My used copy of Collected Poems: 1953-1993 by Updike arrived in the mail yesterday. He has completely re-ordered his poems chronologically. Also he divides them into “poems” and “light verse.”
“Poems” come from the “real world” and “light verse” from “the man-made world.” It’s a bit confusing. He also omits a few poems from his collection. I have traced the first twenty or so poems of The Carpentered Hen and find that they fall in all three categories (poems, light verse, omitted).
He has notes in the back to some of the poems. So I found out that “March: A Birthday Poem for Elizabeth” which I mentioned and linked in my March 30th post, was actually wrong. The Elizabeth in question though expected in March was born on April 1. Updike vindicates himself a bit, because she was born in the U.K. and it was still March in the U.S.A.
Another busy day yesterday. Unusually a choir member apologized to me for her behavior the previous day. I find forgiveness pretty easily, but her behavior had added to the weight of my own crazy interior anxiety which caused me to toss and turn on Sunday night. I slept much better last night.
I handed in all the information for the upcoming four services in Holy Week. This means I decided on the organ music and sent the secretary the titles and words to the choral anthems.
On Good Friday I will play a triptych of interesting pieces by Ernst Pepping on “O Sacred Head” for the prelude. The Vigil postlude and Easter Sunday postlude will both be the tried and true “Toccata” from Symphony 5 by Widor. I ran through this Sunday after choir rehearsal and convinced myself I still remember it. I have performed this piece many times including an undergraduate jury.
Musicians have to play in a test situation. Usually several faculty sit and listen and then grade you. That’s what a jury is.
I can remember that a visiting organ professor said that I played Widor in a very impressionistic manner. This was a typical veiled slam. My teacher had advised me to ignore the staccato markings over the incessant sixteenth notes. He said that Widor put them there to off set the rolling acoustics of his church. I bought it then, but now I’m not so sure. I am rehearsing it in a staccato manner, but will probably play it legato.
For the prelude on Sunday morning I have scheduled “A Prelude for Easter Morning” by the living Episcopalian composer, Gerald Near. It draws on Gregorian chant (Haec dies) and the Easter hymn, “O Sons and Daughters.”
I also managed to schedule a rehearsal for my string trio. The children’s choir director who is a phenomenal pianist consented to play a hymn at Maundy Thursday and the accompaniment to the choral anthem on Sunday.
This all looks pretty doable.
Today I have a class in a half hour and I have to prepare scores for the strings after that. And practice.
Tuesday in Holy Week.