04 February 2014

Crystalline mysterium

Viz. Crystalline Ship, D'Anna confirms that the writing fits her voice fine; and so, getting to work on the bari sax accompaniment was what I did on the train this morning.

The idea came to me, to arrange Divinum mysterium for bell choir as tasteful accompaniment to my choir singing the chant. It is high time they had another piece in their folder for practice. We do still need plenty of practice with When the morning stars sang together...; plus we need all hands for that 'un, and one of my ringers has just left for a month's vacation (with my good leave). Am also thinking of taking the Agnus Dei and arranging it for the ringers . . . that is already an expansion of the original thought, which (at the time that I started typing) was just to take the dona nobis pacem point of imitation and arrange it for bells.

And, from the Ministry of Trippy Coincidences . . . the other day, I sent e-mail to Ed Broms, thanking him for keeping my Nunc dimittis in the St Paul choir's annual rotation, as it were. Ed wrote back, "You know I'm no longer at St Paul's?" I immediately replied, "My thanks are no less hearty for applying only to past kindnesses." All, right: call that Item #1.

Item #2: I am grateful that Easter is as late as it is this year, for it gives me some more time to prepare for my first Holy Week at Holy Trinity UMC. Congruent with this, the pastor (Larry, a most agreeable chap) wants to make the weekly service more musical . . . and wants, for instance, that the Lord's Prayer be sung. Happily, there is a chant version in our hymnal, which I think it will be fun to teach the choir to sing (to lead the congregation), and which I think will be a musically lovely addition to the liturgy. (And the more beautiful music there is in the service, the better my engagement will seem to both the congregation and the pastor.)

(It is also the "more chant" vibe - of course, any chant is more - which the pastor is gently broadcasting, which suggested to me doing something with Divinum mysterium.)

Item #3-ish: I also recalled an English adaptation of a traditional Russian Orthodox setting of the Beatitudes (arrangement by Richard Proulx, I now am reminded) from the 1982 Episcopal hymnal . . . so I called my friend (and former fellow chorister) Bob Greiner, who is now admin for the Cathedral, about borrowing a hymnal.

So . . . while I stopped by to borrow a hymnal of Bob, I asked who the present music director is.

So now I have a name and an email address for the Interim M.D., and I've gone ahead and sent him the scores of the Kyrie and the Agnus Dei. The fellow is from the UK, and because of a future "merger" between the Cathedral parish, and the parish of St John on Bowdoin Street, no one yet knows what will happen as of April. But I consider it a posy of potential wins.

1. If he is kept on at St Paul's and likes my music, my work could conceivably be 'restored' to use at the Cathedral.

2. If he is not kept on at St Paul's and likes my music, a man of such musical talent will find some better place, and my work will find a fresh venue there.

3. The "merger" with St John's may (I imagine) mean a restoration of the weekly lunchtime recital series, and Henningmusick will ride again!

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