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  • 2014 September 14: A Wideness to God's Mercy

    September 14, 2014 10:30

    Frederick William Faber (1814-1863) was an English cleric, author and poet. Faber excelled in school, was awarded scholarships for his general scholarship as well as prizes for his poetry. Raised a Calvinist (although Calvin may not be the 'father' of the Presbyterian Church, he is certainly its 'grandfather'), as a young man he changed to the Anglican Church. Mind you, the Anglican Church included (and includes) strands that are essentially Catholic — everything except the authority of the Pope (the biggie sticking point for Henry VIII who founded the Anglican church) — and that was the strand which Faber joined. With time he 'finished the job' and converted to Catholicism, and founded what amounted to a monastic order. He was a prolific author in spite of chronic ill health, writing hymns, epic poems and theological tomes (including an eight volume opus entitled "The Foot of the Cross"). (more )

  • 2014 September 7: Jesus Loves the Little Children

    September 07, 2014 10:30

    George Frederick Root (1820-1895) was born at Sheffield, Massachusetts, and named after the better known George Frederick Handel. Root had real talent for music, and by age 13 he could play 13 different instruments (one a year?). Root left his farming community for Boston at 18, flute in hand, intending to join an orchestra. He worked for a while in Boston as a church organist, and from 1845 taught music at the New York Institute for the Blind, where he met Fanny Crosby, with whom he would compose some sixty popular songs. In 1850 he made a study tour of Europe, staying in Vienna, Paris, and London. He returned to teach music in Boston, Massachusetts, and later Bangor, Maine, where he was director of the Penobscot Musical Association and presided over their convention at Norumbega Hall in 1856. Root would spend most of his career (when not writing, or helping to manage his publishing company) traveling and teaching at Musical Institutes that moved from town to town. (more )

  • 2014 August 31: Labor Day

    August 31, 2014 10:30

    Composed in 1917, Satie's "Bureaucratic Sonatina" is a parody not just of civil servants (dreaming of vacations, promotions, etc.) but also of Clementi's Sonatina in C. Clementi was a contemporary of Mozart, and his sonatinas are standard staple for intermediate piano students (including your intrepid organist as a youngster) who have been laboring at them for a couple centuries now. Satie wrote a number of pieces which include narrations, and he said that the narrations are not supposed to be read out loud during performances. So, then, what? — everyone in the congregation gets a score? And we’re doing the narration in English instead of French! Sacré Bleu! (more )

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