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Thread: Not yet a mention of music for Christmas !

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    Captain of Water Music
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    Not yet a mention of music for Christmas !

    Christmas is fast approaching! It would be good to know what choices the 'experts' are making for voluntaries this year. Any recommendations too would be welcome, for interest if for no other reason.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    This Sunday, being Advent I, my prelude is Veni Emmanuel composed by Peter Lutkin (available on IMSLP)

    The following weeks I will feature preludes of noels by various composers.
    In my church we observe Advent as Christmas Lent ... which means we give up any music during communion distribution (affords me the rare opportunity of actually taking communion during any of the services I normally play for).

    We are also trying out something new this year and that is to have the choir sing an Introit at the beginning of the service as opposed to an actual anthem at the offertory spot. So the offertory spot is mine to fill with a music selection, and this year I will use various "Pastorals" (again by varied composers) as they are meditative in nature. On Advent IV the offertory will be the Pastoral Symphony from Messiah.

    Christmas Eve prelude is always Noel X by D'Aquin.

    We are also scrapping the later 11:00pm service this year which over the years was waned in attendance; last year only 6 people showed up. But we will have a Christmas Day service as normal. "In Dulci Jubilo" is one of the pieces I am doing for that service.

    Kh

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    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster FinnViking's Avatar
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    My favourites:
    https://youtu.be/ojDhRgZ9OOA
    https://youtu.be/o7tchnZd3D4

    I never play pieces that are based on a melody that is not known here as a Christmas song. Thus not possible are all French Noels, for example (people would ask "what did that have to do with Christmas?") Also Messiaen's Nativite has nothing to do with Christmas (or anything else) in my opinion.
    Last edited by FinnViking; Nov-26-2015 at 07:53.
    Marko Hakanpää, organist of St. Michael's Church, Turku, Finland.
    www.hakanpaa.net

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    I am envious, FinnViking, that people are actually listening to your music in church.

    Where I play, the prelude is treated as muzak and the din of the gathering is such that I, at times, cannot even hear what I am playing. I've protested many times to the pastor and worship committee and nothing ever gets done. The prelude is as much a part of the service as the lessons, imho.

    One year, when April Fools Day occurred on a Sunday, I played (and I kid you not) a very slow reverent version of I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandee ... for the prelude ... and only two people caught on, both members in the choir. Not another soul in the congregation caught on to the prank, including the pastor.

    When visiting Denmark in 2010, we attended a Lutheran service where Frederik Magle was playing as the substitute organist. The service began with the announcements, then the pastor sat down and the prelude began with a quiet church. Same was true at the end of the service, after the final benediction, the pastor sat down and the postlude was played, again in a concert like environment.

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    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster FinnViking's Avatar
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    I never play a separate prelude, only an intonation to the 1st Hymn.
    The congregation is free to leave or stay during the postlude, and it is about 50/50 who stay or leave. Applauses are not uncommon, so many people like to sit back and listen whilst others decide that it's time for immediate exit.
    Marko Hakanpää, organist of St. Michael's Church, Turku, Finland.
    www.hakanpaa.net

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    Guess I was lucky the years played full time. The Priest ( Episcopal ) was very strict on " no Chatting inside of nave" . So they listened for prelude and postlude was always very loud and robust except during Lent and Advent.
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.

    Bill

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    Captain of Water Music
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    A banner on a pillar in a church in Yorkshire reads, "Speak to God before the service and to everyone else after the service".

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wljmrbill View Post
    Guess I was lucky the years played full time. The Priest ( Episcopal ) was very strict on " no Chatting inside of nave" . So they listened for prelude and postlude was always very loud and robust except during Lent and Advent.
    It wasn't always noisy in this church - just in the last 6 years or so things have gotten a bit out of hand in respect for the organ prelude. I find that it is amazing that a sudden hush comes when the pastor enters, like they are being naughty or something.

    The pastor says there is nothing he can do about it ... strange thing is that he loves the organ and all the literature written for it.

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    Captain of Water Music
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    It wasn't always noisy in this church - just in the last 6 years or so things have gotten a bit out of hand in respect for the organ prelude. I find that it is amazing that a sudden hush comes when the pastor enters, like they are being naughty or something.

    The pastor says there is nothing he can do about it ... strange thing is that he loves the organ and all the literature written for it.
    Perhaps in reality he doesn't WANT to do anything about it!

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    That could be true, Nikam.

    About a month ago he nixed a choral anthem to be sung during communion distribution stating that he "doesn't want to talk over the group singing when giving directions to the congregation regarding how communion is served". But he was okay with talking over the organ piece during the same period ... doesn't figure. I mean, like my music is less important than a vocal anthem? Doesn't wash with me at all ... but ... it is a very well playing salaried gig and one that I could not live without financially right at this time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    This Sunday, being Advent I, my prelude is Veni Emmanuel composed by Peter Lutkin (available on IMSLP)




    We are also scrapping the later 11:00pm service this year which over the years was waned in attendance; last year only 6 people showed up. But we will have a Christmas Day service as normal. "In Dulci Jubilo" is one of the pieces I am doing for that service.

    Kh
    Thanks for the information about Peter Lutkin's transcriptions. They're very nice, indeed.

    Oh, how I wish they'd scrap the 1130 PM Christmas service here. We only had 8 or nine in attendance last year. There's an earlier "family" service at 5 PM. When I suggested the two be combined at a reasonable hour, it was ill received. "We've always..." and on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    I am envious, FinnViking, that people are actually listening to your music in church.


    One year, when April Fools Day occurred on a Sunday, I played (and I kid you not) a very slow reverent version of I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandee ... for the prelude ... and only two people caught on, both members in the choir. Not another soul in the congregation caught on to the prank, including the pastor.
    Had the same difficulty here when I first arrived. The rector was supportive, and together, we've finally gotten things quieted down - but, it wasn't easy.

    Yankee Doodle - HA! I worked for a small parish on the central coast of Calif. The rector's wife was umm, a little officious at times. At a wedding, the crew that arrived were so noisy I couldn't hear what I was playing, so I stopped. They didn't even notice. Out of the sacristy, She Who Must Be Obeyed flew over to the organ console - "FATHER KEN WISHES YOU TO PLAY!" So, I did. A slow, syrupy version of Three Blind Mice on the strings. As in your incident, no one noticed.

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