Monday, May 18, 2015

Unusual use of banjo in a church anthem; Louis Vierne Symphony 1


The youth choir at the Mount Olivet Methodist Church in Arlington VA Sunday carted out an unusual work, the anthem “I’ll Fly Way”, by Albert E. Brumley.  Although it is related to the Ascension, it offered solo work by a banjo and mandolin, with a “dueling banjos” effect known from the 1972 film “Deliverance”. 

The services Sunday morning followed the monthly Community Assistance.  There was a guest sermon about Job.  I thought I heard a translation from the opening of the Book of Job, that Job had been "the greatest of all time."  Like anyone can fail. (I hope not.) 
  
There was also a traditional hymn, “Down to the River to Pray”, the title of which certain recalls Timo Andres (“At the River”).  The choral benediction echoed that work, along with Michael McCarthy’s “Vidi Aquam”.

  
The postlude was the toccata-like D Major finale of Louis Vierne’s Symphony #1, Op. 14, performed by Steven K. Shaner, with its aurally spectacular ending. Marc Dubugnon plays the complete Symphony (D Minor) on YouUbe, having six short movements.  The complete work is rarely played, it seems;  the Prelude is rather dour, the second movement has a nice little fugure; there are two slow movements. 

Note, below, the entrance to Peabody Institute in Baltimore (May 11).


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