Sunday 4th June - Pentecost
Prelude: Veni Creator – Nicolas de Grigny (1671-1703)
Communion: Nun bitten wir den Heilgen Geist (BuxWV 209) – Dieterich Buxtehude (1637-1707)
Postlude: Paean – Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
Nicolas de Grigny died young and left behind a single collection of organ music (1699), which together with the work of François Couperin, represents the pinnacle of French Baroque organ tradition. Bach made a complete copy of it around 1713. The Veni Creator is a suite of five movements.
'The Pæan dates from May 1940. It takes the form of a vigorous toccata in D stemming from two contrasted themes. The first unfolds in a semiquaver stream over the initial tonic pedal Allegro sempre brio in three-four time. The second is chordal and more rhythmic and supplies the Largamente coda leading to the final major chord'. (Programme note © 1977 Felix Aprahamian)
Sunday 11th June – Trinity Sunday
Prelude: Prelude in E flat (BWV 552) – Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Communion: Slow movement from Trio Sonata no.3 (BWV 527) - Bach
Postlude: Fugue in E flat ('St. Anne', BWV 552) – Bach
The final piece of Part Three of Bach’s publication 'Clavierübung' (Keyboard Practice) has a subject which resembles William Croft’s hymn tune 'St. Anne' hence the English nickname for this piece. It has Trinitarian symbolism on many levels: three flats in the key signature three sections the lengths of which are related to each other by a factor of three three different time signatures related to each other by a factor of three and three fugal subjects which combine perfectly with each other - three in one! This fugue has been described as probably the most perfect depiction of the Trinity in all of Western Art.
Sunday 18th June – Pentecost 2
RSCM Music Sunday
Prelude: On wings of song – Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47), arr. Ernest Haywood (played on the piano)
Communion: Elegy in memory of Gerald H. Knight – Martin How (b.1931)
Postlude: Songs of Praise – Robert Prizeman (b.1952)
Music Sunday is the Royal School of Church Music's annual celebration of music in worship, hence the musical connections of the hymns and instrumental music today.
'On wings of song' is a poem by Heinrich Heine. It was published in 1827. Felix Mendelssohn set it to music as the second of his 'Six songs for voice and piano' (Opus 34-2, 1834). Ernest Haywood's arrangement for solo piano was published in 1931.
Gerald Knight (1908–1979), organist of Canterbury Cathedral, became Director of the RSCM between 1954 and 1973. Martin How, son of the late Most Revd J C H How, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church between 1946 and 1952, spent most of his career at the RSCM, and was the principal developer of the Chorister Training Scheme (now called 'Voice for Life').
Prizeman's toccata was written in 1986 as the theme music for the BBC's 'Songs of Praise', replacing a similarly-named piece by Herbert Chappell. Prizeman founded the choir 'Libera' in 1995.
Sunday 25th June – Pentecost 3
Prelude: Prelude and Fugue in G major ('Well Tempered Clavier' Book 1 no.15) – Bach (played on the piano)
Communion: Prelude in E major ('Well Tempered Clavier' Book 1 no.9) - Bach
Postlude: Prelude and Fugue in G major (BWV 541) – Bach
A trio of joyful Bach pieces based on the ascending major triad (think of the beginning of 'Let all the world in every corner sing').
Sunday 2nd July – Pentecost 4
Prelude: Allabreve in D major (BWV 589) - Bach
Communion: Dona nobis pacem (Mass in B minor) - Bach
Postlude: Fantasia in G major (BWV 572) – Bach
'Alla breve' is a musical metre of two minim beats in the bar, designated by a time signature resembling a C with a line through it. It can also be written as 2/2. All three Bach pieces today have this time signature. The final chorus of the B minor Mass started life as the opening chorus of Cantata 29, a secular cantata, written for the 1731 Leipzig city council election!
Sunday 9th July – Pentecost 5
Prelude: Rejoice greatly ('Messiah') – George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Communion: He shall feed his flock ('Messiah') - Handel
Postlude: His yoke is easy ('Messiah') – Handel
Handel's interpretation of extracts from the Bible readings for Pentecost 5: 'Rejoice greatly' from the first reading from Zechariah, 'He shall feed his flock' and 'His yoke is easy' from the Gospel.
Sunday 16th July – Pentecost 6
Early Scottish keyboard music
Prelude: Pavan: Johnson's Delight – Edward Johnson, arr. Duncan Burnett (fl.1630s)
Communion: Kinloch his Lang pavane (beginning only) – William Kinloch (16th cent.)
Postlude: Galliard of the Lang paven – William Kinloch
In contrast to the embarrassment of riches in the English virginal school, Scotland has very little surviving repertoire. William Kinloch worked during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Duncan Burnett, a Glasgow composer, during her son's reign. 'Johnson's Delight' also appears in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book in an arrangement by William Byrd.
Sunday 23rd July – Pentecost 7
Organ music of Orlando Gibbons
Prelude: In nomine– Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
Communion: A Fancy in A re– Gibbons
Postlude: A Fancy in Gamut flatt – Gibbons
Between 1596 and 1598 Gibbons sang in the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, where his brother Edward Gibbons (1568–1650), eldest of the four sons of William Gibbons, was master of the choristers. Orlando achieved the degree of Bachelor of Music in 1606. That same year he married Elizabeth Patten, daughter of a Yeoman of the Vestry, and they went on to have seven children (Gibbons himself was the seventh of 10 children).
King James I [of England, VI of Scotland] appointed him a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, where he served as an organist from at least 1615 until his death. In 1623 he became senior organist at the Chapel Royal, with Thomas Tomkins as junior organist. He also held positions as keyboard player in the privy chamber of the court of Prince Charles (later King Charles I), and organist at Westminster Abbey. He died at age 41 in Canterbury of apoplexy, and was buried in Canterbury Cathedral. His wife, Elizabeth, died a little over a year later, in her mid-30s, leaving Orlando's eldest brother, Edward, to care for the orphaned children. Of these children only the eldest son, Christopher Gibbons, was to become a musician. (extracted from Wikipedia)
Sunday 30th July - Pentecost 8
Prelude: A Fancy in C fa ut – Gibbons
Communion: Fantasia – Gibbons
Postlude: A Fancy for a double Orgaine – Gibbons
A 'double organ' was merely an organ with two manuals, like our instrument at St. Mary's.