Music for March 14, 2021 in-person service

GATHERING MUSIC: Basse et Dessus de Trompette — Clérambault

PRELUDE: Feuilles Volantes #1  – Duparc

MUSIC 1: Il Pleut Bergère — French folk song

MUSIC 2: je ne cuit pas — Machaut (1300-1377)

OFFERTORY:  May We See Your Radiant Face — HKJ (USF Chamber Singers, Dr. John Richmond, dir., recorded in 1980s)

PREPARATION FOR PRAYER: Je T’appartiens — Bécaud

POSTLUDE: Prière des Orgues (from “Mass for the Poor” )— Satie

Je ne cuit pas

As part of this week’s Lenten series on saintly figures, this week’s features Simone Weil, most of the musical selections are French in her honor. The composer of this piece, Guillaume de Machaut, lived approximately 1300-1377 and wrote some of the earliest know true polyphony. To modern ears, his music is stark and sometimes uncompromising (often different parts of the counterpoint were in perfect relationship to a longer note melody–the cantus firmus–but not to each other). I wonder how his music sounded to ear of his time when prior to him they only knew single line music or music which paralleled a single line.

Il Pleut Bergère

This French folk song is a tribute to Simone Weil as part of this week’s Lenten series of saintly figures.

Feuilles Volantes #1 – Duparc

Today’s example of French music in honor of Simone Weil, the saintly figure of center of this coming 4th Sunday of Lent service is Feuilles Volantes #1 by Henri Duparc. He’s best known for his songs. Here’s an example sung by Measha Bruggergosman, Chanson triste:. The following video is the first of a set of short piano pieces by Duparc, all very intimate.

Prière des orgues

This coming 4th Sunday of Lent the saintly figure around whom the service is centered is Simone Weil, so as you might expect the music will be all French. The composer for this morning’s post is Erik Satie. Many people have heard his Gymnopédies. A few have heard his Gnossiennes but may not know their names. But, very few know his Messe des pauvres (Mass for the Poor), As mesmerizing as Satie’s more well-known works are, the Prière des orgues (Organ Prayer) is mesmerizing in an entirely different way, and entirely different emotion, one for which I cannot find an adequate word. This recording is from my organ CD of long ago, “Time Grown Old.”

Je T’appartiens

This coming 4th Sunday of Lent the saintly figure around whom the service is centered is Simone Weil, so as you might expect the music will be all French. This beautiful pop song by Gilbert Bécaud, is one of my favorites: Je T’appartiens. I’m so fortunate–the church for whom I make music allows me to play secular as well as sacred music…it really all is sacred, isn’t it.

Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley

I keep feeling like I play this a little too “finger snappin’ cowboy Jesus whistlin’ down the road,” but one undeniable feature of African-American music, of which this song is one, is that no matter how dire the suffering expressed, there is a note—always!–of optimism.

Holy Manna

An arrangement based on the tune, Holy Manna, from Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion, compiled by William Walker and published in 1835.

Resignation

This arrangement is based on the tune, Resignation, from Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion, compiled by William Walker and published in 1835.

Sweet Rivers

Based on a hymn tune from Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion compiled by William Walker as published in 1835. (Why did my nose need to itch on the best take?!)

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