Favorite Music Friday 5
I love Songbird's intro:
When I was a very little girl growing up in Virginia, I never missed a Sunday going to Court Street Baptist Church. But there was something else that made Sundays special, and that was "Davey and Goliath." Every week the opening strains of the theme song would find me lying on the floor, chin on hands, looking up expectantly to watch the adventures of a clay boy and his big dog.
What I didn't realize was who wrote that music, the hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."
It was the same Martin Luther who said: "I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the Devil and makes people gay; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like. Next after theology, I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor."
On this Friday before Reformation Sunday, let's talk about music. Share with us five pieces of music that draw you closer to the Divine, that elevate your mood or take you to your happy place. They might be sung or instrumental, ancient or modern, sacred or popular...whatever touches you.
Some of us even love hymns. (Well, I do.)
1. I'll begin with my recurrent Beethoven theme... both the piano sonatas I love to play (I'm still at 27 of the 32 total, but will learn the remaining 5 one of these days) and like nothing else in the world, Symphonies 1, 2, 4 and 7.
2. Despite having a degree in piano and organ performance and a diploma from the International Summer Academy for Organists in Haarlem, I detest most 19th-century organ music and dislike the typical stereotypical diapason-heavy Church Organ Sound although like Songbird, I do love a lot of hymnody and I'm passionate about leading worship from a good organ. Whether I'm playing or listening, almost no sound excites me more than a well built, in-tune, expertly voiced instrument more-or-less designed after the North German Baroque, and a resonant room only enhances everything. Try the Flentrop in Busch Hall, Cambridge for a rush, though you need to be sitting in the right spot because the stone resonates and reverberates so. Remember, too, maybe especially as an organist you're playing the music, the instrument and the room. For a parting shot on this (2), I'll comment for a church almost constantly in need or reformation, restoration and renewal, an excellent diversity of quality music can help tremendously.
3. Don't Let Me Come Home a Stranger... and other music that spirits me back to a different place and time whilst showing me hope for a future different from where and how I am right now. That can include a blast of classic rock, a charge of good ole 1980's songs or any of several other doable possibilities, including classic and more contemporary hymns.
4. Roy Harris, Symphony No. 3 in one movement, one of my all-time favorites from any genre.
5. ...a fill-in-the-spaces for later...