Slideshow image
Save to your Calendar

Jonathan Oldengarm, organist

Annum per Annum (Arvo Pärt, b. 1935)

Passiontide Chorales from the Orgelbüchlein (J.S. Bach 1685-1750) 
   O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig, BWV 618
   Christe, du Lamm Gottes, BWV 619
   O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß, BWV 622

Le Dieu caché, ("The hidden God") from Livre du Saint Sacrament (Olivier Messiaen,1908-1992)

Weinen, klagen, sorgen, zagen (Franz Liszt, 1811-1886)

Today’s programme is presented in conjunction with Met's Lenten theme of spiritual practices, as exercised in many walks of life. Each piece represents a kind of spiritual journey. Arvo Pärt’s minimalist work was commissioned in celebration of the 950th anniversary of the Speyer Cathedral. The five sections bear the letters K, G, C, S, A, representing the Mass movements Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei – the Mass having held the church together for millennia. Bach’s Orgelbüchlein (“Little Organ Book”) is a series of 45 miniature chorale settings, conceived in Bach’s words as “exercises” in the musical, compositional, intellectual and spiritual senses. Olivier Messiaen’s final work, the mighty Livre du Saint Sacrament, is a profound 18-movement meditation on the Eucharist, the ultimate unifying Christian practice. Franz Liszt’s mighty passacaglia Weinen, klagen, sorgen, zagen (“Crying, mourning, worrying, sighing”) is inspired by Bach’s eponymous Cantata 12, the first movement of which Bach later refashioned as the basis of the Crucifixus in the Mass in B Minor. Written in response to the illness and eventual death of a friend, Liszt’s work represents a typical Romantic journey from darkness to light (think Beethoven’s 5th), but can equally be read as a journey from despair and grief to hope and acceptance, ending with the chorale Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan (“What God does, is done for good”).

Following the recital, Jonathan Oldengarm will give a talk on Music as a Spiritual Practice, exploring the spirituality of creating, performing, and listening to music.