Notes from the Console
I know that many of you were able to attend our Haydn Mass on April 7 this year. The Parish Choir and string orchestra did a great job with the Little Organ Mass of Franz Joseph Haydn, and our soloists were all wonderful. Special kudos go to soprano Claudia Carroll, whose singing of the Benedictus was quite beautiful.
But what if you weren’t able to be there that Sunday? The good news is that the new All Saints’ website will soon have a page for recordings of music presented in church. The first recordings to go up will be from the Haydn Mass, so keep an eye out for this. The website is being rolled out as fast as is possible, and new and interesting elements will be appearing for a while yet. I look forward to being able to share the music of All Saints’ with any who are interested.
Looking ahead, we will have Evensong on Sunday, May 26 at 4pm. Due to my attendance at a church music conference at the end of June, this will be our last Evensong of the ‘season.’ So, if you haven’t been to Evensong in a while, this is your last chance before our summer hiatus!
And in the meantime, I am presenting a special musical event which I hope many of you can attend. On Sunday, May 12th at 4pm, I will play a concert of Heroic Music for Brass & Organ. The concert will be at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church, 7127 Bee Cave Road at Barton Creek Blvd. I will be joined by seven brass players and two percussionists to play music which I hope you will find both thrilling and beautiful. Suggested donation is $20, or $10 for Students/Seniors. This is Mother’s Day, and I have timed the concert so that it will be possible to have a celebratory brunch with your family, followed by the concert; or you may attend the concert and then have a wonderful dinner. Whatever your plans for that day, I hope you can be with us for what should be a very special event.
Finally, I thought I would say a little something about the composer of this year’s Choral Mass, Franz Joseph Haydn. While best known for his prolific output of symphonies (104 in total), he is also known as the ‘Father of the String Quartet,’ for his 67 works in this genre. In addition, he wrote numerous works for both harpsichord and piano, and quite a few choral works, including 14 masses, of which the Little Organ Mass is #7. Though he began and ended his life in Austria, he lived throughout central Europe as court musician/composer to the Esterhazy family. As part of his duties, he supervised the court musicians, by whom he was so beloved that he earned the nickname, ‘Papa’ Haydn. Most of his masses were written for presentation in the Esterhazy family chapels, where the Prince was very concerned that the service not last too long. For this reason, many of Haydn’s settings of Credo (the longest musical portion of the Mass) have the text layered through all four choral parts, in order to get all the words sung in the shortest amount of time. Each part sings a different set of words from the other parts, making these settings sound a bit like gibberish, but the short playing time was quite pleasing to Prince Esterhazy!
Wishing you all a Happy Eastertide,
Gregory Eaton, Organist/Choirmaster