Sunday, December 09, 2012

Arlington church features British music (Chilcott) for Christmas concert

The Trinity Presbyterian Church of Arlington VA presented its Christmas choral concert at the 11:15 AM traditional worship service.

The program was dedicated to British Christmas music.

The organ prelude was a setting of "Six Interludes on Christmas Carols" by William.S. Lloyd Webber (site ).

The other solo organ music (all played by Carol Feather Martin) was a “Carillon on ‘Quittez, Pasterus’” by Rosalie Bonighton, and a rowdy setting of “Unto Us a Son Is Born” by Christopher Tambling, with lots of four-note scale themes up and down.   At this church, the audience sits for the postlude and applauds.
But the highlight of the service was the 25-minute, 8-movement cantata “On Christmas Night” by Bob Chilcott.  That’s not Christmas Eve!  (In fact, the “Nutcracker”, played for Christmas, is supposed to happen on New Years Eve.)  The Chancel Choir (mixed ages), Children’s Choir, and organ (Matthew Stensrud), flute, oboe, harp and percussion were conducted by Carol Feather Martin.  The music rather resembles that of John Rutter, sounding a bit less modal or idiosyncratic than the popular Britten piece “A Ceremony of Carols” which the church has presented in other years. 

The percussion included a triangle and glockenspiel, as well as tongs.  The student who played them mentioned to me the summer camp at Tanglewood and that a student orchestra had played the Mahler Symphony #6 last summer (the “hammer stroke” symphony with the “Alma” theme, and the odd “tritone” relationship of the slow movement, a concept that I discussed in the last posting).  Mahler (in his middle and late symphones) used the glockenspiel a lot.  See my posting here about Tanglewood Aug. 15, 2012.

I don’t usually get into politics on this blog except as it is dealt with in music or drama. But there was an announcement before the service on an information forum on the Palestinian refugee problem, on Dec. 23 at 10 AM.

For today’s sermon “A Refiner’s Fire”, the Congregation was told to look online. It seems to be located on Googe+, but I presume it will be made fully public soon.   

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