Sunday, September 23, 2007

church this morning...

the music, that is, turned out to be bloggable, but first, some history: several months ago Left Right in the City Senior Pastor and I were discussing hymns, church music and related. He said to me, "If you think [John] Ylvisaker is bad, I can tell you about something ten times worse." That worse happened during the time he served as minister of music at a Big Steeple; it was a musical setting of the liturgy one of the pastors on staff wrote on vacation or study leave or retreat with help from his portable keyboard and notated in multi-colored Big Notes. I assume the keyboard software automatically made the notation? I concluded that segment of the conversation by saying "If I never hear "Borning Cry" again it'll be way too soon."

Oh, church this morning. I missed the Call to Worship, "Antiphonal Psalm" by Pfohl, so can't say a thing about it. The hymns were standard favorites: Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart (stanzas 1,3,4); Son of God, Eternal Savior, stanzas 1,2 (In Babilone is one of my favorite hymn-tunes of all time, but don't try T. Tertius Noble's 5-voice harmonization because it doesn't work on many levels); and the With One Voice version of Be Thou My Vision, which either differs a little from others I've sung or an unintended variant got printed in the bulletin. Clearly none of that's especially unique, but the anthem! That anthem! It was (happily long over several hours ago) an arrangement of my aforementioned mega-fave, Borning Cry that modulated into the next higher key with every stanza. In my usual winsome and appealing manner, after worship I said to SP, "The anthem was horrendous!!" (Though the actual singing itself had been okay, I assured him.) He replied, "The sad thing is, that was one of our best!"

I wasn't sure if it would be rude or not to include the last part of the story about the guy who wrote the abominable liturgy setting? He was so well-connected he got it "performed" at synod assembly and his mother was there to admire it ~8-;

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