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December 15, 2021 | #136 Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square

Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square is streamed online every Wednesday at 12:00 noon MDT. Piping Up! can be viewed on TheTabernacleChoir.org, the Choir’s YouTube channel, the Choir’s Facebook page, and Broadcasts.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. When concerts are concluded, they are available for on-demand viewing on the Choir’s website, YouTube and Facebook.

These programs continue the tradition of noon organ recitals at Temple Square—a tradition that has lasted for more than a century. The concerts are produced without an audience and comply with all COVID-19 guidelines. Each concert will feature a different Tabernacle or Temple Square organist and is hosted by Luke Howard.

Repertoire

Organist: Richard Elliott

1. Toccatina on "Angels We Have Heard on High". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Richard Elliott
2. a. Noel des ausels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Raymond Hann
    b. Christe, Redemptor Omnium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .C. Hubert Hastings Parry
    c. Dans une douce joie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jean Langlais
    d. Silent Night, Holy Night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dale Wood
3. a. Come, Come, Ye Saints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arr. by organist
    b. Infant Holy, Infant Lowly. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arr. by organist
4. Russian Dance, from Nutcracker Suite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky

Focus Piece

An on-going feature of Piping Up! Organ Concerts at Temple Square is a focus piece with additional inspirational background on a specific repertoire selection. Written by host Luke Howard, a professor of music at Brigham Young University, the focus piece connects the music in a unique way to lift and inspire listeners.

“Christe, redemptor omnium” (Parry)

The Latin hymn “Christe, redemptor omnium” dates back to the 6th century. It has traditionally formed part of the Vespers service during the Christmas season. But unlike much plainchant that originated in Rome, this particular chant was from the Sarum Rite, a variant of the Roman liturgy that was centered at Salisbury Cathedral in England during the medieval period. This Sarum Rite holds a unique position among Christian liturgies—it’s authorized for use in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and the Anglican Communion. It’s unusually ecumenical.

When Sir Hubert Parry decided to compose some chorale preludes for organ in 1911 and 1912, he selected “Christe, redemptor omnium” as one of his first group of seven preludes. He published a second set in 1916. Parry may have been inspired by the organ chorale preludes of Johannes Brahms, which had first appeared in 1902. But he seems to have embarked on the project with an overtly nationalistic aim, focused on English hymn tunes instead of German Lutheran chorales. The inclusion of this hymn from the Sarum Rite confirmed the idea that this was a celebration of English hymnody, especially.

In all of Parry’s organ preludes, he included the first line of the text that he was thinking of when setting these hymn tunes. At the head of the score to “Christe, redemptor omnium,” he entered the epigraph, “Jesu, the very thought is sweet.” Indeed, the chant-inspired melody of “Christe, redemptor omnium” is often also sung to versions of these familiar lyrics, originally penned by Bernard of Clairvaux. So while the tune is “Christe, redemptor omnium,” these are the words Parry was meditating upon:

“Jesus—the very thought is sweet!
In that dear name all heart-joys meet;
But sweeter than the honey far
The glimpses of His presence are.”1

Richard Elliott performs now Sir Hubert Parry’s prelude on “Christe, redemptor onmium” composed with Bernard of Clairvaux’s beautiful, worshipful words in mind.

  1. Translation by John Mason Neale (1818-66). See https://hymnary.org/text/jesus_the_very_thought_is_sweet

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