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Music for June 30th- 6th Sunday after Pentecost

Prelude: Andante Sostenuto from Symphonie Gothique, Op.70, Charles WIDOR

The term “Gothic” in the title of Charles-Marie Widor’s (1844-1937) Ninth Organ Symphony originates from the distinctive Gothic architecture of the Church of St. Ouen in Rouen, where one of the most famous Cavaillé-Coll pipe organs in France is located. Widor called the instrument “a Michelangelo of an organ.”

The second movement of this organ symphony utilizes a distinctive E-flat-major melody with a few well-placed chromatic twists and turns supported by a repetitive accompaniment. The influence of César Franck is apparent, but the work stands on its own as arguably the most popular piece Widor ever wrote.

Anthem: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Ronald E. Martin

This arrangement over the hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, uses the hymn tune (Nettleton) in the voice line, with the accompaniment quoting the Prelude from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G. Instead of a Cello, we will be using the Organ. One of the loveliest, easiest and most effective one-rehearsal anthems in the catalog. The second verse is in exact canon. 

Postlude: Fugue in G minor “Great Fugue”, BWV 542, J.S Bach

In 1720, J.S. Bach applied for the post of music director at St Jacob’s Church in Hamburg. As part of the audition, Bach performed an organ recital lasting more than two hours. In the end, establishment politics prevented Bach from winning the job, but the level of his playing left the audience stunned. After hearing Bach’s improvisations, the 97-year-old Dutch organist, Johann Adam Reinken, said, “I thought this skill had died out, but I see it lives on in you.”

It’s believed that one of the works Bach performed on this occasion was the mighty Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542. This is surely some of the most haunting and tempestuous music in all of Bach’s output. The fugue subject is based on an ebullient Dutch song, Ik ben gegroet van. After two exhilarating trips around the circle of fifths, the fugue culminates in a triumphant resolution.


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