August 30, 2015

Gustave Doré, Job and his Friends.jpg
Gustave Doré, Job and his Friends
Then Zophar the Naamathite answered:
‘Should a multitude of words go unanswered,
and should one full of talk be vindicated?
Should your babble put others to silence,
and when you mock, shall no one shame you
[NRSV, Job 11:1-3]?

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Notes
13th Sunday after Pentecost

Click to go immediately to:




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Organ2/ASLSP: An All-Night Concert Celebrating the Life and Legacy of John Cage
Time & Date: Beginning Friday, September 4, at 6:00 p.m., and ending September 5 at 6:30 a.m.
Location: Christ Church Cathedral, Montréal; 635 rue Sainte-Catherine O (métro McGill)
Performers: Patrick Wedd, Adrian Foster, Alex Ross, Kimberley Lynch, Suzu Enns, Mark Morton

On September 4–5, Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Montréal will present an all-night concert in celebration of the life and legacy of American composer John Cage. The concert is titled Organ2/ASLSP, after the composer’s infamous 1987 work for organ, which is intended to be played literally “As SLow aS Possible.” The work will be performed by the Cathedral organists, Patrick Wedd, Adrian Foster, and Alex Ross, while other Cage compositions, are performed simultaneously in the church. The performers will use a stopwatch, and the timing of each note has been precisely calculated and written in the score. In a twelve-hour performance, the first note sounds exactly four minutes and thirty-three seconds after the start of the piece.

Cage’s work ORGAN2/ASLSP has gained considerable attention in recent years, in light of an ongoing performance, set to last 639 years, in Halberstadt, Germany. This 12-hour performance on Christ Church Cathedral’s majestic pipe organ marks the composer’s birthday and will be among the longest continuous performances of the work.

Other works that will be featured throughout the evening include the Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, Sonata for Clarinet, Aria for Solo Voice, Composed Improvisation for Single-Headed Drums, and more. The idea to perform other pieces simultaneously with the organ stems from Cage’s philosophy and performance instructions from many of his compositions.

There will be a pre-concert talk at 6 p.m. on September 4th, and the concert will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be available for purchase until 10 p.m., and the end of the concert will be marked by a complimentary breakfast in the cathedral baptistry.

The concert is free (freewill donations will support the musicians), and all are welcome to enter and leave at any point in the night. In addition to highlighting Cage’s birthday, the concert marks the month of the annual Journées de la culture in Montréal, anticipating the many events and activities that will take place at the Cathedral from September 25–27.


Everything we do is music - John Cage

To help prepare:

Organ2/ASLSP, performed by Gary Verkade at the 1971 Grönlunds Organ of Nederluleå Church, Gammelstad, Sweden, is available for free online listening to subscribers to The Classical Music Library.  Check with your librarian.  Cardholders of La Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, (Montréal) ready to open their account (dossier) online, will go directly to Organ2/ASLSP by clicking on [CML] (info). Organ2/ASLSP is track 16 of John Cage: The Works for Organ.  Liner notes are available.  The length here of Organ2/ASLSP is 32 minutes, 48 seconds.

The Halberstadt Organ

The Project in Halberstadt:

Click to read about the Halberstadt Project.

Click for enlarged pictures of the Halberstadt Organ and St. Burchardi Church. (There are 16 pictures.  Click on the arrow in the upper right to go from one to the next.)

A performance parallel to the Halberstadt Organ of one minute duration by keyboard, baritone sax, alto sax, violin and recorder (December 13, 2008 from 5:27:21 pm to 5:28:21 pm) [YouTube]

The Halberstadt Organ on June 22, 2011 [YouTube]

The note change on October 5, 2013 [YouTube].  The next change will be  in 2020.


If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four.
If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two.
Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.
- John Cage
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Herbert Howells
(1892-1983)



Read about Herbert Howells in Wikipedia.

The organ voluntaries for evensong this Sunday are the work of Herbert Howells: Preludio sine nomine and Saraband in modo elegiaco.

Preludio sine nomine, performed by Stanley Frank at the organ of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Glenside, PA [YouTube]

Saraband in modo elegiaco, performed with a sample set from the Willis organ of Hereford Cathedral [listen]

Click to listen to an hour and half program on Pipedreams, Minnesota Public Radio, of Herbert Howells' organ and choir music, featuring the Aeolian-Skinner organ of Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York, and the Willis-Mander organ of St. Paul's Cathedral, London.

Click to listen to another Pipedreams programme: Hindemith, Howells and Hanson.

A Collection of Herbert HowellsChoral Music performed by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, directed by Stephen Cleobury. [musicMe]

Services: 'Collegium Regale' (1944) / Mattins, Evensong, Communion Service
Psalm 37
Psalm 121, 122
Preces and Responses
Take him, earth for cherishing (1963) (motet)
Three Rhapsodies, Op.17 (1915-18)
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Click to go to the free organ recitals at St. James United Church, Montreal, for the Summer 2015 (Tuesdays at 12:30 pm) and the Church of Saint Andrew and Saint Paul (Thursday at 12:15 pm).

Click to go to free organ recitals at Saint Joseph Oratory (Sundays at 3:30pm).
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Charles Tournemire, L'orgue mystique: Cycle after Pentecost, Op. 56: No. 40.

Mass of the 14th Sunday after Pentecost
Prelude for the Introit [YouTube]
Offertory  [YouTube]
Elevation [YouTube]
Communion [YouTube]
Choral No. 5  [YouTube]

Click for the entire performance of L'Orgue mystique by Georges Delvallée.
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Click to go to Bach Cantatas for Online Listening.



Vincent van Gogh, The Good Samaritan (After Delacroix)
Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, Netherlands, 1890


Bach Cantatas for the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity:

Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ / Alone towards you, Lord Jesus Christ, Cantata 33, with performances by Gardiner, Koopman, Leonhardt, Leusink and Richter.

Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben / You must love God, your Lord, Cantata 77, with performances by Koopman, Leonhardt, Leusink and Suzuki.

Click to go to Johann Sebastian Bach, Ihr, die ihr euch von Christo nennet / You, who take your name from Christ, Cantata 164, with performances by Gardiner, Koopman, Leonhardt and Leusink.