Two famous cousins from the Baroque era frame the morning services with chorale preludes based on two well-known hymn tunes.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) composed several settings of "Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier" (Dearest Jesus, we are here). This week, we hear BWV 731, the ornamented four-voice chorale setting with soprano played with the right hand, alto and tenor in the left, and bass in the pedal. The Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748) setting of "Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen" (Praise to the Lord, the Almighty) also utilizes four voices but in a quasi-fugal style. Fragments of the hymn tune become the unifying motive throughout the brief chorale prelude.with large reeds in the pedal exclaiming the jubilant melody in its entirety.
During the 9:00 a.m. communion service, a setting of the 13th century Eucharistic hymn by Thomas Aquinas, "Adoro te devote" (I devoutly adore you), will be offered by 20th century British-Canadian composer Healey Willan.
At 11:00 a.m., the Chancel Choir sings the evocative anthem "I Believe" by composer Mark Miller. The text is based on an anonymous poem found written on a cellar wall in Cologne, where jewish citizens purportedly spent years in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. The paraphrased text reads: "I believe in the sun, even when it's not shining. I believe in love, even when I don't feel it. I believe in God, even when God is silent." May these words of faith, hope, and comfort empower us in these difficult days as well.
At 6:00 p.m., Bobby and Blair are joined by resident Plymouth ukulele guru Stuart Yoshida, bassist Peter Strening and steel guitarist Chris Kennison for an eclectic selection of spiritual and sacred songs featuring a taste of the "Sacred Steel" tradition. Come and experience this unconventional service of evening prayer and unique sounds!
Each week, Director of Music Mark Heiskanen writes a Music Minute previewing the upcoming Sunday's musical offerings and occasionally opines on other music-related topics.
We are blessed by an engaging music program at Plymouth!
Mark Heiskanen has been Plymouth's Director of Music since September 2017. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Mark has experience and great interest in a diverse range of musical styles including jazz, rock, musical theatre, and gospel. He is thrilled to serve a congregation and staff that values diversity and inclusion in all facets of life.