Musical Notes for May 3, 2020

By Dr. Steven Seigart
Director of Music/Organist

I’m happy to be bringing the weekly Music Notes back after a few weeks’ hiatus! The music at OPMH, like all of our ministries, has had to adapt to the current situation, so today there is a mix of recorded organ music, hymns sung by Suzanne and me, as well as “virtual choir” renditions of familiar anthems and responses.

Prelude

Toccata Terza (Primo Libro, 1615)
—Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643)
Played on the Erben organ

We begin with a Toccata (from the Italian toccare, which means “to touch”) by Italian late Renaissance composer Girolamo Frescobaldi. Frescobaldi’s keyboard works, with their typ-ical varied sectional form, were a major influence on later works by Bach and Purcell.

Anthem

Draw Us In the Spirit’s Tether
—Harold Friedell (1905–1958)
Performed by the Meeting House Virtual Choir
Text by Percy Dearmer (1867–1936), based on Matthew 18:20
Full text may be found at #529 in Glory to God

This is American composer Harold Friedell’s most famous anthem (so popular, it’s been turned into a hymn), “Draw us in the Spirit’s Tether,” a beautiful, lyrical communion song with text by English priest (and frequent collaborator with Ralph Vaughan Williams) Percy Dearmer.

[NOTE: Both this and the closing “Amen” choral response from Richard Proulx’s “A Community Mass” were sung by each of the choir members in their homes along with a track with the organ part and the soloists’ voices. Then, I take the individual voices and synchronize and mix them together into one “virtual choir.” It’s one small way I can bring people together!]

Postlude

Improvisation on DOVE OF PEACE [the tune for today’s closing hymn]
—Steven Seigart (b. 1990)