more church music shop talk

Johann Walther (1684-1748)

Decided to perform a partita by Johann Walther this Sunday. It’s based on “Jesu Meine Freude.” The version I am working from has 8 variations. Planning to do the last one as the postlude and the chorale and the other seven as the prelude.

I am hearing this piece in more chamber organ way, but this video gives you an idea of the piece. He only plays the theme and six of the variations. I don’t really like the sound this player is choosing on his organ and his interp leaves me wondering why he does certain things. But anyway, there it is.

(I just googled notes inegale and walther and it looks like google has once again changed its search algorithm and not for the better. My top results included pages with the phrase  “in eagle” instead of the requested “inegale” and “walter” for “walther.” “Notes inegale” is the term for how the performer on the Youtube video chose to interpret the piece. I wondered if I could find some research on connecting the German composer Walther with the French practice of inegale. Sheesh.)

The melody these variations is based on is one of my favorite hymns. Bach wrote an unbelievable beautiful choral motet on it.

The secretary at church has put her draft of the upcoming bulletin in my slot at work on Tuesday evening the last two weeks. This is a good sign. I have continually suggested that it would be easier to work further ahead. I used to do this for the Catholics when I worked for them. I worked two weeks ahead and it saved me much trouble and worry.

Usually I submit most of the information she needs for the bulletin on Tuesday. This Tuesday I chose to do some other things like be with Eileen and do some cooking (see yesterday’s post), so I didn’t get it done in time for the Tuesday edition.

So yesterday when I looked at the draft of the bulletin, the secretary had thoughtfully left some space for the Music Note. I am trying not to overfunction at work and am not planning to do a Music Note for the bulletin every week.  But I do see it as one of my most effective education tools. So I sighed and began working on one.

Here’s what I submitted for this Sunday:

Bulletin article for this upcoming Sunday:

Music Note William Cowper, the author of today’s sequence hymn, “Sometimes a light surprises” (Hymnal 1982 #667) was a “shy and sensitive man, given to periods of depression and despair…Through the help of and counsel of friends, however…. the blackness of doubt was replaced by the light of faith, a theme… explored in this hymn.” (Hymnal 1982 Companion) The third stanza refers directly to the gospel for today: “… who gives the lilies clothing will clothe his people, too.” Christina’s poem, “Consider,” is also based on this gospel and serves as the text for the Chamber Choir Anthem at the Offertory. Our first communion hymn, “Peace before us,” was adapted from a Navajo prayer by David Haas. It is taken from Wonder, Love and Praise. Our second communion hymn is “Jesus, all my gladness” Hymnal 1982 #701. This hymn is a classic expression of yearning to abandon “earthly treasure” and make Jesus our master instead of wealth (as mentioned in the first lines of today’s gospel). The organ prelude and postlude today are based on this hymn.  “Nada te turbe,” a prayer penned by the 16th century Carmelite nun Teresa of Avila provides the inspiration for today’s closing hymn, “Nothing distress you”  taken from Voices Found. It’s reassuring message also echoes today’s “Consider the lilies” idea. Interestingly, the Leader’s Guide to this hymn points out that “perhaps it is no accident that the opening phrase quotes the opening melody from the American hymn, “Blessed Assurance.” Submitted by Steve Jenkins, Music Director.

I can see that I need to edit that last sentence. Probably should read: “Interestingly, the Leaders Guide to Voices Found points out…..”

I will get a chance to do so before it goes to press.

Here’s the words to the anthem Sunday:

Offertory:   Consider by Roland Martin

The lilies of the field whose bloom is brief:—
We are as they;
Like them we fade away,
As doth a leaf.

The sparrows of the air of small account:
Our God doth view
Whether they fall or mount,—
He guards us too.

The lilies that do neither spin nor toil,
Yet are most fair:—
What profits all this care
And all this coil?*

The birds that have no barn nor harvest-weeks;
God gives them food:—
Much more our Father seeks
To do us good.

*In 16th Century English usage, “coil” refers to tumults or troubles. Used idiomatically, the phrase means “the bustle and turmoil of this mortal life.”

Text by Christina Rosetti




Media Matters with Bob McChesney

Feb 13 show with FCC Commissioner Michael Copps

I was surprised to hear someone on the FCC exhibit such an excellent understanding of what is happening in media right now.


Early the show, Project Censored is mentioned.

Click on the pic above to read the top 25 news stories that were “censored” in the sense that they were drowned out by the usual propaganda, distortion and spin.


A Third Judge Validates Health Care Overhaul Law –

The health care law works its way through the courts. I know there are problems with this law but I am so mortified that America has fallen so far behind other developed countries in providing basic health care for its citizens, that I support this flawed law. I do half expect the right wing conservative Supreme Justice and his colleagues to strike it down.


Kenneth Cuccinelli of Virginia Wages War on Climate Science –

I think this is an example of politicians trying to alter how science is perceived. Yikes!


Free Online Library of articles on spirituality at

Thanks to my brother Mark for putting this link on Facebook. This is an interesting collection of articles.


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