Every week, I will be providing information to the St. Mary's community about the music planned for the weekend masses. This will serve to not only inform the parish of upcoming music selections, but also to educate and, ultimately, to elevate the impact of music at each mass. We will begin to see how the music reflects and accentuates the assigned lectionary readings, while we learn more about the history of the music.
October 8-9, 2011
Prelude- Le banquet céleste Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)
This piece was one of the very first published works by Messaien, a French composer, performer, and improviser known for his unique tonal language. Meaning "the heavenly banquet," this piece calls to mind the serenity and depth of the Eucharist. I chose this work to tie the themes of our Eucharist with the themes of the Wedding Banquet from this week's Gospel.
Psalm- Psalm 23 Will Buthod (b. 1981)
I wrote this piece in 2004 for the funeral of a dear friend of mine in Brooklyn, NY. It will feature long-time St. Mary's choir member and cantor, Cindy Spitza. The harmonies are meant to reflect the different moods of this beautiful text, and are partly influenced by the Thomas Matthews setting, sung later in the mass.
Choral Anthem- The Lord is my Shepherd Thomas Matthews (1915-1999)
Thomas Matthews was a renowned organist, composer, and improviser who spent most of his career here in Tulsa. He came to Tulsa in 1960 as Organist/Choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church and, during his career, founded the music department at Holland Hall. A successful composer, this setting of the 23rd Psalm is his most well-known composition, selling well over one million copies. I even had my very first organ lesson with him in the '90s.
Postlude- Improvisation: Fugue on The Kingdom of God
I will improvise a fugue using the final hymn tune as my subject. I chose the fugue form to emphasize the idea in the Gospel reading that "Many are invited, but few are chosen." Although a fugue employs a single subject, or theme, it uses several voices to cover separate, independent melodies based on that theme, which are united only when they come together in harmony. Although the voices are many, the path to harmony is a single one.
Also, you may have noticed a new Eucharistic setting being used the past few weekends. This setting includes the Gloria from the Mass of Light, and the Land of Rest Acclamations, based on a familiar hymn tune. Most of the Land of Rest Acclamations have been arranged by the great Catholic composer Richard Proulx, while some I arranged myself.