Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was an Italian composer, virtuoso violinist, instructor, and priest whose influence on composers was widespread even in his day. At this Sunday's morning services, we will hear his Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins, Op. 3, No. 11 with violinists Harmony Tucker and Katrina Nelson. The work is one of twelve concertos published in 1711 originally entitled L'estro armonico (the harmonic inspiration). The D minor concerto was highly revered by contemporary J.S. Bach and transcribed for organ as Organ Concerto in D Minor, BWV 596. Bach transcribed several other Vivaldi works as well. At the 11:00 a.m. service, I will play a transcription of the final movement of Vivaldi's Winter from The Four Seasons as we anticipate the cold days ahead.
At 6:00 p.m. Bobby and vocalist Hannah Walters will offer a contemplative jazz-inflected musical experience on this First Sunday of Advent. Hannah is organist and Administrator of Music and Education at Peace With Christ Lutheran Church here in Fort Collins.
This Sunday morning, you will hear three settings of the classic hymn Now Thank We All Our God from three very different perspectives. The Prelude is a brief fanfare rendition of the 17th century tune by composer Charles Callahan, complete with jazz harmonies. During communion at 9:00 a.m., a chorale prelude by a contemporary of J.S. Bach, Georg Friedrich Kauffmann, will be offered and composed only a few decades after the original tune's creation. And finally at the Postlude, a tour de force arrangement by late Romantic/early 20th century German composer Sigfrid Karg-Elert.
The Chancel Choir will sing Mozart's sublime Laudate Dominum, the fifth movement from Vesperae solennes de confessore ("Solemn Vespers for a Confessor") of 1780 at 11:00 a.m. The soloist is soprano Blair Carpenter, who will also join Bobby Brannock as cantor for the 6:00 p.m. service.
Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) will be the focus of the instrumental music this Sunday morning. His compositional style has been described as "the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them." The first two movements from Dvořák's Violin Sonatina, Opus 100 will be offered by violinist Harmony Tucker. The work was primarily composed in New York City in 1893, the last chamber work composed during his trip abroad. The Sonatina was catered to the ears of youth. He wrote, "It is intended for youths (dedicated to my two children), but even grown-ups, adults, should be able to converse with it..." Movement one, Allegro risoluto, exhibits a clear classical form with additional inspiration derived from Indian music and African-American spirituals, a characteristic of his chamber works. The second movement, Larghetto, was composed quickly from notes written on his shirt sleeve while in Minneapolis. This slow movement hearkens back to a longing for Dvořák's homeland. The composer was also an organist and did write a few works for the instrument. The Fughetta in D Major will conclude our morning services.
At 11:00, the Chancel Choir will offer an excerpt from Handel's timeless oratorio Messiah in But Thanks Be to God.
At 6:00, Bobby and cantor Blair Carpenter, bassist Peter Strening, flutist Doti Strening, and guitarist Alan Skowron will lead you in song and worship.
The imaginative and often quirky organ works of Daniel Pinkham will be represented this Sunday morning. He studied composition with such notables as Arthur Honegger, Samuel Barber and Nadia Boulanger. From the late 1950's until his death in 2006, Pinkham taught at the New England Conservatory of Music and was organist for King's Chapel in Boston His music tends to be formal in design but with a distinct harmonic language that can be dissonant yet remain tethered to tonality. A partIta on the hymn tune SLANE opens the services. SLANE was originally an old Irish folk tune and was set to the text "Be Thou My Vision" in 1927, as found in our hymnals. The Partita on SLANE is a set of six short variations on the tune with the melody displaced in the texture and also used as the basis for a gigue and aria. The work is from Pinkham's collection Music for a Quiet Sunday, commissioned in 1998 and debuted by concert organist James David Christie on the modest Stoneham organ. The final piece of the collection, Festive March, modeled after a French sortie, will close our services. At 11:00 a.m. the Chancel Choir offers Mark Hayes' In the Morning, Joy, an anthem expressing the hope and optimism of a new day.
At the 6:00 p.m. service, Bobby will be joined by cantor Blair Carpenter, bassist Peter Strening, and resident ukulele guru Stuart Yoshida to lead you in worship and song.
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.