Music: Sun Mar 21


Hypocrisy is a term bandied about freely to cover a multitude of sins and perhaps to obscure a wealth of virtue as well. Is it the classic "double-standard" fueled by blind entitlement? Is it willful duplicity motivated by self-interest? Can it also embody the human capacity for complexity and contradiction? Or the inevitable shortcomings of setting lofty goals and high aspirations? Is there any way to relate this topic to music?


The music produced by Johann Sebastian Bach often depended on his employers. In service to the Duke of Weimar or the Prince of Cรถthen, he composed an abundance of secular music for use at court. In his long-term employment as Cantor to St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Bach became the greatest composer in the Lutheran tradition, in some years creating unique music for each worship service of the liturgical calendar. Secular or sacred, though, all his musical manuscripts bear the initials "S.D.G." for the Latin "Solo Deo Gloria" (For the Glory of God Alone): whatever worldly masters he served, Bach ultimately understood all creativity as a divine gift. It seems fitting to include his music at our March 21st service, which falls on the 336th anniversary of the composer's birth.


Felix Mendelssohn is often credited with sparking a revival in public awareness of Bach's music, when he conducted the first performance of the Saint Matthew Passion in Leipzig since Bach's death nearly 80 years earlier. Mendelssohn's own religious leanings seem to have been contradictory, however. The grandson of the celebrated 18th-century Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, Felix converted to Lutheranism and occasionally incorporated Protestant chorale melodies into his compositions. Whether he was motivated by religious conviction or by professional expediency remains unclear.


Also today: our own Creighton Cray, hard at work practicing the piano in CUUC's Sanctuary, brings us a solo piano rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Halleluja," the work of the Canadian singer-songwriter born to an orthodox Jewish family who delved into Buddhist practices later in life.


Read on for programming details, and stay tuned for live introductions.


Centering Music:
Song without Words in F# Minor, Op. 30, No. 6 "Venetian Boatsong"

                                                Felix Mendelssohn

Opening Music: Creighton Cray, piano


                                                Leonard Cohen


Musical Meditation:

English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808


                                                J. S. Bach




English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808

            Gavottes I and II

                                                J. S. Bach



Parting Music:
Partita No. 1 in Bb Major, BWV 825


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