An overflow crowd attended our Bach Vespers last Sunday night, the last one Carl Crosier conducted as Cantor of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. True to form, we didn’t pick up the worship booklets until 2 pm Sunday afternoon, and were surprised to be waited on by LCH parishioner, Jaime Garcia, at our local FedEx Office store!
The choir was asked to come at 6:45 pm for a warmup on the Peter Cornelius’ anthem, “Thron der Liebe, Stern der Güte,” as it was the newest, and probably the most complex and challenging piece of the evening.
Then Carl set about tuning the harpsichord. Even though the congregation was allowed to enter the nave as soon as the choral rehearsal was over, they were very quiet during the tuning. I was thinking we ought to tune the harpsichord just right before as a matter of normal procedure, because people came in reverently and did not chatter.
I played Bach’s Prelude in B minor (BWV 544a) for the beginning of the service and the Fugue (BWV 544b) as the postlude. This is a piece I actually learned as a junior in high school, studied it with Marcel Dupré, and have played it several times over the course of many years. It felt pretty comfortable.
Here is Carl’s take on the service: “Bach BWV 111 was quite wonderful and everyone really sang and played it well. It had lots of spirit. The thing I was most pleased with was the choir rising to the Cornelius motet, which is very challenging. It was our first time out and they did a very fine reading of it, really only pulling it together at the very last moment (everyone was finally there to rehearse it!)”
I have to thank Jean Lilley for these pictures. Right in the middle of the service, I thought I’d pull out my camera, only to find that the batteries were dead!