Cathedrals In Music

By Brian McCreath

This afternoon at 2pm I hope you'll join me for music that was inspired by great sacred spaces.  Last week I watched Nova's "Building the Great Cathedrals" (which you can watch on demand here), and as I learned how architectural advances lead the opportunity to create brilliantly lighted spaces with stained glass, my thoughts turned to Ottorino Respighi and his equally brilliant Church Windows.  It led to looking into a few other works of music that also reflect different aspects of cathedrals and other sacred spaces, including the amazing canzoni by Giovanni Gabrieli, written for St. Mark's in Venice and recent Pulitzer Prize winning composer Jennifer Hidgon's conceptual take on the idea of cathedral in her blue cathedral.

Of course, any discussion of sacred spaces and music written for them will be incomplete without the King of Instruments, the pipe organ.  And we're very fortunate to be in a place in which a wealth of pipe organs, organ builders, and terrific organists enrich the musical landscape.  One of those organists is Bálint Karosi, who won the 2008 International Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany.  He's Minsiter of Music at First Lutheran Church of Boston, where the very fine Richards & Fowkes organ, an instrument modeled on those that Bach would have been familiar with, has just been expanded to reach its fullest form as originally designed.  There are a couple of events going on this weekend to celebrate and re-dedicate the instrument.  if you've got kids, check out the Saturday morning event, which includes a children's piece to demonstrate just how cool organs really are (and believe me, when my kids got a chance to see this instrument up close, their eyes were like saucers!), and then, a concert on Sunday will formally dedicate the instrument with guest arts Sietze deVries.

To hear more from this organ, check out The Bach Hour below.

Enjoy, and feel free to leave a comment about the most meaningful music you've heard in sacred spaces.


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