This Sunday is Transfiguration, the last festival service before the Season of Lent, which means this is the last organ postlude I’ll play until Easter Day! (At LCH we observe the penitential season of Lent by not having postludes.) Once there was a whole Lenten season when I decided I wasn’t going to use organ mixtures (the highest pitched sounds) and I’ve heard that some organists don’t use anything higher than 4′ pitch during Lent! (Carl thinks this is a little extreme!)
The LCH Choir is singing music by the prolific English Renaissance composer, Peter Philips, who was born in 1561 in England, but spent most of his career in Brussels, Belgium. Both of the anthems for the offertory and the communion, “Hodie in monte,” and “In splendenti nube” were written specifically for this festival as you can see by the translations below:
Today on the mountain, the Lord is transfigured, the heavens are opened and the voice of the Father thunders: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased:” The heavens thunder and the voice of the Father is heard: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased:” [Hodie in monte]
In the shining cloud the Holy Spirit was seen, the voice of the Father was heard: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear him. An over-shadowing cloud appeared and the Father’s voice rang forth: This is my beloved Son; in whom I am well pleased, hear him. [In splendenti nube]
I thought back to when I first heard recordings by the Renaissance choral group, The Tallis Scholars, and thought, “Wait a minute! Aren’t they conducted by Peter Phillips?!” Yes, it’s the same name, but with 2 “L”s, and of course several centuries difference. Carl and I heard the Tallis Scholars in person at the Boston Early Music Festival 2001 and would highly recommend their recordings. Yes, Peter Phillips conducts Peter Philips! It’s easy to confuse the two!