October 9, 2022
Mark Neiwirth, piano
Cathryn Wilkinson, organ
Selections for solo piano by Ludwig van Beethoven,
Claude Debussy and Franz Liszt
“Reflections in the Water”……Claude Debussy
Chorus from “Les Indes Galantes”……Jean-Phillipe Ràmeau
About the Music
Many poets through the ages have been inspired by the beauty of God’s creation and their poetry has made its way into the traditional canon of hymns. The hymns of the Irish poet Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895) were inspired during her childhood near Donegal, Ireland. She wrote her first poems at age 9 and eventually completed over 400 hymns, including “All Things Bright and Beautiful” and “There Is a Green Hill Far Away.”
“All Creatures of our God and King” is based on a poem by St. Francis, sometimes known as The Canticle of Brother Sun (or The Canticle of the Creatures), in which all of creation praises the Lord:
Most high, most powerful, good Lord,
Praise, glory, honor and blessing are yours.
To you alone do they belong, most High,
And there is none fit to mention you.
Praise be to you, my Lord, with all your creatures,
Especially to my reverent Brother Sun,
who lights up the day, and gives us your brightness.
(Translation by Paschal Robinson, public domain).
“Let All Things Now Living” continues in the spirit of St. Francis’s prayer, with the theme of all creation in praise of God. The hymn is one of 800 musical works by composer and poet Katherine K. Davis. Her Christmas song, “The Little Drummer Boy,” topped the Billboard charts. To match this text she published her own arrangement of The Ash Grove, a folk tune popularized in the 18th century by traveling harpists from Wales.
About the Guest Artist
Welcome back to Mark Neiwirth who has been a friend of Church in the Forest and a performer at Sunday services since 2014. Mr. Neiwirth is a Steinway artist and recipient of the 2018 Idaho Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. He has gained an international reputation as soloist, chamber musician, teacher, adjudicator, composer, and arranger. He has been a soloist with major orchestras in New York and the Northwest, and a featured soloist with the Sun Valley Symphony for sixteen years. He is the founder of Musicians West, Inc., which sponsors musical events, scholarships and composer commissions in the state of Idaho. He is past Chairman of the Piano Department at the Sun Valley School of Music and is an adjunct professor of piano at Idaho State University in Pocatello.
Signed, Cathryn Wilkinson