"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
Welsh hymn tunes form the basis of Three Preludes for Organ (1920) by Ralph Vaughan Williams. This Sunday morning, two of these beloved melodies will be offered.
"Rhosymedre" (sometimes simply entitled "lovely") is named after a village in Wales where the composer Father John David Edwards served as vicar from 1843 until his death in 1885. Williams' tender organ setting of the tune is a staple of the organ repertoire and famously was performed at the funeral of Princess Diana and the wedding of her two sons, Harry and William.
"Hyfrydol" is the tune of one of Christendom's most recognized texts, "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling." The exuberant rendition which closes the Welsh collection employs pleasantly dissonant harmonies displaying grandeur and gravitas with the well-known hymn tune clearly heard above it all.
At the Musical Offering, flutist Aaron McGrew plays the famous "Meditation" from the opera "Thais" by Jules Massenet. Originally scored for violin and orchestra, the work serves as a reflection where upon Thais, at the behest of a concerned monk, ponders the decision to leave her hedonistic life behind and instead follow God.
The 6:00 p.m. service also welcomes flutist Aaron McGrew as we together offer songs of life, love, and light.