I meant to get up yesterday and get to work on choral planning. However, I got up in a bit more of a lazy mood. Eileen went to the doctor and I spent most of the morning with Schubert. I have been working on his F minor impromptu for a while. I love the middle section and am still mastering the crossing of hands in it. Gorgeous stuff.
I did get some work done in the afternoon. It took me about two hours but I finished the bulletin info not only for this upcoming Sunday, but the following one. That will get us a week ahead for the fall season. This will enable the church secretary to make multiple copies of upcoming psalms for the choir to rehearse.
I have been reading through Bach’s Leipzig chorales for organ. So many great works here. A few days ago I played through Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BWV 658. I have been thinking that due to upcoming removal of our old organ to make way for the new that it might be a good time to do some cool organ music.
So I did something I rarely do. I changed the opening hymn recommendation for this Sunday to the Hymnal 1982 version of Von Gott will ich nicht lassen: “If thou but trust in God to guide thee.” I had originally scheduled “Praise to the Lord” (Lobe den herren) as a sort of generic praise opening hymn. There was an element of “trust” running in the readings for the day including an explicit mention in the opening collect which begins “Grant us, O Lord to trust in you with all hearts…” So with some slight misgivings I changed the hymn and scheduled Bach’s lovely piece.
This is kind of a goofy video I found of the piece, but I like it when they show the score as they play. And it’s a good tempo.
I anthropomorphize my little old crappy organ.
I feel like it’s a sort of farewell to it to give it some fine music to sing in its last days at Grace. I paired the Bach with a setting of the closing hymn tune, Holy Manna, by Wilbur Held who almost made it to 101 last year before he died. I was tempted to finally learn Alec Wyton’s partita on our annual kickoff Sunday hymn, “Earth and All Stars.” I pulled it out and rehearsed a few pages. It would take a Herculean effort with my meager abilities to have it ready a week from Sunday. So no. I opted instead for a setting by David Cherwien which involves some quick threes against twos and is cheerful. For the postlude a week from Sunday I thought it would be cool to play some African organ music since the closing hymn is the John Bell rendition of the Zimbabwean hymn, “If you believe and I believe.” Again I put some difficult music on the organ stand and then decided discretion would be the better part of valor for the choir’s first Sunday. Instead I will just improvise on the hymn as the postlude. This is my cop out postlude and is very easy for me.
My morning reading contained another happy coincidence. I am still working on Shakespeare’s Henry IV part 1 which has the great Falstaff in it. I started the next chapter in Alex Ross’s Listen to This. It’s about Verdi and mentioned his opera Falstaff. Cool.