Recitals and Sacred Concerts DURING Festal Seasons -
  • It's not news that society at large has more or less turned Christmas into The Holidays, and legion are those who actually have the unhappy cruelty to bristle if one wishes them a 'merry Christmas'. While we Christians have not abandoned ship, we do not all celebrate Christmas (and Easter) as we ought. For too many, Christmas is over in a day or two or three. Fewer and fewer are still celebrating when Epiphany arrives. And Presentation, the end of the Christmas cycle? What is that! And how many have all their Christmas parties, social events, and choral presentations, and school pageants during the preceding penitential season? How many are presenting vespers and evensong, sacred choral concerts and such when Christmas and Easter actually come. How many mark the joyous seasons themselves with recitals and choral events - and parties. Very few, I think. When Christmas and Easter come the special music stops. This regimen is, obviously, quite backwards from what it ought to be. And, casting a long glance back over history, it is glaringly eccentric.

    I propose that, while we will witness Bach passions, Brahms requiems, Tallis Lamentations, and other musical wonders appropriate to Lent, that we will make an equal effort to fill the Easter season itself with a plethora of celebratory sacred concerts and recitals. I have always tried to do this, sometimes more successfully than others. Too, I traditionally have played an Eastertide organ recital, which has been well attended and appreciated. For the past number of years this recital has alternated between Walsingham and St Basil's Chapel, UST. This year it will be at Walsingham, at 4.00pm the Fifth Sunday of Easter.

    I invite challenge others to join in filling Eastertide with even more glorious music than that which they did during Lent. Fill the Queen of Seasons with gorgeous music. Do any here have such plans that they would like to share with us?

    Here is the program for Walsingham's Eastertide recital of renaissance and baroque organ music, with alternatim chant by gentlemen of the cathedral choir (there will also be several Eastertide solemn evensongs at Walsingham).

    1. Praeludium, in E-minor (die Kleine) - - - Nicolaus Bruhns

    2. Kyrie cunctipotens* - - - Anonymous, early XVIth century, published by Pierre Attaingnant

    3. Voluntary, final of C (Paris, Res. MS 1122, pp. 98-100) - - - Thomas Tomkins

    4. Magnificat Septimi Toni,* from Salmodia para el Magnificat - - - Antonio de Cabezon

    5. Ciacona, in C-minor (BuxWV 159) - - - Dietrich Buxtehude

    6. Gloria,* from Messe du VIIIme ton - - - Gaspard Corrette

    7. Toccata, in D-minor (FbWV 102), Libro di 1649 - - - Johann Jakob Froberger

    8. Chorale partita on Jesu, meine Freude** (LV 2) - - - Johann Gottfried Walther

    9. Praeludium und Fuge, in C-minor (BWV 546) - - - Johann Sebastian Bach

    10. The recital will close with an encore, all singing the hymn, 'Jesus Lives, Thy Terrors Now' sung to St Albinus (No. 88, The Hymnal 1940) - this is my favourite Easter hymn.
    It will be preluded with an improvisation on the tune, plus an improvisation between sts. 4 and 5.
    (My other favourite Easter hymn is St John Damascene's '"Welcome, Happy Morning", Age to Age Shall Say'.)

    * Works marked with an asterisk are performed with alternatim chant
    ** Double asterisk indicates a work preceded by its chorale
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,011
    Thank you MJO, and I wish I could attend your recital!
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn