• I am looking for suggestions to give to a superb pianist (Julliard trained and a long concert career) to play for a Catholic gathering. On our campus (evangelical college) our Newman Club is allowed to hold 6 chapel services of our own (students must attend 12 each semester). As of last year we are not permitted to have a Mass, but we can have a Liturgy of the Word. I have been bringing in musicians to play a contemplative work after the LoW portion concludes and before we recite the Lord's Prayer. I already know the Messiaen Vingt Regards sur L’Enfant Jesus but are there other high quality piano works that would serve for this?

    Thanks!
    Mike
  • JDE
    Posts: 584
    How about some of the Liszt transcriptions of sacred works, such as the Arcadelt Ave Maria?

    Then again, there's that piece in the Années de Pélérinage called Saint Francis of Paola Preaching to the Waves. Incredibly difficult, of course, but there is at least a chance the pianist might have played it before. It's not too much of a showpiece, at least by Lisztian standards.

    Another beautiful piece, also by Liszt, is Bénédiction de Dieu dans la Solitude. Gorgeous. It's good Liszt was so devoted.

    I have occasionally played some not-officially-devotional pieces by Rachmaninoff, such as the Preludes in D, E flat or G Flat (the former from op. 23, and the last the opening number from op. 32), or the one in E for more exuberant occasions. The E major prelude is pretty unmistakable in its depiction of bells. That was written around the same time Rachmaninoff was working on his secular cantata The Bells to Balmont's translation of the eponymous poem by Edgar Allan Poe. Coincidence? I think not . . .

    This is a deep and broad subject. Nearly anything by Bach seems automatically devotional to me, but maybe that just reflects my hero-worship of the composer. But I appreciate the question because, if you're going to have piano, you might as well go high-class rather than the latest transcription of On Eagle's Wings.
  • JDE
    Posts: 584
    Oh, and another one -- Schubert's Impromptu in G Flat from D. 899 (aka op. 90). If he didn't intend it as a prayer, I don't see how he could have made it more prayer-like.
  • JDE
    Posts: 584
    And if you have a good while for a meditation, you could play a movement from Schubert's piano sonatas in G (D. 894) or B flat (D. 960). But the first movement of each of those is a good fifteen or twenty minutes.
  • Yurodivi,

    Thanks. I'll put those in the list. I don't think I'll ask for a showy piece, but you offered some good suggestions.