Musical Meditation: Organ Recital

Monday, April 2, 2012
Monday In Holy Week

Monday In Holy Week

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other that the way of life and peace; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Monday, 2 April from 6:30-7:30 PM


No tickets or reservations required.
Donation requested

Conceptually rooted in the chorale fantasies of Johann Sebastian Bach’s predecessors, the chorale partita is a set of variations that presents a hymn tune in several different forms and was likely utilized liturgically as interludes between verses of the chorales themselves. ¬†Bach composed four such sets of variations; the set on the Passiontide chorale Sei gegr√ºsset, Jesu g√ºtig is the largest and most carefully conceived. The work exists in several versions, and scholars believe it was written before 1710 at different points during Bach’s tenure in Arnstadt and Weimar.The large scale of the work, consisting of the chorale theme and eleven variations, and the great extent to which Bach employed his imaginative and complex variation techniques are a testament to the high regard Bach held for this particular chorale.

Johannes Brahms completed his Eleven Chorale Preludes for organ in 1896 near the end of his life. ¬†They were his very last compositions and published posthumously in 1902. ¬†Based on nine separate Lutheran chorales (several of which are for Passiontide or contain death as a subtext), the work is a profound final musical statement by Brahms whose life was ending due to cancer.¬† The Eleven Chorales Preludes pay tribute to J.S. Bach who mastered the tradition of setting Luther’s chorales, making the pairing of Bach’s Sei gegr√ºsset and Brahms’s own settings a fitting musical offering for Holy Week.