Sunday, November 19, 2023

This Sunday’s Music for Meditation is a lovely, serene setting of the Welsh hymn tune “The Ash Grove,” by the American composer David Cherwein. This famous melody appears in most contemporary American hymnals to the text “Let All Things Now Living,” by the American poet Katherine K. Davis.

This week’s music during the Offertory is a setting of the famous Lutheran chorale “Now Thank We All Our God” (“Nun danket alle Gott”) by J.S. Bach. It comes from the Eighteen Leipzig Chorales, a group of organ chorale settings that Bach composed during his years in Weimar (1708-1717) and then revised and grouped together during his years in Leipzig (1723-1750). In this setting, the chorale melody is heard in the soprano (highest) part, with complex counterpoint in the lower voices based on each successive phrase of the chorale melody.

For the postlude, we will hear a stirring setting of “Now Thank We All Our God” by the late Romantic German composer Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933). Written in the manner of a march, this is the most popular of the many chorale settings for organ written by Karg-Elert.

– Charles Tompkins

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