Tag Archives: Flor Peeters

Seventh Sunday of Easter – 01 Jun 14

Flor Peeters

Flor Peeters

Opening Voluntary: Prelude on Jesu, nostra redemptio– Flor Peeters (1903-1986)

Closing Voluntary: Intrada in G major – Charles W. Ore (b. 1936)

Today’s opening voluntary is a chorale prelude on the Latin hymn, Jesu, nostra redemptio, “Jesus, our redemption.” Both the text and the melody are anonymous. Although the earliest manuscript versions of this Ascensiontide hymn are from the Eleventh century, hymnologists believe that it dates back to probably the 8th century.

Jesu, our hope, our heart’s desire,
Thy work of grace we sing;
Redeemer of the world art Thou,
Its maker and its king.
 
How vast the mercy and the love,
Which laid our sins on Thee,
And led Thee to a cruel death,
To set Thy people free!
 
But now the bonds of death are burst;
The ransom has been paid;
And Thou art on Thy Father’s throne,
In glorious robes arrayed.
 
O may Thy mighty love prevail
Our sinful souls to spare!
O may we stand around Thy throne,
And see Thy glory there!
 
Jesu, our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize wilt be;
In Thee be all our glory now
And through eternity.
 
All praise to Thee who art gone up
Triumphantly to Heav’n;
All praise to God the Father’s name
And Holy Ghost be given. 
 

The chorale prelude is the composition of Florent Peeters (1903-1986) who was born in the village of Telen, east of Antwerp, Belgium in 1903 as the youngest of 11 children, most of whom played musical instruments.  By the age of only 8 years, he deputized for his eldest brother at the local church. He studied formally at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen and was appointed assistant to his teacher, Oscar Depuydt , at the St. Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen at the age of 20. Peeters later succeeded to his teacher’s position and remained as the principal organist there for 63 years. He taught at several musical institutions and also performed widely and internationally as a recitalist, including 10 separate tours through the United States. Peeters wrote extensively in many fields, but mostly for the organ, for which he composed over 550 works.

The setting played as our opening voluntary treats the melody in an “alternating” manner with the upper manual playing a gentle free variation of the tune interspersed with sections on the lower (great) manual which quote the tune literally  but with a dense chromatic harmonization.

The closing voluntary is a short fanfare composed by American organist, Charles W. Ore. Ore was born 18th December 1936 in Winfield, Kansas.  He studied at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and at the University of Nebraska.  He was professor and chair of the Department of Music at Concordia College in Seward, Nebraska from 1966 to 2001. He currently serves as organist of First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Today’s composition is one of 8 similar pieces published as a collection by Augsburg Publishing House in 1981.

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Sunday in the Octave of All Saints’ Day – 03 Nov 13

Heavenly Jerusalem

Organ Voluntary: Chorale Prelude on Cælestis Urbs Jerusalem – Flor Peeters (1913-1986)

Cælestis urbs Jerusalem,
Beata pacis visio,
Quæ celsa de viventibus
Saxis ad astra toleris,
Sponsæque ritu cingeris
Mille angelorum milibus
 
Thou heavenly, new Jerusalem,
Vision of peace in prophet’s dream!
With living stones built up on high,
And rising to yon starry sky;
In bridal pomp thy form is crowned,
Yea, with thousand, thousand angels round! 
 
 Urbs beata Jerusalem
dicta pacis visio
Quæ construir in cælis
vivis ex lapidibus
Et angelis coronata
ut sponsata comite.
 
Blessed city of Jerusalem,
called “vision of peace,”
Built in heaven
out of living stone
And crowned by the angels
like a bride for her consort. 

Today’s organ voluntary is a chorale prelude based on the melody of the Gregorian hymn, “Cælestis Urbs Jerusalem.”  The original text is anonymous and may date from as early as the 6th century of the Christian era. Originally, the text (see above) was “Urbs beata Jerusalem,” but was altered under Pope Urban VIII (1568-1644) by a group of correctors.  In its original form (see above), it was later translated and adapted by hymn writer and Anglican priest, John Mason Neale (1818-1866) and appears in The Hymnal 1982 as #519, “Blessed city, heavenly Salem.” The composer of the voluntary was Flor Peeters (1913-1986), a renowned Belgian composer and teacher of organ music.


