An American and a Welshman.
"Those Americans" is an abstract work from the respectable Five Dances for Organ by Calvin Hampton. While not exactly a dance in a conventional sense, the constant motion of triplet figures conveys a steady movement, a busyness. Perhaps emulating the stereotypical American in the eyes of the world as one who overworks and overachieves, losing sight of the beauty around them?
Calvin Hampton left us with many works for the church including several innovative hymns. Tenor Lucas Jackson sings "O Love of God, How Strong and True," an 1861 text by Horatius Bonar set to Hampton's DeTar, named after organist and retired Julliard professor Vernon DeTar. The scalar melody and syncopated accompaniment make for a truly unique congregational hymn.
What's in a name? Welsh organist and composer William Mathias's "Postlude" closes the service on a note of jollity and mirth. Cheerio!
At 10 a.m., we celebrate 20th century American organ composers this July 4th “pre-weekend.” Paul Manz was Cantor Emeritus at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where his legendary hymn festivals were first performed. Many of his organ improvisations have been published and elaborated upon including this week’s prelude, “Aria.” Calvin Hampton was organist/choirmaster at Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City. From 1974 - 1983, a year before his death, he performed in the country’s most famous organ recital series at Calvary, “Fridays at Midnight.” A composer known for his inventive settings of hymn tunes, an excerpt from Hampton’s Prelude and Variations on “Old Hundredth” (the tune of our familiar Doxology) will serve as the offertory. Organist David Johnson composed well over 300 pieces in his life, most for use in church. His trumpet voluntaries in particular have been widely used. “Voluntary in D Flat Major” will close this Sunday morning’s service in a suitably festive spirit.
At 6 p.m., Bobby will provide further explorations in music by American composers, both older and new.