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May 19, 2021 | #106 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: Andrew Unsworth

1. While the King sitteth at his table. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Marcel Dupré
2. a. Prelude in C Minor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Felix Mendelssohn
b. Aria. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Flor Peeters
3. a. Come, Come, Ye Saints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arr. by organist
    b. An Old Melody: Wondrous Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arr. by organist
4. Finale, from Symphony no. 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Charles-Marie Widor

LISTENER REQUESTED SELECTION Go to the Piping Up! web page to make your request!

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.

“Antiphon I: “While the King Sitteth at His Table,” Op. 18, No. 1 (Marcel Dupré)

The practice of “alternatim” was common in the Roman church especially during the renaissance and baroque eras. It was a simple concept. The liturgy—whether it was the Mass, Vespers, or other Offices or hymns—was divided into versets, and alternate verses would be performed by a separate group of musicians, very frequently an organist. French organ masses are a common example of this practice.

Alternatim was officially banned in the Roman church by Pope Pius X in 1903, but unofficially the practice continued, especially in France. On August 15, 1919, for example, a young-ish Marcel Dupré played 15 organ versets as part of the Vespers service for the Feast of the Assumption, celebrated at Paris’s famous Notre Dame Cathedral. The wealthy English industrialist Claude Johnson, who was the co-founder and Managing Director of the Rolls-Royce company, was in the cathedral that evening for the service, and was so impressed with Dupré’s playing that he wrote to the organist offering to purchase and publish the set. The trouble was, Dupré had improvised all of the versets, based on the Gregorian chants for those passages in the liturgy. Johnson encouraged Dupré to recreate those improvisations, to recapture the inspiration, and these were eventually published as Dupré’s Op. 18.

Organists are perhaps more accustomed to the practice of improvisation than the rest of us. Sometimes we might feel that our lives would be much easier if we had everything under control, if we could plan ahead with full certainty, if all our performance notes, as it were, always appeared clearly on the page in front of us. But, in reality, we spend much of our time improvising our way through the world. Improvising can be daunting, certainly, in life as in music. But if, like Dupré’s organ versets, our own lived improvisations are based on solid ground, if we know well where we’ve come from, and have practiced moving forward without a perfect knowledge, then our efforts to do good work in God’s service will one day be recognized, also, as valuable and beautiful.

Andrew will now play Antiphon I: “While the King Sitteth at His Table,” from Marcel Dupré’s “Vêpres du commun des fêtes de la Sainte Vierge,” Op. 18.