May 26, 2024

The organ music for this week is based on hymns that are particularly appropriate for Trinity Sunday.

Music for Meditation – Prelude on the Hymn Tune “Repton”….Charles Callahan

The hymn tune “Repton” is by the late Romantic English composer C. Hubert H. Parry. It originally appears in one of Parry’s choral anthems, “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind,” and appears in many recent hymnals to that text, as well as others (including the Fred Pratt Green text “How Clear is Our Vocation, Lord”). It is a particularly lovely melody, and very singable. Charles Callahan’s two short organ settings of “Repton” place the melody first in the soprano (topmost) voice, and then in the tenor voice (one of the inner voices of the texture).

Offertory: “All Glory Be to God on High,” BWV 711….J.S. Bach

Bach wrote a number of settings of this chorale, “Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr,” the text of which is based on the canticle Gloria in Excelsis of the Mass. BWV 711 is for the manuals (keyboards) only, with no pedal part; against a cello-like left hand part, the right hand enters at intervals with phrases of the chorale. The left hand part includes a number of arpeggiated figures, as well as large leaps.

Postlude: Prelude on a Hymn for Trinity Sunday, “I Bind Unto Myself Today”…..Robert J. Powell

Bob Powell composed this wonderful setting of a famous hymn for Trinity Sunday, “I Bind Unto Myself Today,” the text of which is attributed to St. Patrick. Bob’s setting includes (as the hymn itself does, unusually) a contrasting middle section, in which the key switches from G minor to G major; when sung as a hymn, this is where the text changes to “Christ Be With Me, Christ Within Me.” The concluding section returns to G minor, and is wonderfully dramatic and climactic in nature.

– Charles Tompkins

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