John Gardner will perform in a Lenten recital at Holy Cross Episcopal Church on March 6. (photo submitted)
John Gardner will perform in a Lenten recital at Holy Cross Episcopal Church on March 6. (photo submitted)

Organist John Gardner in recital at Holy Cross

Published 10:10am Friday, March 1, 2013

Organist John Gardner will perform the third recital in the Bach’s Lunch/Lenten Recital Series at Holy Cross Episcopal Church at noon on Wednesday, March 6.

John will play four pieces, which are particularly appropriate for the Christian season of Lent, which precedes Easter. The pieces are by French and American composers of the twentieth century.

The program begins with “Hymn of Thanksgiving” by Jean Langlais. This piece incorporates melodies from a medieval chant, the “Te Deum Laudamus”– that is, “Thou, God, Be Praised” — interspersed with musical exclamations by Langlais that convey a spirit of thanks to God.

Next come two pieces based on nineteenth-century American hymns: the spiritual “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” in an arrangement by Emma Lou Diemer, and a set of four short, contrasting arrangements by Samuel Barber of the hymn “What Wondrous Love Is This, O My Soul.”

The program concludes with Cortege and Litany, by Marcel Dupre. This piece begins quietly, grows in intensity in the litany section based on a repeated, chant-like melody, and reaches a brilliant and majestic conclusion.

John has been playing the organ since student days at Oberlin College; he performed a Bach’s Lunch Advent recital in 2011.

The Wednesdays at Noon Lenten recitals at Holy Cross are free of charge, and the public is invited to attend. For more information, please call the church office, 828-859-9741.

Holy Cross Episcopal Church is located at 150 Melrose Avenue, Tryon.

– article submitted by Susie Mahnke

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