First Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville VA February 3. Casavant organ.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4: 21-30
Sermon theme--- there is no “us” and “them” with God. In the Luke passage Jesus speaks in his hometown synagogue, telling the congregation the story of the widow of Zarephath and the story of the Syrian army general with leprosy named Naaman. The congregation reacted quite negatively.
The preludes include a chorale prelude on the first hymn by a 17th century German Baroque composer and a prelude reminiscent of Hebrew song by a Jewish American composer of the 20th century. The Bloch piece is intended as a portrait of the congregation in Luke 4.
Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation…. Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748)
Walther was a contemporary of his cousin, J. S. Bach. He is best known as the compiler of the first dictionary of music and musical terms, and for his transcriptions of Italian and German orchestral concerti for the organ. His output included 132 chorale preludes.
Prelude I ……… Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
Bloch was born in Switzerland and began playing violin at age 9 and started composing soon thereafter. He studied at the conservatories in Brussels, Frankfurt, and Paris and settled in the United States in 1916, becoming a citizen in 1924. He was the first Musical Director of the Cleveland Institute of Music and later director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He wrote operas, Symphonies, works for violin and piano, works for chorus and orchestra, This is the first piece of a book of six preludes for organ published in 1949.
Hymn: Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty. Fanfare on the Trumpet Royale by Joyce Jones. 2nd Verse harmonization by Noel Rawsthorne, 3rd verse with descant.
Anthem: “The Gift of Love” by Hal Hopson (with piano by Bryce Hayes, interim choir director)
Hymn: In Christ There is No East or West.. Introductory fanfare by Joyce Jones. Final verse harmonization by Noel Rawsthorne
Offertory: Ah, Holy Jesus, How Has Thou Offended? …… Helmut Walcha (1907-1991)
Born in Leipzig, Walcha was blinded after a smallpox vaccination at age 19. He entered the Leipzig Conservatory and became assistant to the organist at Thomaskirche. His recordings of the complete organ works of Bach are considered among the best. He learned by memorizing part by part by hearing the works played by others. Walcha wrote four volumes of chorale preludes on Lutheran hymns and arrangements for organ of orchestral works by others.
The first of the 18 verses of this hymn on which this chorale is based looks at the response by the congregation in the synagogue to the sermon by Jesus in today’s scripture. The chorale prelude is registered with the Bourdon 16 and Rohrflote 4 in the pedal playing the ostinato, the Positif 4' Flute a Fuseau and 4' Principal played down an octave for the drone, and the Recit Hautbois 8 with tremolo for the chorale cantus.
Doxology-- tune of Puer Nobis Nascitur
Music during communion chosen from:
Miniatures for Organ-- Flor Peeters (1903-1986) Featuring the strings and flutes.
A native of Belgium, Peeters studied at the Lemmens Institute, named for the composer, and returned to teach there as well at other colleges. He was a renowned organist and composer in the 20th century.
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross -- Garrett Parker
Garrett Parker is currently working as a staff composer for the Lorenz Publishing Company. He writes useful and tuneful music for church use. The three variations on When I Survey The Wondrous Cross are a part of “Continuous Communion Meditations for Organ.”
Two Chorale Preludes by Robert Graham (1912-92): “Jesus Loves Me” and “Do Lord”
Robert Graham graduated cum laude from the Eastman School of Music, and served as a chaplain’s assistant at Camp Hood TX during World War iI and later in Yokohama Japan. He returned to Japan as a missionary in 1951 as a missionary teacher of music under the direction of the National Council of the Episcopal Church. There he became head of the music department for Rikkyo Jo Gakuin School in Tokyo, now known as “St. Margaret’s School” where a Taylor and Boody organ was installed in 1998. He was also a lecturer for All-Japan Church Music Institute, and analyst for Sei-kwo Hymnal Revision Committee. As of 1960 he had 147 compositions in print through 21 publishers. He wrote more than a hundred choral compositions and cantatas, numerous songs, organ solos, piano pieces, and orchestral works. He retired to Arizona in 1956. Bob presented Graham’s cantata “Dawn of Redeeming Grace” while organist/choirmaster at Hinton Avenue Methodist in 1962 and at Covenant Presbyterian in 1968l
Hymn: Jesus Our Divine Compassion, tune: Pleading Savior
First verse by the choir. Second verse by the congregation.
The first verse is then used with choir and congregation as the benediction response with harmonization by Charles Callahan.
Postlude: “Prelude and Fugue in F Major BWV 556…… attr. J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
One of “Eight Short Preludes and Fugues”, this piece is listed with a BWV number. The eight short preludes and fugues were attributed to Bach until the 20th century when scholars began to doubt if he actually composed this series of pieces. Some suggested that either Tobias Krebs or Ludwig Krebs, both students of Bach, composed them. More recent scholarship suggests that Bach may have composed them himself, but for Pedal Clavichord, not organ. The Pedal Clavichord was the “home practice organ” of the 17th century. Of quiet tone, it allowed quiet practice in the home, a boon to performers in the colder months when churches were not heated.