This Sunday morning we hear two excerpts from a staple of the organ repertory, Suite gothique.
The four-movement work was composed by Léon Boëllmann in 1895, just two years before his untimely death at the age of 35. While greatly influenced by contemporaries César Franck and Camille Saint-Saëns, Boëllmann's compositional style also channeled post-Romantic sensibilities in his sonorous phrasing and harmonies. The beautiful "Prière à Notre-Dame" opens the service
with "Menuet gothique" closing worship on a majestic note.
The Summer Choir returns for the last time this season with a reading of "Song of Remembrance" by Tom Fettke. This communion anthem is a paraphrase of Jesus' words to us from I Corinthians 11: 24-26 "Do this in remembrance of me."
The reading of Psalms 42 and 43 this weekend evoke images of nature and reveals our desire to be led by the Light into eventual joy.
A whimsical setting of the folk hymn "All Things Bright and Beautiful" by Emma Lou Diemer begins morning worship. Those gathered for Summer Choir (it could even be you!) will offer a simple arrangement of Natalie Sleeth's classic anthem "Hymn of Promise". The text encourages us to have hope in God's design in nature and in our own lives. Echoing the text of the closing hymn's refrain ("We shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace..."), 20th century French composer Jean Langlais' "Chant de Joie" (Song of Joy) closes the service on an exciting and triumphant note.
At 6:00, Bobby and Blair will be joined by the versatile Alan Skowron on guitar.
Two excerpts from Romantic-era organ sonatas, both second in the composers’ organ sonata catalogue, will be heard this Sunday morning. “Grave and Allegro” from Organ Sonata No. 2 in A Flat Major (Fantasie-Sonate) by German composer Josef Rheinberger opens the morning service. Rheinberger composed twenty organ sonatas, all in different keys. He intended to write four more to cover all twenty-four major and minor key signatures but was prevented to do so by declining health. The sonatas pay homage to the counterpoint and classical form of Bach and also to the spirit of 19th century composers such as Brahms and Mendelssohn. The penultimate movement from Mendelssohn’s second organ sonata will then appropriately close the service, “Allegro maestoso.”
The Summer Choir begins their season anew this week with John Rutter’s original setting of the hymn text “All Things Bright and Beautiful." You are all welcome to join us…really! Rehearsal will begin at 9:15 a.m. this Sunday morning. All that is required is a love of singing. I hope to see you in the chancel!
At 6:00, we get to experience “Electric Hymnody.” Guitarist Alan Skowron will plug in and, along with vocalist Adrienne Harlow and friends of Plymouth, lead an electric spin on songs and musical offerings: jangly and perhaps a bit rockin’.
Director of Music
As always, here is a preview of this Sunday’s music.
We’ll be treated to a bluegrass style of worship at Rolland Moore Park this weekend. Thank you to Ben and Eli Slocumb for assembling a crew of talented musicians to lead our hymns and offer songs by such as artists as The Stanley Brothers and Mississippi John Hurt. It will be fun!
And looking ahead to these hazy, lazy summer months, Summer Choir will return for the following 10:00 a.m. Sunday services: June 17, July 8, and August 12.
All are welcome! Rehearsals will be just prior to the services at 9:15 a.m. Anthems will be very easy and if we must adjust, we will. If you enjoy singing and wish to have a very different view of the sanctuary for even just a brief moment, come and join us.
Hope to see you in the chancel!
Mark Heiskanen Director of Music
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.