Musical Musings~ Reflections on Sunday’s Music

February 2, 2014
  1.  Characteristics of César Franck’s music to listen for
This coming Sunday music of the French-Belgian composer César Franck will be played.  Quite possibly the easiest way to understand this composer’s music is through his personality. Many of César Franck’s  friends considered César humble, simple and reverent.   I encourage you to listen for these wonderful qualities of this music from the Romantic period:
1.Wagnerian chromaticism and harmonies derived from the school of Franz Liszt: These harmonies can be heard during the “Quasi Andante” Gathering Music. Franck composed this work five years before his death, so as a result his harmonic language is fully developed.  Franck aptly explores various combinations of chords, keys and harmonies.  Listen for how the “Quasi Andante” modulates from C minor to E-flat major to F major and then to B-flat major before returning to C minor.
2. Structural Innovation: In Sunday’s Offertory titled “Panis Angelicus, “ Franck utilizes the technique of canon. Listen for the canon between the manuals and the pedal. The novelty can be heard in the inner voices that sound alongside the canons.  
3. Graceful Modulations through a pivot chord or melody: During Communion, music from Franck’s collection L’Organiste  will feature this characteristic.  It is the melody in the “Poco allegretto” that creates the modulations. Next, after a modulation to the parallel minor through a pivot chord  for the “Poco lento”, the “Quasi lento” follows with the melody located in the bass line that establishes the key changes and interest.
So, why does César Franck’s remain relevant for the worship service today? I personally believe it is the humility, simplicity and reverence of it that reminds us  that our lives can contain a brokenness, but they can also have a beauty because of the power of Jesus. Nothing will ever be perfect, however Christ does promise to never leave us as believers.
                                                                                    ‘til Sunday-Robert Morehead
Other music selections:
Gathering Music:  Quasi Andante ( César Franck)
                                   Prélude (Saint-Saëns)
Introit: Praeambulum (Scheidemann)
Hymn of Praise: From All That Dwell Below The Skies (#229)-Arr. Clive
Act Of Praise: Da Pacem Domine (Melchior Franck)
Children’s Song: This Is Where Children Belong
Special Music: Andante, Op. 39 (Tschaikovsky)
Instrumental Offering: Panis Angelicus ( César Franck)-Arr. Gouin
Communion Music: Da Pacem Domine (Melchior Franck)
Hymn of Dedication:  Blest Are The Uncorrupt In Heart (#233)
Congregational Response: Blest Are The Uncorrupt In Heart (#233)
Postlude: Pièces Posthumes, No. 8, 7, 8 (FWV 24)  ( César Franck)
Sunday’s musicians:
1 Beulah Brass Trio
2 Tom Fitzpatrick, horn
3 Sanctuary Choir


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