Sunday, January 21, 2024

The Music for Meditation this Sunday is a lyric “Priére” (“Prayer”) by the Australian composer June Nixon. It incorporates the melody of a famous medieval hymn, “Of Eternal Love Begotten,” by the fourth century poet Aurelius Clemens Prudentius.

For the offertory, we hear a sprightly setting of the German chorale “Lord Jesus Christ, Turn to Us” by J.S. Bach. The chorale this piece is based on was sung every Sunday at Bach’s church in Leipzig, the Thomaskirche, immediately before the sermon. It is written as a trio: the two hands on separate keyboards, with contrasting sounds, plus the pedals. For most of the piece the chorale melody is only hinted at, but near the end, the pedal sounds the entire chorale melody in longer note values.

This week’s postlude is a setting of the famous hymn “Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun” by the American composer David Cherwein. It is a fugue (a piece with a main melody, called the subject, which begins the piece and then is imitated by the other parts in the musical texture throughout). Cherwein uses the first phrase of the hymn melody as the subject for his fugue, which concludes with the subject being sounded in the left hand on a prominent Trumpet stop.

– Charles

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This