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  • 2016 September 4: Isaac Watts

    September 16, 2018 10:30

    Isaac Watts (1674–1748) was an English logician, Christian theologian, and the author of some 750 hymn texts, including "O God, Our Help in Ages Past". Watts was brought up in the home of a committed religious Nonconformist; his father, also Isaac Watts, was imprisoned twice for his views. Watts received a classical education, learning Latin, Greek and Hebrew. (more )

  • 2018 September 9: The Virtues of Unreasonableness

    September 09, 2018 10:30

    In today's Gospel lesson we have the story from Mark 7 of the Canaanite woman who came to Jesus for healing for her daughter. Jesus replies (paraphrasing) "I was only sent to the house of Israel, it is not right to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." The woman replies: "Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table." (more )

  • 2018 September 2: Handel Organ Concertos

    September 02, 2018 10:30

    Handel is most famous for his oratorio Messiah (not "THE Messiah", just "Messiah", by the way) — only one of 29 he composed (not counting 42 operas, etc. etc.). Not content with regaling his audience with 3 hour oratorios, he also entertained them with music at "half-time" — concertos he composed for organ and orchestra, with George himself tickling the ivories. Organs in those days were typically small in England — frequently only one keyboard and no pedals (unlike the large instruments in Germany for which his contemporary J.S.Bach composed), so that's the instrument for which Handel composed. Modern organs are considerably larger, so modern arrangements now typically give the orchestra part to one keyboard and the original organ solo to the other, so one player plays the whole enchilada. (more )

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