We wait for Thy loving kindness, O God!

Advent Lessons and Carols

This service is intended as a preparation for the Christmas celebration. Today’s order of the service follows the traditional form but only uses 6 lessons (there are usually 9). The music is closely linked to the readings. The readings are the core and the structure of the service. In many places, the service, traditionally, begins at the west end of the nave (“darkness”) and processes during the singing to various “stations” throughout the church (or chapels in very large churches). The final destination is the altar (“light”) where the final responsory and prayers take place.

Kucharski, Joseph A., and Alexander R. Pryor, eds. The Episcopal Musician's Handbook. 61st ed. 2017-2018. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: The Living Church Foundation, 2017. pg. 234

Matin Responsory: “I looked from afar” Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)

Palestrina was an Italian composer. He ranks with Lassus and Byrd as one of the towering figures in the music of the late 16th century. He was primarily a prolific composer of masses and motets but was also an important madrigalist. Among the native Italian musicians of the 16th century who sought to assimilate the richly developed polyphonic techniques of their French and Flemish predecessors, none mastered these techniques more completely or subordinated them more effectively to the requirements of musical cogency. His success in reconciling the functional and aesthetic aims of Catholic church music in the post-Tridentine period earned him an enduring reputation as the ideal Catholic composer, as well as giving his style (or, more precisely, later generations’ selective view of it) an iconic stature as a model of perfect achievement.

Lockwood, Lewis, Noel O’Regan, and Jessie Ann Owens. "Palestrina [Prenestino, etc.], Giovanni Pierluigi da." Grove Music Online. 9 Dec. 2017. http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000020749.

Anthem After the Lesson I: “Deo Gratias” (Ceremony of Carols) Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)

Britten was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He and his contemporary Michael Tippett are among several pairs of composers who dominated English art music in the 20th century. Of their music, Britten’s early on achieved, and has maintained, wider international circulation. An exceedingly practical and resourceful musician, Britten worked with increasing determination to recreate the role of leading national composer held during much of his own life by Vaughan Williams, from whom he consciously distanced himself. Notable among his musical and professional achievements are the revival of English opera, initiated by the success of Peter Grimes in 1945; the building of institutions to ensure the continuing viability of musical drama; and outreach to a wider audience, particularly children, to increase national musical literacy and awareness. Equally important in this was his remaining accessible as a composer, rejecting the modernist ideology of evolution towards a ‘necessary’ obscurity and developing a distinctive tonal language that allowed amateurs and professionals alike to love his work and to enjoy performing and listening to it. Above all, he imbued his works with his own personal concerns, some of them hidden, principally those having to do with his love of men and boys, some more public, like his fiercely held pacifist beliefs, in ways that allowed people to sense the passion and conviction behind them even if unaware of their full implication. He also performed a fascinating, as well as problematic, assimilation of (or rapprochement with) the artistic spoils of the East, attempting an unusual integration of various non-Western musical traditions with his own increasingly linear style.

Doctor, Jennifer, Judith LeGrove, Paul Banks, and Philip Brett. "Britten, (Edward) Benjamin." Grove Music Online. 9 Dec. 2017. http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000046435

Anthem after Lesson III: “A Spotless Rose” Herbert Howells (1892-1983)

Howells was an English composer and teacher. The youngest of six children, he showed early musical promise and announced his intention of becoming a composer while still a young child. Although the Howells family was not wealthy, thanks to the generosity of a local landowner he was able to study with Brewer at Gloucester Cathedral. In 1912, after two years as Brewer's articled pupil, during which time he also befriended and was influenced by his fellow pupil Gurney, Howells won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music (RCM) where his principal teachers were Stanford (composition) and Charles Wood (counterpoint). There, he came under the influence of Parry, whose philosophy and humanity inspired a deep and lasting affection. Severe ill-health cut short Howells's first appointment (sub-organist at Salisbury Cathedral) in 1917, and for a time he was not expected to live. During his years of convalescence, 1917–20, the Carnegie Trust employed him as a musical assistant in the editing of Tudor manuscripts, and procured for him a teaching appointment at the RCM (where he remained until well into his 80s). These years of enforced leisure were among his most productive, and much of his orchestral and chamber music dates from this time. In later years, teaching, examining, and adjudicating left him with less time for composition; but these activities were always more than a means of earning a living, and he regarded contact with students and amateurs as an essential stimulus to his own creativity. From 1936 to 1962 he was director of music at St Paul's Girls' School, Hammersmith, where he succeeded Holst, and in 1950 he was appointed King Edward VII Professor of Music at London University, playing a central role in the establishment of a full-time honors school in music. From 1941 to 1945 he deputized for Robin Orr as organist of St John's College, Cambridge. He rose quickly to fame as a composer of songs, chamber music and orchestral pieces, but his extensive contribution to cathedral music, which in later years dominated his reputation, did not begin until the late 1940s. Howells, immersing himself in teaching and adjudicating, produced few substantial works between 1925 and 1935, when personal tragedy unlocked his creativity. There is in all of Howells's best music an underlying, elegiac sense of transience and loss. He was deeply affected by the human waste of World War I and his Elegy (1917), composed in memory of a close friend killed in the fighting, is an eloquent expression of personal grief. The death from polio of his own nine-year-old son in 1935 affected him at the deepest level, and it is arguable that most of his subsequent works were, to a greater or lesser degree, influenced by it. In the sacred works, he found the perfect niche for his languid romanticism, a love of choral texture and resonant acoustics, in music of chromatic sensuousness. He created an ecclesiastical style for the 20th century as Stanford had done for the 19th. Howells's star rose early and seemed to wane in the late 1920s. Although the success of Hymnus paradisi and the late outpouring of church music re-established his reputation – to the postwar generation, he was known for little else – he did not achieve the position at the pinnacle of English music that was predicted for him. However, the posthumous rediscovery of his early instrumental and orchestral music has revealed a composer of range and depth, and at the close of the 20th century his importance was becoming better understood.

