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2020-05-27

Music: Sun May 31


“Being There” has been a theme in the lives and work of many great composers.

Young Johannes Brahms owed much of his early success to the vigorous support of Robert and Clara Schumann, who were smitten with his first compositions. Brahms remained deeply supportive of the couple, as they grappled with Robert’s growing mental illness, suicide attempts, and institutionalization. After Robert’s death, he remained a close friend to Clara, assisting her in editing the complete works of her late husband, and maintaining an emotionally intense, if Platonic, relationship with her until her death in 1896. The Intermezzi heard in this morning’s Centering Music would have been among the last works of Brahms Clara knew.

A more spiritual connotation to togetherness is found in the work of J.S. Bach, whose setting of the Lutheran chorale “Beloved Jesu, We Are Here” is heard in a solo piano arrangement by the British pianist Harriet Cohen.

Finally, more contemporary allusions from the world of cinema figure in the Musical Interlude and Meditation, in the form of Johnny Mandel’s arrangements of Erik Satie’s Gnossiennes, used in the soundtrack to “Being There.”

The CUUC Choir offers music and words for contemplation by Carolyn McDade, best known to UU congregations for the hymn “Spirit of Life.” Read on for programming details.

Centering Music: Adam Kent, piano
Intermezzo in E-flat Major, Op. 117, No. 1*
Intermezzo in A Minor, Op. 118, No. 1
Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118, No. 2
                                                            Johannes Brahms

*Prefaced by these lines from an old Scotish ballad, “Lady Anne Bothwell’s Lament”:
Balow, my babe, lie still and sleep!
It grieves me sore to see thee weep.


Opening Music
Beloved Jesu, We Are Here
                                                            J. S. Bach, arr. by Harriet Cohen

Musical Interlude:
Gnossienne No. 5
                                                            Erik Satie

Anthem: CUUC Choir, directed by Lisa N. Meyer and accompanied by Georgianna Pappas
“There is A Time” 
Carolyn McDade   
Elizabeth Laite, Soloist

Meditation:
Gnossienne. No. 4
                                                            Satie

Postlude:
Gymnopedie No. 1
                                                Satie

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