When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Sonata in Gm (K550)    D. Scarlatti (1685-1757) After Isaac Watts (1674-1748) finished college and returned home to Southampton, he wrote many of his now-immortalized hymns for the Above Bar Congregational Church. Then, at age 22, he left home for London to become a tutor. Meanwhile, he was feeling inexorably drawn to ministry. On his…

The Great Chain of Being

An open letter to a loved one: One idea upon which I've come in the course of my life is the "Great Chain of Being" (an idea that goes back millenia): that ALL of Creation is ensouled: humans have 'souls' of course, but animals have their own degree of 'soul', and so do plants (though less…

Pachelbel’s Canon in D

Canon in D   J. Pachelbel (1653-1706) Susan Addington, Flute [Anthem] Air on the G String   J.S. Bach (1685-1750) Susan Addington, Flute [Offertory] Jesus, the very Thought of Thee Improvisation Neither the date nor the circumstances of Pachebel’s Canon in D are known (suggested dates range from 1680 to 1706), and the oldest surviving…

A Trip to Hear Buxtehude

Toccata in Gm D. Buxtehude (1637/39-1707) “Spirit of the Living God” Improvisation In the autumn of 1705, a 20 year-old Bach requested four weeks’ leave from his church in Arnstadt to travel to Lübeck and learn from the famous Dietrich Buxtehude (then 67 years old), organist of the Marienkirche. He made the 250-mile journey on…

April 1, 2017: Widor

Toccata from Organ Symphony No. 5    Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937) Charles-Marie Widor was born in to a family of organ builders, and initially studied music — especially organ — with his father. The French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, reviver of the art of organ building, was a friend of the Widor family; he arranged for…