in a whistle.

Flue pipes sound like this: Diapason, 16’ + 8’ + 4’

While reed pipes sound like this: Oboe, 8’

“Diapason” is the term used in English organs.  German organs call the same stop a “Prinzipal” or “Principle” stop.

The Hinner’s organ has both metal and wood flue pipes.  The wood flue pipes are used in the pedal division and are stopped rather than open.  The rank is called the 16’ Bourdon.  “Bourdon” is derived from the French word for bumble-bee.  These pipes have a “deep, dark, and penetrating tone” that can be easily heard.

We heard “Diapason Dialogue” at the service on July 6, where it was used for the postlude.

Offertory: “Offertory in E Flat” by Ludwig Van Beethoven (arr. Franklin L. Ritter)

I couldn’t find this piece, but I did find this short piece, “Toccata Festiva” by Franklin Ritter, which is entertaining, and you can watch his feet:

       “Toccata Festiva,” played by Marko Hakanpää at the Grönlund organ of St. Michael's Church in Turku, Finland.

Postlude: “Voluntary in E Flat” by Jonathan Battishill (b. May 1738, London; d. 10 Dec 1801). 

In addition to being a composer, Battishill was a concert tenor.  At age 9, he sang in the boys choir of St. Paul’s, then he studied organ and singing.  In 1756, he was the harpsichordist at the Covent Garden Theatre.  He served as organist at St. Clement Eastcheap and Christ Church Newgate Steet.  His wife’s desertion in 1776 caused him to fall into a deep depression which declined into alcoholism. He never received an appointment as organist at St. Paul’s, as had been expected.  He composed very little after 1775, but before that date, he composed much theater music, music for a pantomime, a three-act opera, some songs, including “Kate of Aberdeen,” madrigals, canticles, hymns, and anthems, including a work sung at his own funeral, “Call to Remembrance.”

I couldn’t find the “Voluntary in E Flat.”  I did find a “Voluntary in B flat”

       “Voluntary in B Flat” by Battishill played by Rhys Arvidson on an 1896 pipe organ at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Williamstown, Melbourne, Australia

and this: “Two Pieces for Organ” by Jonathan Battishill:

       “Two Pieces for Organ”


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