2d Sunday after Pentecost – Feast of Corpus Christi (Observed) – 2 Jun 13

Opening Voluntary: 4 Movements from a Partita on “Adoro Te Devote” – Flor Peeters (1903-1986)

 At the Offertory: Adagio on “Adoro Te Devote” – Flor Peeters

 Closing Voluntary: Andante Maestoso on “Adoro Te Devote” – Flor Peeters

A chorale partita composed by Belgian organist, Flor Peeters (1903-1986), on the Gregorian hymn, Adoro Te Devote, is the basis for all of the incidental organ music for this Sunday.  This composition, the first in his Opus 76, comes from one of three separate collections of Chorale Preludes on Gregorian Tunes, each consisting of 10 such works.  The Partita on Adoro Te Devote is from 1955 and was dedicated to his friend, Albert De Klerk, organist in Haarlem, Netherlands. Each of its six sections is an independent variation on the hymn tune.  For the Opening Voluntary we will hear four of the sections, nos. 1-3 and 5.  At the Offertory we will hear the brief, no. 4, and for the Closing Voluntary, no. 6. All prominently feature the hymntune melody which we sing as our first hymn during Benediction today as #314 from The Hymnal, 1982.

Florent Peeters (1903-1986) was born in the village of Telen, east of Antwerp, Belgium in 1903 as the youngest of 11 children, most of whom played musical instruments.  By the age of only 8 years, he deputized for his eldest brother at the local church. He studied formally at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen and was appointed assistant to his teacher, Oscar Depuydt , at the St. Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen at the age of 20. Peeters later succeeded to his teacher’s position and remained as the principal organist there for 63 years. He taught at several musical institutions and also performed widely as a recitalist, including 10 separate tours through the United States. Peeters wrote widely in many fields, but mostly for the organ, for which he composed over 550 works.

The Gregorian hymn, Adoro Te Devote, is a Eucharistic hymn attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1275).  Honored as one of the 33 Doctors of the Church, St. Thomas is known best for his Summa Theologica, an unfinished but still monumental work written as a compendium of the theology of the Western Church.  Although commonly attributed to St. Thomas, the hymn Adoro Te Devote is not conclusively known to be his work, although he is believed to have composed other Eucharistic hymns for the daily office on a commission from Pope Urban IV following the latter’s institution of the Feast of Corpus Christi in the year 1264.

The Latin Hymn, Adoro Te Devote, is in seven stanzas, although only four are included in the translation published in The Hymnal, 1982.  The sixth stanza is of particular interest, as it contains the metaphorical characterization of Jesus as the “Pie Pelicane” or merciful pelican based on the pious ancient belief that the mother pelican would feed her chicks with blood that she obtained by wounding her own breast, a legendary with obvious eucharistic overtones.

Prostrate I adore Thee, Deity unseen,
Who Thy glory hidest ‘neath these shadows mean;
Lo, to Thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed,
Tranced as it beholds Thee, shrined within the cloud.
Taste, and touch, and vision, to discern Thee fail;
Faith, that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil.
I believe whate’er the Son of God hath told;
What the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold.
On the Cross lay hidden but thy Deity,
Here is hidden also Thy Humanity:
But in both believing and confessing, Lord,
Ask I what the dying thief of Thee implored.
Thy dread wounds, like Thomas, though I cannot see,
His be my confession, Lord and God, of Thee,
Make my faith unfeigned ever-more increase,
Give me hope unfading, love that cannot cease.
O memorial wondrous of the Lord’s own death;
Living Bread, that giveth all Thy creatures breath,
Grant my spirit ever by Thy life may live,
To my taste Thy sweetness never-failing give.
Pelican of mercy, Jesu, Lord and God,
Cleanse me, wretched sinner, in Thy Precious Blood:
Blood where one drop for human-kind outpoured
Might from all transgression have the world restored.
Jesu, whom now veiled, I by faith descry,
What my soul doth thirst for, do not, Lord, deny,
That thy face unveiled, I at last may see,
With the blissful vision blest, my God, of Thee. Amen

