Compared with last Sunday, things may seem a bit simple this week, but there is still plenty of music to get excited about. The organ prelude, communion piece, and postlude are all by composers of the French Baroque period (oddly called the "French Classical" period when referring to organ music). Both the prelude and communion pieces feature a solo sound known as a "tierce." This sound is made up of a combination of stops including mutation stops. The mutations (so called because the pipes are of fractional lengths) are strange sounding sometimes, but in this music, they blend perfectly to create a shimmering tone infused with all the grace one would expect from 17th century French music. The postlude is in the form of a dialogue - another French form that features juxtaposition of contrasting sounds. Listen as two divisions of the organ are played separately and together to create different dynamics.
Christ as the way to God is a central theme of Sunday's service, so this will be reflected musically in the introit and choir anthem. The introit is a simple, four part piece that sets words drawn directly from the Gospel reading, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. I am the way, and the truth, and the life." The choir anthem will be a setting of Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation by Dale Wood (1934-2003). While the text will be familiar to you, the arrangement is entirely different from the hymn tune we use. For me, it almost has a medieval flair reminiscent of ancient tunes like the Agincourt Hymn. It is interesting, however, that Dale Wood was certainly not a medieval composer! Rather, he was a pretty famous composer of church music from California. His career encompassed many achievements related to church music including his work as director of the choir school at Grace Cathedral (Episcopal) in San Francisco, CA. Wood's music is loved by many congregations and musicians - listen for more of it here at Christ Church in the future.
I would be remiss to not thank everyone who made last Sunday's service possible. Our celebration, confirmations, and dedication of the steeple was a joy to be a part of, and I am grateful to our parishioners, clergy, staff, and musicians for coming together in such a powerful way. It has been a very busy music season, but our choir and instrumentalists have risen to the occasion, and I am very grateful for that. While the Cathedral Celebration was the final event listed in our 2016-2017 Music Season booklet, we are still going strong through Pentecost and Trinity Sunday. Come join us as we finish off the remaining Sundays of Easter and celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit in a few weeks.