Volunteer Park, Seattle, April, 2019 – a beautiful spring day, Monday of Holy Week, with the Conservatory in the distance…
It brought back memories of five years ago, when I blogged about walking in Volunteer Park after learning about the death of my mentor and friend, Peter R. Hallock, on Sunday, April 27, 2014.
And Sunday, April 28, 2019 will be almost five years to the day since that previous walk in the park, as well as the same liturgical day – the Second Sunday after Easter, “Quasimodo Sunday” (read more about that in the link above). How ironic — when Notre Dame Cathedral and its famous hunchback have been in the news of late.
On Easter Sunday, the Compline Service began, as it has for more than three decades, with Peter’s processional “Easter Canticle.” The piece has now been recorded on CD for the first time in the choir’s new CD Of the Lord’s Mercies, just released. The CD is described as “a sonic journey through the arc of what Western Christendom calls the Paschal Cycle, encompassing the seasons of Lent, including Holy Week, and Easter, culminating on Pentecost: The 50th Day of Easter.” Previously, the choir had recorded What Hand Divine, comprising music for the Christmas Cycle (Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany) – so the new CD is a natural sequel. Both recording’s title tracks are taken from works by The Compline Choir’s composer-in-residence Erin Aas (b. 1974).
The anthem at Compline on Easter Sunday was Jacob Handl’s “Christus Surrexit,” which is also on the new recording. This year, Jason Anderson made our performance especially exciting, by inviting half the singers on each part in the tutti sections to sing in a staccato fashion. The result certainly made the melodic lines stand out with excitement! I think the effect out in the cathedral was especially stunning – although it may have been a little too marked to the radio audience due to the closeness of the microphones. But see what you think – the anthem is introduced, with translation of the Latin, by one of our excellent readers, Gregory Bloch: