Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another three Bs

Most people have heard of the famous "3 Bs" - Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. They are revered as among the greatest composers of all time, and we certainly hear plenty of their music. This Sunday's organ selections, however, come from a different trio - Bohm, Bruckner, and Burkhardt.

The prelude will be another setting of the Lord's Prayer by Bohm (1661 - 1733). It provides a contemplative, prayerful contrast to the bombastic Easter hymns that we are still singing this Sunday.

The "Silent Meditation Prelude" (the name suggested by Linda in an earlier comment - Do you like it? Have another idea? Weigh in with a comment!) will be a brief Andante movement composed by Anton Bruckner (1824 - 1896). His reputation has languished in the shadow of his more famous contemporaries, principally Wagner and Brahms. He is an important artist in his own right, however, and Sunday's snippet of music will give us just a taste of his late Romantic harmonies.

Finally, the postlude will be one of my favorites - "Toccata on Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow" by Michael Burkhardt (b. 1957). Burkhardt serves on the faculty of Carthage College (ELCA) and is a superb composer and arranger of Lutheran church music. When we reach the postlude, we'll have traversed over 350 years of music history.

You might recognize the postlude, since I played it once last spring, but it's such an uplifting piece of music that I think its worth hearing at least annually. I hope you linger to hear the strains of the familiar hymn and that it sends you out the church door humming a hymn tune with a smile on your face, rejuvenated by the worship experience for the week ahead.

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