Monday, June 29, 2009
On our journey through the Creed this summer, we have reached the recounting of the nativity: "He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary." Naturally, this gives us an excuse to sing "Joy to the World" in July.
I decided to extend the musical theme with the prelude. We can't have Christmas music without at least a nod toward Advent, right? So the prelude on Wednesday night will be Dieterich Buxtehude's "Chorale Fantasia on Wie Schon Leuchtet," known to us as "O Morning Star How Fair and Bright."
Buxtehude is an important name in organ music history. He was an organist and composer in Lubeck, Germany, in the late 17th century and was one of the greatest composers of the mid-Baroque era. His works had great influence on the next generation of better-known composers, including Telemann, Handel, and especially J.S. Bach. The prelude I'm playing is one of his best known works, and it develops the entire text of the hymn in a highly ornamented style. You might even open your hymnal to follow along.