Two brief versets on the Gaelic tune "Bunessan" by Richard Proulx accompanies your morning coffee this Sunday morning. The melody, most associated with the lyrics "Morning Has Broken" (thank you, Cat), is initially presented in a slightly jazzy chorale setting. Following, the tune transforms into a dream-like state: a meditative repose.
A tintinnabulation ensues courtesy of the Plymouth Ringers! Sure to keep your attention, my musical setting of this term coined by poet Edgar Allen Poe in his work "The Bells" relates joy and alertness, if somewhat ambiguously...
The ecstatically triumphant "Chant de Joie" (Song of Joy) by Jean Langlais closes the service in no uncertain terms however: in hope, in faith, and, oh yes, joy.
It is a Sunday of "musical reunions" as we enter this stewardship season.
The organ returns! As the result of patience and due diligence, we have the privilege to hear this instrument roar and purr in the sanctuary once again.
A lively and eccentric "Scherzo" by British composer Alan Ridout gets us started. The playful yet austere "Praeludium" by German composer Hermann Schroeder closes the service with a Neo-Baroque flair.
Members of the Plymouth Ringers once again grace the sanctuary with my minimalist arrangement of the "Prayer of St. Francis", also known as "Make Me a Channel of Your Peace." While some of our beasts will be blessed following the service, let us be blessed by the presence of these folks and their musical offering.
On this Transfiguration Sunday, the last Sunday of the Epiphany season, compositions from the French masters will be offered. At the Prelude, movement one from Sonata in A Minor, Opus 60, the "Allegro marcato", by Marcel Dupré will be played featuring cellist Heidi Mausbach. Composed in 1964, this excerpt exhibits a fine example of Dupré's chromatic harmonic language and sense of drama. At the Postlude, Litanies by Jehan Alain sends us out into the world and foreshadows the Lenten observance ahead. His performance instruction at the top of the score speaks to us in this time of the liturgical year: When the Christian soul is in distress and cannot find any fresh words to implore God’s mercy, it repeats the same prayer unceasingly with overwhelming faith. The limit of reason is past. It is faith alone which propels its ascent.
The Plymouth Ringers offer "New Life" by Matt Johnson. Joined by cellist Heidi Mausbach, the work was written in honor of the birth of the composer's son.
The Chancel Choir sings Ola Gjeilo's "Prelude", a selection from our upcoming March 16 performance at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City.
At 6:00 p.m., music of dreams and transformation by Coldplay and David Bowie will be offered. Cantor Blair Carpenter, guitarist Alan Skowron and bassist Peter Strening join us.
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.