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December 17 & 21, 2023 Advent Organ Recitals

What: Advent-Christmas Organ Recital - Church Service

When: Sunday, December 17 at 10 AM

Where: The Park Church, Elmira, NY


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What: Advent-Christmas Organ Recital - luncheon follows

When: Thursday, December 21 at 12:10 PM

Where: The Park Church, Elmira, NY


A post-recital luncheon will be available for eat in or take out, suggested donation $5.


About the program:


For this year’s recital, Music Director and Organist Charlotte Cook will present a program of organ music exploring the Advent themes of longing, peace, and joy, as we remember the prophesies regarding Christ’s first coming and look forward to his return. The program opens with a lyrically expressive, and occasionally dramatic prelude on O Come, Come, Emanuel.


Following this are three pieces in contrasting style, but each expressive of the desire and yearning associated with the Advent season. In a contemporary setting of Martin Luther’s famous 16th century Reformation chorale “Savior of the Nations, Come” the melody thunders out in the pedals under an agitated, and rapidly-moving ostinato in the manuals. In contrast, the text and beautifully expressive melody of the spiritual “My Lord, What a Morning” points to the End Times and is set quietly throughout.


For the final piece in this group “I Wonder as I Wander,” I have chosen a soft reed stop to enhance its early-American flavor. Next we turn to 18th Germany and the golden age of organ music for an arrangement of the hymn “All Glory Be to God on High,” later incorporated into the Mass as the Gloria.


The recital continues as we ponder “What Child Is This,” a question that must have been uppermost in the minds of those present at Jesus’ birth, and that remains with us still today.


We end the program with two lively hymns that express the joy and anticipation of the season, a boisterous dance setting of “In Dulci jubilo,” perhaps better know by its English text, “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice,” and the postlude on the festive Swedish folk hymn,” Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers.”


You are invited to come and re-live the Christmas story in music!

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