Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wachet Auf, Three Ways

I'm a big fan of "Top Chef," and several times over the course of every season a contestant will prepare an elegant plate of some ingredient three ways, like "shrimp three ways." Tonight, I played my musical version of that concept by playing three different versions of "Wake, Awake, For Night is Flying."

First, we sang the Bach arrangement. (It sounded like the congregation may have struggled with it just a bit, because it actually differs from the "traditional" version that we sing during Advent most years.) Second, during the offering I played a setting by Walther. He was a contemporary and frequent collaborator of Luther's, and often created florid arrangements of traditional Lutheran chorales. Third, the postlude was Emma Lou Diemer's modern, dissonant composition.

I hope you enjoyed hearing the various interpretations of the same tune over several centuries. Each of them should have stretched your ears in a different way (and I know that the postlude in particular accomplished that given the comments while I was warming up!)

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