Monday, April 13, 2015

Some Handel at a "volunteers" service; my own setting of a Psalm

The “dungarees” church service at Mt. Olivet Methodist in Arlington early Sunday morning (as described on the Issues blog) did feature some significant organ music played by Dr. Steven R. Skaner.
Two items from Handel’s Water Music included the “Allegro Maestoso” opening, and the Hornpipe.  This music was a favorite of Paul Hume of WGMS in Washington in the late 1950s –early 60s, and introduced one of the major programs.  There was also a March from the Occasional Oratorio, and a Handel hymn. “Thanks Be to Thee”.
We all get used to the Hallelujah Chorus in D Major that closes the Easter section of The Messiah, but the A-Men Chorus, also in D and much more fugal, closes the entire work and it impresses me a lot more. We would not have a closing to the Mahler Second without the A-Men Chorus first.  The closing of the Christmas Section, in B-flat, is rather uneventful by comparison.
Back in the 1955-1965 period I got a lot of music from an old Zenith radio downstairs.  In the summer, I sometimes heard the three major WGMS programs:  “Orchestra Hall” at 11 AM (an hour), the “Symphony Hall” at 7 PM (an hour), and something like “Afternoon Concert” at 2.  Saturday nights they held “The Festival of Music”.  That’s when I first heard Mahler.

The service also offered a reading of Psalm 133, which I think is the shortest. I actually set this to music at about age 15, and have tried to recreate it in Sibelius.  It is in D-flat.  It needs to be entered manually. 

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