It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m predictably tired.
While I tried to make this morning’s Eucharist easy for choir since we only had one rehearsal for the anthem and psalm, I ended up pushing my own abilities at the organ a bit. The prelude, choral anthem, and postlude were all by Healey Willan and they were all kind of a bugger for organ. I like the music but found that I didn’t have enough time to prepare the organ parts as thoroughly as I like to. Consequently I had some moments, especially in the postlude, which didn’t go as well as they would have if I had been more thoroughly prepared. But the music didn’t suffer too much. And fortunately I pretty much nailed the organ accompaniment to the anthem. I feel a sense of responsibility to play organ choral accompaniments in such a way as to not goof the choir up or detract from the beauty of their performance.
Oddly enough another stress point for me today was the second communion hymn, “On this day” with music by Gustav Holst.
The verses begin with a two measure descending organ pedal part. The tempo is half note equals sixty and the descending notes are quarter notes meaning they move along a bit. My problem was I wasn’t able to breath before the congregation entrance at the beginning of each verse which would have been ideal. Wth as much prep time as I made for this hymn I was sweating getting the bass notes right.
I just read up on this hymn in the Hymnal 1982 Companion and The New Oxford Book of Carols. It turns out that the original arrangement for this tune was orchestral. That makes sense. I looked on YouTube. The organist for the Kings College Cambridge recording of this carol doesn’t play the descending run on the pedals. Instead he plays them on the manuals. That hadn’t occurred to me. In all the recordings I could find (and had the patience to listen to), none of the organists phrased before the congregation begins.
In retrospect, I think I could have lengthened the very last note of the scale just a hair and that might make this carol a bit more congregation friendly. As it is, I’m feeling pretty good about not screwing up that pedal part this morning. But I was sweating it a bit.
I continue to try to figure out how to get news online. I have been thinking about the New York Times online access, apps and web sites. I have been accessing their online pdf of their front page lately to get a sense of the day’s news before plunging into articles. The benefit of this is that the old newspaper format seems to weigh the articles on the front page as important enough to lead with. This importance is lost in all of the website set-ups of the newspaper. This morning I looked at the pdf and bookmarked all of the articles to read even though they are buried in the app and the website. I admit to not looking too closely at the Today’s Paper format. I wonder if the people who do journalism online will ever develop a format that helps the reader through the news as efficiently as the good old paper newspaper does.
Here are the links to the articles I have read or plan to read from today’s paper.
In the comment section on this article, there was a category I hadn’t noticed before called “NYT replies.” It seems to be direct replies from the authors of the article to readers’ comments. That’s cool!