Maundy Thursday – 28 Mar 13

Flor Peeters

Flor Peeters

Opening Voluntary: Praeludium und Hymne in the Phrygian Mode – Flor Peeters (1903-1986)

Offertory: Chorale Prelude on Pange, lingua, gloriosi – Flor Peeters (1903-1986)

Both tonight’s opening voluntary and the offertory are works of composer Florent Peeters (1903-1986). Peeters was born in the village of Telen, east of Antwerp, Belgium in 1903 as the youngest of 11 children, most of whom played musical instruments. By the age of only 8 years, he deputized for his eldest brother at the local church. He studied formally at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen and was appointed assistant to his teacher, Oscar Depuydt, at the St. Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen at the age of 20. Peeters later succeeded to his teacher’s position and remained as the principal organist there for 63 years.  He taught at several musical institutions and also performed widely as a recitalist, including 10 separate tours through the United States.  Peeters wrote many different types of music, but most was for the organ, for which he composed over 550 works.

The Opening Voluntary, Praeludium und Hymne is from Peeters Opus 90 work of 16 pieces on the “Kirchentonarten” or as we might say, the Gregorian modes. Unlike modern Western music, in which we use relatively few scales (most commonly the major and minor scales), Gregorian music employs 8 different scales, numbered 1-8 and in that order known by the names: Dorian, Hypodorian, Phrygian, Hypophrygian, Lydian, Hypolydian, Mixolydian and Hypomixolydian.  The voluntary this evening is based on the third or Phyrgian mode.  On a modern piano, this scale can be reproduced by playing the ‘white’ notes beginning on “E” and ending at the same note as the octave above.  It is most similar to our modern “natural minor” key and differs from that scale by only one half-step in the second degree. Peeters composed two pieces in this collection for each of the modes, one freely conceived Praeludium and one more rigidly homophonic Hymne.

The organ composition at the offertory is based on the Latin hymn, Pange, lingua, gloriosi found in our Hymnal 1982 as #329 in the English translation, “Now, my tongue, the mystery telling.” The text is attributed to Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and was first notably translated into English by Edward Caswall (1814-1878) and later emended by others. Although originally a married Anglican Cleric, Caswall came under the influence of John Henry Newman (1801-1890) and later converted to Roman Catholicism. The hymn, Pange, lingua, has been used traditionally during the procession to the altar of repose on Maundy Thursday as well as on the Feast of Corpus Christi. The final two stanzas, beginning with “Therefore we before him bending” or in Latin, Tantum ergo sacramentum, are known for their use in the Rite of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.


For additional listening – A Flor Peeters Program on “Pipedreams”

If you are interested in hearing more organ music by Belgian composer and organist Flor Peeters, you might enjoy a program from the program “Pipedreams” available as a streaming online audio.  For those unfamiliar with the program, “Pipedreams” is a production of Minnesota Public Radio, available on many public radio stations as a weekly program, but easily accessed online at the main website: Pipedreams. It is hosted by organist and organ music historian, Michael Barone.

In 2003, in honor of the centenary of Flor Peeters’ birth, Pipedreams produced an entire program dedicated to his music.  Click the following link to take you to the program:  Flor Peeters Recital. By the way, if you find yourself listening to Pipedreams frequently, you may wish to consider making an appropriate donation.

Music played in the program

FLOR PEETERS: Entrata Festiva, Opus 93 –Missouri Brass QuintetJohn Obetz (1993 Casavant Frères/Community of Christ Temple, Independence, MO) RBWCD-008

FLOR PEETERS: Suite Modale, Opus 43, Scherzo, Adagio, Toccata –Peter Hurford (1978 Rieger/Ratzeburg Cathedral, Germany) London/Decca 421 296

FLOR PEETERS: O Maria die daar staat –Cristel de Meulder, soprano; Jan van Mol (1880 Cavaillé-Coll/Jesuit Church, Heverlee, Belgium) Pavane ADW 7431

FLOR PEETERS: Chorale-prelude, Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, from Opus 68 –Jozef Sluys (1986 Loncke/Sint-Salvatorskathedraal, Bruges, Belgium) Prezioso CD-820.204

FLOR PEETERS: Toccata, Fugue & Hymn on Ave maris stella, Opus 28 –Katharine Pardee (1907 Hutchings-Votey; 1999 Rosales/Cathedral of St. James, Seattle, WA) Pro Organo CD 7140

