Songs of the Spirit for this Pentecost Sunday.
Subtle rhythms reminiscent of a tango gently percolate in Mark Sedio's setting of the hymn tune "Down Ampney" at the Prelude. Ralph Vaughan Williams composed the tune named after the village of his birth to the Pentecost text, "Come Down, O Love Divine." The work easily conforms to the arranger's performance instruction of playing it "Unhurried, with sultry elegance."
Johann Sebastian Bach's concise yet glorious choral prelude on "Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist" (Come, God Creator, Holy Ghost) closes the service. Based on a 16th century Lutheran hymn with texts supplied by Martin Luther himself, the two-part BWV 667 is from the "Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes," a set of mature works by the composer. The first section has the melody set in the soprano and is also the abbreviated version found in Bach's "Orgelbüchlein" (little organ book.) The second section places the cantus firmus in the pedal while a flurry of notes streaming like the wind flows overhead on the manual.
Members of the Chancel Choir greet Pentecost Sunday with the choral anthem, "Come, Gracious Spirit" by Alfred Fedak. The folk tune "Danby" is treated sensitively in this simple yet artful two-part arrangement. This musical offering also marks the first time in this pandemic that choral music has been recorded live in the sanctuary.
Come join us for the live in-person 6:00 p.m. "eclectic" services beginning this Pentecost Sunday! It is such an appropriate time by chance that we would be able to come together in-person after so many months away on the "birthday" of the Church. Songs of the Spirit will continue as well as songs of hope and healthy change by musical artists Kacey Musgraves, Horace Silver, and David Bowie. "Veteran" 6:00 p.m. bassist Peter Strening joins cantor Blair Carpenter and I for this exciting and blessed opportunity as we near the end of this trying pandemic.
Veni Creator Spiritus. Come, Creator Spirit.
This 9th century text is attributed Rabanus Maurus, a Frankish Benectine monk who was later to become the Archbishop of Mainz. When sung, it is traditionally to Gregorian Chant and prescribed for the feast of Pentecost and additional select occasions. The tune has been set by a myriad of composers over the centuries including French Baroque organist and composer Nicolas de Grigny.
From his singular collection of organ works Premier livre d'orgue (1699), two versets from "Veni Creator" will be heard this Pentecost Sunday. The opening "En Taille a 5" is set for five voices with the chant melody played in the tenor ("taille") on a prominent pedal reed stop. The last movement, "Dialogue sur les grands jeux," displays the characteristic nasally French reeds in an opening and closing overture with a sprightly gigue between.
Violinist Amy Welsh offers the "Allegro con brio" from Violin Sonata in D Major by George Frideric Handel. Composed in 1749-50, this was Handel's final piece of chamber music before his death in 1757. An expression of joy in D major: the key most associated by Baroque composers as the "Key of God."
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.