Music for the Month
Limited organ accompaniment has now also resumed. Usually, this will be on the first and third Sundays of each month. With the prospect of a further easing of social distancing measures, we hope to be able to welcome our choristers back soon. The music planned for Sunday 20th June 2021 is set out below:
Music for Sunday 20th June
Pastorale: To a wild rose: Melodie: To a water-lily – Edward MacDowell
Edward MacDowell, a nineteenth century American composer who had studied in Europe, published his Woodland Sketches Op. 51 in 1896 through his German publisher Breitkopf and Härtel, to whom he had been introduced by Franz Liszt. Perhaps inspired by his move to a farm in Peterborough, N.H. and its peaceful woodland surroundings, these ten short pieces originally for piano have remained the composer's best-known works.
"To a Wild Rose" (No. 1) and "To a Water Lily" (No. 6) are the most frequently played of the set. They are gentle works with mildly impressionistic harmony and a simple rhythmic profile. To a Wild Rose" is based on a tune sung by the Brotherton Native American tribe.
Fugue in Eb ‘St Anne’, BWV 552 - JS Bach
The ‘St Anne’ Fugue is the closing movement of Bach’s Bach’s Klavierubung III, a set of organ mass movements and chorale preludes published in 1735. The nickname “St Anne” refers to the coincidental resemblance of its main theme to William Croft’s tune for the hymn “O God, our help in ages past”, which, however, was almost certainly unknown to Bach.
The form of this fugue recalls a 17th-century three-part ricercar or canzona, such as those of Froberger and Frescobaldi: firstly in the way that the themes become progressively faster in successive sections; and secondly in the way one theme transforms into the next. Each of the sections has a new theme, and all three themes are skilfully combined in the final section. There is a climactic point near the end with the final resounding entry of the first subject in the pedal. It brings the work to its brilliant conclusion, with a unique combination of the backward looking stile antico in the pedal and the forward looking stile moderno in the upper parts. It has been described as "the grandest ending to any fugue in music."