FLOR PEETERS: Introduction & Allegro, 1st movement, from Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, Opus 52 –Cologne Youth Symphony, Volker Hempfling, conductor; Paul Wisskirchen (1980 Klais/Altenberger Dom, Germany) Motette CD MOT 40161

FLOR PEETERS: Variations & Finale on an Old Flemish Song, Opus 20 –Graham Barber (1986 Walker/Town Hall, Bolton, England, UK) Priory PRCD221

FLOR PEETERS: Abdijvrede, Paix Monastique Opus 16a –Jan van Moll (1880 Cavaillé-Coll/Jesuit Church, Heverlee, Belgium) Pavane ADW 7431

Flor Peeters [1903-1986] held important positions in Mechelen, Ghent and Antwerp. The Belgian government sponsored his annual international master classes at Mechelen Cathedral from 1968 until his death.


2d Sunday after Pentecost – Feast of Corpus Christi (Observed) – 10 Jun 12

Opening Voluntary: 4 Movements from a Partita on “Adoro Te Devote” – Flor Peeters (1903-1986)

 At the Communion: Adagio on “Adoro Te Devote” – Flor Peeters

 Closing Voluntary: Andante Maestoso on “Adoro Te Devote” – Flor Peeters

A chorale partita composed by Belgian organist, Flor Peeters (1903-1986), on the Gregorian hymn, Adoro Te Devote, is the basis for all of the incidental organ music for this Sunday.  This composition, the first in his Opus 76, comes from one of three separate collections of Chorale Preludes on Gregorian Tunes, each consisting of 10 such works.  The Partita on Adoro Te Devote is from 1955 and was dedicated to his friend, Albert De Klerk, organist in Haarlem, Netherlands. Each of its six sections is an independent variation on the hymn tune.  For the Opening Voluntary we will hear four of the sections, nos. 1-3 and 5.  At the Communion we will hear the brief, no. 4, and for the Closing Voluntary, no. 6. All prominently feature the hymntune melody which we sing as our first hymn during Benediction today as #314 from The Hymnal, 1982.

Florent Peeters (1903-1986) was born in the village of Telen, east of Antwerp, Belgium in 1903 as the youngest of 11 children, most of whom played musical instruments.  By the age of only 8 years, he deputized for his eldest brother at the local church. He studied formally at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen and was appointed assistant to his teacher,Oscar Depuydt , at the St. Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen at the age of 20. Peeters later succeeded to his teacher’s position and remained as the principal organist there for 63 years. He taught at several musical institutions and also performed widely as a recitalist, including 10 separate tours through the United States. Peeters wrote widely in many fields, but mostly for the organ, for which he composed over 550 works.

The Gregorian hymn, Adoro Te Devote, is a Eucharistic hymn attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1275).  Honored as one of the 33 Doctors of the Church, St. Thomas is known best for his Summa Theologica, an unfinished but still monumental work written as a compendium of the theology of the Western Church.  Although commonly attributed to St. Thomas, the hymn Adoro Te Devote is not conclusively known to be his work, although he is believed to compose other Eucharistic hymns for the daily office on a commission from Pope Urban IV following the latter’s institution of the Feast of Corpus Christi in the year 1264.

The Latin Hymn, Adoro Te Devote, is in seven stanzas, although only four are included in the translation published in The Hymnal, 1982.  The sixth stanza is of particular interest, as it contains the metaphorical characterization of Jesus as the “Pie Pelicane” or merciful pelican based on the pious ancient belief that the mother pelican would feed her chicks with blood that she obtained by wounding her own breast, a legendary with obvious eucharistic overtones.