Andrews, Paul. "Howells, Herbert." Grove Music Online. 9 Dec. 2017. http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000013436.

Anthem after Lesson IV: “Gabriel’s Message” Paul Nicholson (b. 1952)

Named Director of Music at Saint Clement Church in 2010, Paul Nicholson is a distinguished Chicago accompanist, vocal coach, composer, conductor, and singer. He has served both faculty and staff at Roosevelt University, Lake Forest College, Concordia University, Columbia College, and the School of Music at DePaul University. He has sung with the Chicago Symphony and Grant Park Music Festival choruses. His vocal and instrumental compositions have been recorded on the Cedille, Imaginary Road and Polygram labels, and he has appeared both at the keyboard and as a singer on Live from Studio One on WFMT. Currently he serves as accompanist to the Grant Park Music Festival chorus. Paul serves Saint Clement as principal organist and director of three choral ensembles: Schola Clementis, Seraphim, and Cantate Choir.


Anthem after Lesson VI: “E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come” Paul Manz (1919-2009)

Paul Otto Manz was born to Otto and Hulda (Jeske) Manz in Cleveland, Ohio. Trained as an educator at Concordia Teacher's College in River Forest, Illinois (now Concordia University Chicago) he earned a Master's Degree in Music at Northwestern University. A Fulbright grant enabled him to study with Flor Peeters in Belgium and Helmut Walcha in Germany. The Belgian government invited him to be the official United States representative in ceremonies honoring Flor Peeters on his 80th birthday and his 60th year as titular organist of the Cathedral of Saint Rombout in Mechelen, Belgium. At that time, Flor Peeters referred to his former student as ‘my spiritual son.’ Paul Manz concertized extensively in North America. He appeared at Lincoln Center in New York City, with the National Symphony Orchestra, under conductor Geoffrey Simon, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall and with the Minnesota Orchestra under the direction of Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin, and Henry Charles Smith. In addition, he played recitals in churches and cathedrals here and abroad. He was in great demand for his hymn festivals, which are his legacy as a church musician. He conducted many organ clinics, participated in liturgical seminars, and appeared as lecturer and recitalist at the regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists. His musical compositions are internationally known. His organ works are extensively used in worship services, recitals and in teaching. His choral music is widely used by church and college choirs here and abroad. His motet, "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come" is regarded as a classic and has been frequently recorded. His life and works are the subject of a doctoral dissertation which details his career spanning more than fifty years and analyzes his organ works.


Offertory Anthem: “We Wait for Thy Loving Kindness, O God” Sir William McKie (1901-1984)

Sir William McKie was an Australian organist. He graduated from the Royal College of Music, London, and Worcester College, Oxford. After being director of music at Clifton College, Bristol (1926–30), and spending eight years in Melbourne as city organist, he returned to England in 1938 to become organist and instructor in music at Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1941 he was appointed organist and master of the choristers of Westminster Abbey, a post he held (apart from war service) until 1963. There he directed the music for the royal wedding in 1947 and the music for the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953 (recorded by the BBC); he was knighted that year. He commissioned Vaughan Williams’s anthem O taste and see and later played for the composer’s funeral. He also played at the commemorations of Handel and Purcell in 1959 and in the London première of Britten’s War Requiem in 1962. A keen promoter of Australian music and musicians, McKie was involved in the preparations for the Percy Grainger Festival in 1970. He was also president of the Royal College of Organists in 1957–8. He composed several works, including the antiphon We wait for Thy loving kindness (1947).

Webb, Stanley, and Howard Hollis. "McKie, Sir William." Grove Music Online. 10 Dec. 2017. http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000017359.

30 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All