When Martin Luther posted his Ninety-five Theses on the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg in 1517, he opened the door to the so called Protestant Reformation which brought with it one of the greatest schisms in Western Christianity. His rejection of some fundamental teachings and customs of the Catholic Church included, among many things, also the musical aspect. Luther himself loved music and he expressed himself thus on the subject: 'Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise'. He was also an accomplished composer and was no mean player of the lute and flute. When one considers Luther's musical prowess though, his reputation is based on his chorales for congregational use, some of which he adapted from Gregorian chant or the melodies of popular songs. It is surmised that he composed some twenty-five such works.
Listen — Heinrich Schütz arranged by Gary Olsen: God is my refuge and strength (Three Becker Psalms)
(track 4, 0:00-0:09) © 2019 Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble :
Drawn from two years of concerts and sessions celebrating the five hundredth anniversary of the 1517 episode, this festive album of brass and organ music follows the development of 'Ein fest Burg ist unser Gott', Luther's most famous chorale, every hundred years in the music of Heinrich Schutz (1585-1672), J S Bach (1685-1750), Otto Nicolai (1810-1849) and Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847). The 21st century is represented by the American composer James Curnow, born 1943.
Listen — James Curnow: Rejouissance
(track 1, 0:01-0:55) © 2019 Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble :
An additional seven hymns by the same Luther arranged by some great names in music's history round out the album in solo organ and solo brass ensemble concert recordings with three magnificent organs in three enviable acoustic locations.
Listen — Mendelssohn: Andante sostenuto (Organ Sonata No 6)
(track 12, 0:00-0:53) © 2019 Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble :
Five hundred years of memorable music condensed into just seventy-one minutes and performed spectacularly by Jared Stellmacher and Mark Sudeith, sympathetically supported by the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble. Exciting stuff to lift the spirits.
Copyright © 14 June 2020