Music for Sunday 12.10.17 The offertory anthem is based on Michael Praetorius’s harmonization of an ancient melody – possibly a Gregorian chant, which resurfaced in the 14th-century Moosburg Gradual. In that source, the tune was fitted to the Christmas carol Puer nobis nascitur (“Unto us a son is born”), but today we sing Mark Schweizer’s setting to the Ambrosian advent hymn Veni redemptor gentium (“Come, redeemer of the people.”) Our prelude is the keyboard aria from J.S. Bach’s magnificent “Goldberg” Variations, while the postlude takes us further along the path to nativity with a section from a Corelli concerto grosso. This latter work is often called the “Christmas Concerto” but the part we hear today is cast in a minor key, reflecting, perhaps, the duality of seriousness and excitement in Advent as we move toward the birth.
Vivaldi’s Gloria RV589 Experienced singers who would like to join the St. John’s Chancel choir for the 8pm Christmas Eve service to perform Vivaldi’s great celebratory work are welcome! Please email David Montgomery (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible in order to receive a copy of the music. We will be rehearsing it on Thursday nights (12/14 & 12/21), and the “dress” rehearsal with strings and trumpets will begin on Christmas Eve in the sanctuary as close to 6:45PM as possible.
Our Organ: In 1961 the Aeolian-Skinner Company of Boston installed the two-manual, 34-stop forerunner of our present sanctuary organ. In 2001 J. Nelson and Company enriched the instrument by the addition of 61 digitally-sampled voices and a 3-manual console from the Allen Company in Pennsylvania, allowing the performance of repertoire ranging in style from baroque to contemporary. The dedicatory concert of the present organ was given by the late Dr. Philip Hahn, then Music Director at St. John’s. Images of the instrument may be viewed here.