Sunday, May 27, 2018

Vivaldi Gloria excerpt highlights Pentecost service at Dallas Cathedral of Hope



Today, I attended a service at the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, TX.

During the offertory, there was a performance of “Domine Deus” from the Gloria in D by Antonio Vivaldi. The soprano was Coretta Smith, the oboeist was Quince Holman, the organist David Moldenhauer. It was sung in Latin with the translation, “Lord God, Ruler of Heaven, God the Father almighty.
 
 
  
The whole work appears above.  I guess if the Metropolis Ensemble asks us to enjoy Charpentier, we should enjoy big Vivaldi choral works.
  
The communion included the Benedictine Plainsong Mode V (13th Century), then “Holy Spirit” by Bryan and Kate Torwall, “Sure the Presence” by Lanny Wolfe, and “Holy Ground” by Geron Davis.  

The recessional was a setting of the Sibelius Finlandia, which I will return to later. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Scott Paddock Jazz Quartet performs on Pentecost Sunday at First Baptist Church, Washington DC



The Scott Paddock Jazz Quartet performed the prelude, offertory and postlude today at the First Baptist Church of Washington DC for Pentecost Sunday.  The quartet includes piano. 
  
  
The materials included folk spirituals and some improvisations with a little more modern dissonance.
  
Here is the second sample video.
  
The Ascension would have been quite a miracle for anyone who witnessed it in person. Your life is, what it is.


Saturday, May 05, 2018

Diemer's Piano Sonata #3





Jeong in-Kim plays the Piano Sonata #3 in C by Emma Lou Diemer (b. 1927 in Kansas City MO, the Midwest).  I don’t have a time of composition, might have been the 1950s.


The first movement (7 minutes) is marked Serenade/Toccata but the Toccata like theme, a rising figure, seems to open the work.  The serenade is a lyrical second subject in what seems like a compressed sonata form. The movements on a loud dissonance.

The second movement is called the Interlude, seems to be in A minor, but soon presents a jazz theme that might have come from Gershwin.

The expansive finale, Tango Fantastique, is very demanding, seems almost like perpetual motion, and ends on an impressive climax in E.  (My own preference is that works end in the tonality in which they start, but progressive tonality for cyclic works came into vogue with Mahler and Nielsen.) 
   
The overall style is tonal but dissonant, with heavy syncopated rhythms associated with dance.  Some of the harmonies sound a but impressionistic. 

This seems like an extremely difficult work (23 minutes) to play.

Emma Lou Diemer’s output is quite varied as to form and should be heard more often.  It compares well to Amy Beach.  She has often performed her own organ works.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Church presents some music by Emma Lou Diemer



Today, at the First Baptist Church of the City of Wahington DC, Lou Schreiber played an extended Postlude, “Contrasts,” a rather dissonant march which seemed to resolve to  D Major, by Emma Lou Diemer.


A quick review of YouTube shows a larger repertoire of works by her (including piano sonatas), comparable to the output of ASmy Beach.

The anthem “Christ, whose Glory Fills the Skies” was also performed.
  
On April 15, the MCC Nova Music Ministry in Fairfax VA performed “Camina Pueblo de Dios” (“Go Forth People of God”) in Spanish. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Easter Service: Scott's "Joy to the Heart"


This year, Easter sunrise for me was an Easter Saturday drive to Shrinemont (Orkney Springs VA) and then Wolf Gap (Big Scloss), near Wardensville W Va.

The First Baptist Church of Washington DC had the usual celebratory Easter service at 11 AM.
  
Everybody stands for the Hallelujah Chorus in D Major (Part 2), which actually depicts the ascension. But I’ve always liked the Amen Chorus (Worthy of the Lamb, followed by a great fugue), which raises to pre-Mahler (Resurrection Symphony 2) thrills at the very end, of Part III.  It sounds “greater” as a music concept to my ear.


Above is Hogwood’s performance. The Amen chorus represents to resurrection of the dead and the glorification of Christ in Heaven.  This is not to promote one religious interpretation of the Afterlife, and I have my own ideas about that.
  
Earlier, the Choir and orchestra had played K. Lee Scott’s “Joy to the Heart”, a great paean in D-Flat Major. 

A guest organist concluded the service with the Toccata finale from Widor’s Organ Symphony 5.
   
I missed the preludes, but here are the works. 

The famous excerpt from Telemann’s “Musique Heroique”;  "Rejoice” by Healey Willan;  a Prelude in C (from a Sonata) by Corelli, and a Paraphrase and Variations on a Theme of Handel by Alexander Guilmant.


Friday, March 30, 2018

Player pianos; making a performing version of a difficult work with Sibelius



I saw a story in USA Today about a Steinway player piano that looks like it should be shared. ‘

I am considering setting up one of the largest compositions from my youth so it could be performed with the most difficult parts being played on Sibelius (from a connected Yahama or Casio) simultaneously, according to prearranged software.  (Or they could be played from iTunes, which is probably easier to pre-program).  For the planned militant coda, it would be possible to add other instruments. 
  
One question would be whether the Casio would be tuned exactly the same as a concert piano.  The Casio seems very close to most modern concern recordings on YouTube.  However, digital pianos (since the frequencies are precise) may be slightly flatter in higher notes and slightly sharper in the deepest bass (assuming a full 88 keys).

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Music by Julian Wachner, Patrick Doyle, on Palm Sunday



At First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC on Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018, the choir performed the Sanctus from the Messe Ancienne by Julian Wachner.


The YouTube videos are from Trinity Wall Street in Manhattan. 

As far as I can determine from Wikipedia, this may be the same work as the Missa Brevis (1987).

The music is almost a cappella, and the style is modal, somewhat like Renaissance music.

Later, for the offertory, the choir performed Non Nobis Domine ("Not Unto Us Lord"), by Patrick Doyle which seems to be same music that concludes the powerful 1996 film of “Hamlet”, for Columbia Pictures, by Kenneth Branagh. 
  
The postlude was a Sinfonia based on the Cantata #29 by JS, Bach, as played by Charles Pugh.
  
See also the Stoneman Douglas remembrance group picture Palm Sunday morning.