Songs of pilgrimage and discovery—hopeful for enlightened paths ahead.
The anticipation of summertime and nature's complete transformation after the budding spring is the topic of the 16th century German chorale "Herzlich tut mich erfreuen die liebe Sommerzeit" ("My faithful heart rejoices; the summer comes at last"). Johannes Brahms' final work, the Eleven Chorale Preludes of 1896, contains a lovely and passionate setting of this tune. The melody plays clearly above a swirling accompaniment figure gently interrupted by tender fleeting interludes.
"The Road Home" by esteemed composer Stephen Paulus is based on the early American melody "Prospect" with text by notable poet Michael Dennis Browne. Originally a four part choral anthem, soprano Blair Carpenter presents this solo version with the message of a wayward traveler finding the way back to truth—home.
The lively Welsh hymn tune "CWM Rhondda" (pronounced "koom rahn-duh") is given a Handelesque treatment by famed composer of hymn tune settings Paul Manz. The ode- to-the-Baroque opening fanfare appears throughout this chorale prelude between sections of the tune played loudly by the Festival Trumpet stop.
Join us at the 6:00 p.m. service with visiting scholar Wesley Granberg-Michaelson and American/English folk tunes telling the tale of travel on the road. Guitarist Bill DeMarco joins in on this Sunday evening pilgrimage.
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.