Monday, December 15, 2014

Mass by Lithuanian composer Vasiliauskaite; Christmas candlelight service

Sunday, December 14, 2014, the Trinity Presbyterian Church of Arlington VA presented, in separate movements at different parts of the service, the (a cappella)  Mass by Kristina Vasiliauskaite, a Lithuanian composer, link here.  Unaccompanied voice has never been my own cup of tea, but I remember it was quite common in high school chorus.    

The music sounds both modal and atonal, which with voice is a rather interesting combination.  Indeed, there was very little sense of tonal gravity in the music.

At 4 PM, the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC held its 57th Annual Candlelight Carols, which had started in 1956, about two years after the sanctuary opened (on December 25, 1955).   It has been canceled only once, in 2013, after an ice storm.

The program began with a half-hour concert, opening with the Organ 5-movement suite “Il est ne le Divin Enfant” (“The Divine Child Is Born), ending with a fugue, played by Lon Schreiber. Besides the usual carols, Lon played a Virgl Fox transcription of Good King Wencelas, and Variations on “Puer Nobis” by David Johnson. Later he played “In Dulce Jublio” by Marcel Dupre.

The concert closed with the finale of the Christmas section (Part 1) of Handel’s Messiah.  

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