This Sunday morning we delve into the repertoire of prolific German composer Felix Mendelssohn. An organist, pianist, conductor and composer of symphonies, concertos, chamber music and keyboard and vocal works, Mendelssohn was also instrumental in reviving interest in the music of J.S. Bach, considered out of fashion in the early 19th century.
For the Prelude and Postlude, we will hear excerpts from Mendelssohn's Concerto in E Minor, Opus 64. It is his last large scale orchestral work completed in six years in 1845, two years before his death. The work is considered a standard in violin repertoire and is performed often. Violinist Katrina Nelson and pianist Judy Leatherman will present the concerto excerpts. During the Offertory, Mendelssohn's Adagio from Organ Sonata No. 1 in F Minor will be offered. His Six Organ Sonatas were also published in 1845 and form a significant contribution to the organ repertoire to this day.
At 6:00 p.m., cellist Daniel Delaney joins Bobby and Blair for an eclectic range of musical landscapes including Baroque, Celtic, gospel, and blues.
The reading of Psalms 42 and 43 this weekend evoke images of nature and reveals our desire to be led by the Light into eventual joy.
A whimsical setting of the folk hymn "All Things Bright and Beautiful" by Emma Lou Diemer begins morning worship. Those gathered for Summer Choir (it could even be you!) will offer a simple arrangement of Natalie Sleeth's classic anthem "Hymn of Promise". The text encourages us to have hope in God's design in nature and in our own lives. Echoing the text of the closing hymn's refrain ("We shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace..."), 20th century French composer Jean Langlais' "Chant de Joie" (Song of Joy) closes the service on an exciting and triumphant note.
At 6:00, Bobby and Blair will be joined by the versatile Alan Skowron on guitar.
This Sunday morning we preface the beginning of summer with the fourth movement from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, "L'estate" (Italian for Summer). This famous set of violin concerti was composed from 1716-17 and published in 1725. The Four Seasons is considered one of the earliest examples of programmatic music: music that follows a literary narrative and embodies the meaning of the prose, often quite literally. In Summer, cuckoo calls, the misery of the overbearing heat, and thunderclaps will represented within the music itself. The three movements are based on a three part sonnet, included below, most likely written by Vivaldi. Violinist Harmony Tucker will lead us into this summertime odyssey of beauty, unrelenting heat, and fierce storms threatening the European harvest.
I. Allegro non molto
Under a hard season, fired up by the sun
Languishes man, languishes the flock and burns the pine
We hear the cuckoo's voice;
then sweet songs of the turtledove and finch are heard.
Soft breezes stir the air, but threatening
the North Wind sweeps them suddenly aside.
The shepherd trembles,
fearing violent storms and his fate.
The fear of lightning and fierce thunder
Robs his tired limbs of rest
As gnats and flies buzz furiously around.
Alas, his fears were justified
The Heavens thunder and roar and with hail
Cut the head off the wheat and damages the grain.
At 6:00 p.m. Bobby will be joined by cantor Blair Carpenter, guitarist Alan Skowron, and bassist Peter Strening for a spirit-led service including arrangements by John Bell and a nod to Pride Month from singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves.
We come together as one church at the annual 10:00 a.m. outdoor service and picnic this Pentecost Sunday. Come and enjoy a slice of Americana and sing hymns to the Spirit.
Plymouth's 6:00 p.m. Service Music Coordinator Bobby Brannock will lead a band of local talent in bluegrass-inspired offerings by legendary songwriter Willie Nelson and an original composition by our banjo player, Josh Beard. Also joining Bobby will be vocalist Blair Carpenter, well known to Plymouth regulars, and fiddler Hannah Barnes, guitarist Benjamin Werling, and bassist Paul Geoghan-McWilliams.
Hope to see you all there on what will hopefully be a beautiful Colorado morning!
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.