What's in a name?
Musical titles that simply state their intended purpose or form can come across as somewhat lazy and, well, boring. Titles such as "Prelude in E Major," "Postlude in D MInor," and — wait for it—"Offertory" are classic examples heard in a church setting. But what if these seemingly banal titles offer a vital clue to the composition's reason for even being and deepens the listening experience? Well, that's different then!
"Opening" from Glassworks (1981) by Philip Glass begins the morning services in a lush inviting cascade of hypnotic polyrhythms. Glass intended the six movement chamber work for a general audience— accessible pop-oriented art music suited for the masses.
The Musical Offering is my minimalist arrangement of the communion hymn "Come With Joy" played by the Plymouth Ringers. The joyful treatment of this tune from the Southern Harmony (1835) recalls the message of unity and love in verse 3: "As Christ breaks bread, and bids us share, each proud division ends. The love that made us, makes us one, and strangers now are friends."
"Festival Voluntary" (published in 1958) by Flor Peeters is an excursion into the classic English cathedral tradition. A prominent Belgian organ pedagogue and recitalist, his compositions often employed characteristics of Renaissance music and contemporary polytonality and polyrhythms. This more straightforward work was dedicated to his close friend Reverend Father Canon Titus Timmerman.
At 6:00 p.m., cantor Lucas Jackson joins us along with minimalist piano offerings by composers Philip Glass and Michael Nyman.
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.