Prostrate I adore Thee, Deity unseen,
Who Thy glory hidest ‘neath these shadows mean;
Lo, to Thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed,
Tranced as it beholds Thee, shrined within the cloud.
Taste, and touch, and vision, to discern Thee fail;
Faith, that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil.
I believe whate’er the Son of God hath told;
What the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold.
On the Cross lay hidden but thy Deity,
Here is hidden also Thy Humanity:
But in both believing and confessing, Lord,
Ask I what the dying thief of Thee implored.
Thy dread wounds, like Thomas, though I cannot see,
His be my confession, Lord and God, of Thee,
Make my faith unfeigned ever-more increase,
Give me hope unfading, love that cannot cease.
O memorial wondrous of the Lord’s own death;
Living Bread, that giveth all Thy creatures breath,
Grant my spirit ever by Thy life may live,
To my taste Thy sweetness never-failing give.
Pelican of mercy, Jesu, Lord and God,
Cleanse me, wretched sinner, in Thy Precious Blood:
Blood where one drop for human-kind outpoured
Might from all transgression have the world restored.
Jesu, whom now veiled, I by faith descry,
What my soul doth thirst for, do not, Lord, deny,
That thy face unveiled, I at last may see,
With the blissful vision blest, my God, of Thee. Amen

Maundy Thursday – 5 April 2012

Opening Voluntary: Prelude on RHOSYMEDRE , “My Song is Love Unknown”

– R. Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)Washing of the Disciples Feet

At Communion: Chorale Prelude on Pange Lingua

Flor Peeters (1903-1986)

The text “My Song is Love Unknown” was written by Samuel Crossman (1623-1683) and published in The Young Man’s Meditation, or Some Few Sacred Poems upon Select Subjects and Scriptures (London, 1664). Crossman was born in Bradfield Monachorum, Suffolk, England in 1623.  After earning a bachelor of divinity degree at Pembroke College, Cambridge, he ministered at first to both an Anglican congregation and a separate Puritan one.  Although he had strong Puritan sympathies, and was briefly expelled after the 1662 Act of Uniformity, he later recanted and was ordained in 1665 and became a royal chaplain.  He was eventually made dean of Bristol Cathedral in 1683, serving briefly before his death that same year. Although we will sing the hymn (#458) tonight to the tune by John Ireland (1879-1962), the text is also often (and optionally in The Hymnal 1982 ) paired with the  Welsh hymn tune RHOSYMEDRE by John D. Edwards (1806-1885).  The tune name is a reference to the village of Rhosymedre in North Wales where Edwards served as vicar from 1843-1885. The Opening Voluntary is based on this hymn tune and is from a collection of Three Preludes for Organ on Welsh Hymn Tunes by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

My song is love unknown, my Savior’s love to me
love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be.
O who am I that for my sake my Lord should take frail flesh, and die? – Samuel Crossman, 1664
 
A new commandment I giue vnto you, That yee loue one another, as I haue loued you, that yee also loue one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if yee haue loue one to another. John 23-34-35 (KJV, 1611)

The organ composition at the offertory is based on the Latin hymn, Pange Lingua (#329, The Hymnal 1982) and was composed by Flemish organist Flor Peeters (1903-1986).  The text is attributed to Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and was first notably translated into English by Edward Caswall (1814-1878) and later emended by others. Although originally a married Anglican Cleric, Caswall came under the influence of John Henry Newman (1801-1890) and later converted to Roman Catholicism along with his wife, who shortly after in 1849, after which he was received into the order of the Oratorians.  The hymn, Pange Lingua has been used traditionally as we employ it tonight, during the procession to the Altar of Repose as well as at the feast of Corpus Christi.

In supremae nocte coenae
recumbens cum fratribus
observata lege plene
cibis in legalibus
cibum turbae doudenae
se dat suis manibus.
 
Verbum caro, panem verum
verbo carnem efficit:
fitque sanguis Christi merum
et si sensus deficit
ad firmandum cor sincerum
sola fides sufficit
– Thomas Aquinas from Pange Lingua Gloriosi
 
In the night of that final Supper
reclining with his brothers,
He carries out the full Law
with the food of the Law.
He gives himself as food to the Twelve
with his own hands,
 
The Incarnate Word
makes true bread Flesh by a Word
and makes wine the Blood of Christ.
And if the senses are not enough
to strengthen the sincere heart,
faith alone shall suffice. 
-Thomas Aquinas from Pange Lingua Gloriosi (Translated)

In keeping with the solemn nature and customs of the Holy Triduum liturgies, there is no closing voluntary, and the liturgy concludes with the singing of Psalm 22, seen by the early Christians as a prefiguring of the crucifixion.


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