Saturday, February 19, 2011

Alleluia (part two)

In addition to some great hymns and organ music this week, we will have musical offerings from both the choir and the bell choir.  The choir will be giving up their usual anthem slot so the bell choir can play "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name."  I've even convinced the somewhat reluctant group to play from the front of the church so you can see them play.

During communion, the chancel choir will sing "Praise God, the Lord, Ye Christians All" by Heinrich Schutz, who was among the most important composers of the 17th century.  His music falls in the gap between Renaissance and Classical, between contrapuntal chant and four-part chorales.  In the piece's opening section, you'll hear the same motifs get passed from section to section in the choir, while the piece closes with the whole choir singing Alleluia.  To modern ears, the Alleluias shift from major to minor, along with a sharp dynamic contrast.  The piece is technically modal, but such details aren't needed to appreciate the unique nature of the music.  Incidentally, the ELW includes one hymn tune by Schutz (ELW 573, "My Soul Now Magnifies the Lord").  It's a great example of how the church has preserved the work of some of history's greatest composers.  Where else could you hear a tune by Schutz this week?

I hope you enjoy the music of the choir and bell choir this week.  Be sure to thank a (volunteer) choir or bell choir member for their dedication, and provide feedback to me on the music anytime!


  1. thanks bell choir. sounded great today!

  2. Ditto for the Bell choir and the Chancel choir

  3. Ditto Bell Choir, Chancel Choir, entire worship service, Pastor's Sermon, AND I would like to add that our congregation was great on Sunday also! A visitor remarked to Pastor that he was impressed with the service and that he had never met such a friendly congregation! I love our church community and I am so happy to have been a part of the Choir that sang "Praise God..." That's one way that I can publicly express my faith and love for God. Alleluia!