Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (1678-1741) wore many hats in his lifetime: a teacher, virtuoso violinist, a Roman Catholic priest, and a renowned composer admired throughout Europe. He wrote sacred choral music and over forty operas but is best known for his violin concertos, particularly Four Seasons, excerpts of which have been presented on several occasions in our services. Despite his fame and success, Vivaldi died in poverty much as his contemporary and admirer J.S. Bach would several years thereafter. Music still loved and cherished centuries later.
Vivaldi composed a set of six cello sonatas with continuo between 1720 and 1730 and published in 1740 in Paris. This Sunday, excerpts from Sonata No. 3 in A Minor will be offered by cellist Heidi Mausbach.
An unbelievable message from a celestial visitor. So ridiculous, one would laugh. Sarah did. A musical missive — an aria — and two songs of whimsy.
An expressive solo voice on the Cornet registration guides Paul Manz's "Aria" for the organ. Accompanied by lush yet insistent chordal clusters, the work merges into an imitative 'B' section before returning to the opening soprano melody.
Flutist Rebecca Quillen offers "No. 7 in D Major", an excerpt from Twelve Fantasias for Solo Flute by Georg Philipp Telemann. This capricious unaccompanied work is reminiscent of laughter in my view. A frolicking adventure for the ears.
You can't dance to it but the 7/4 meter can stir the soul. A "Toccata in Seven" by famed British composer John Rutter closes the service in a joyful blast, albeit asymmetrically.
Songs of nature and sustenance — and a benediction — greet you at this Sunday morning's 10:00 a.m. livestreamed outdoor service.
Due to popular demand (seriously!), Blair Carpenter and I will again offer Kacey Musgraves' "Rainbow." An anthem embraced by the LGBTQ community upon its release in 2018, the song has become notable in this pandemic era as a source of solace and comfort.
"Heart of the Heartland" is the title track from Peter Ostroushko's album released in 1995. This instrumental evokes an easy Americana vibe sure to offer a moment of repose and reflection following the sermon. Banjoist Bruce Ronda and bassist Peter Strenning will join in.
Finally, we offer a countrified rendition of the 19th century hymn "God Be With You" to close the service. This slice of Americana also serves as a fond farewell to staff member Mark Lee as he heads off soon to his next call. And adventure.
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.