Gibbons' composition bathes wild-eyed John the Baptist in majesty

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” John the Baptist must have been “a real character,” as we say in the South, one who “marched to the beat of a different drummer.” As John the Baptist announced the pathway for Jesus, the prophet Isaiah predicted John as “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness” hundreds of years before. Indeed, Isaiah also prophe... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bach's genius sets him apart; and in this case, heralds Advent's arrival

(Photo credit: facsimile of “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme,” BWV 645, from Sechs Chorales “Schubler Chorales”)     In the early years of his years at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Bach wrote an entire multi-movement cantata every week. Yes, every week. And I sometimes think my job is difficult. Not. The cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) represent some of the most significant choral literature of the repertoire of all time. They are elegantly ... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Monday, November 21, 2016

Christ the King celebrated by Christendom

The liturgical equivalents of Auld Lang Syne and “Happy New Year” are upon us in the next two weeks. The Last Sunday after Pentecost, also known as Christ the King Sunday, is the last Sunday of the liturgical year and marks the end of one of our three-year lectionary cycles. The Feast of Christ the King references a title for Jesus found in numerous passages of scripture. The Roman Catholic Church and many Protestant traditions (Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodists, et. a... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Requiem bridges All Saints', Veterans' days with the sacred

Yes, the Requiem Mass is a beautiful thing. And no, I do not wish to sound morbid about music that celebrates death. Remember, for Christians, death is not the end of the story. And would it be that we could all exit life accompanied by the comforting strains of a beautiful, masterfully composed Lux aeterna! Composers throughout time have been inspired by the texts of the Requiem Mass, and we have gorgeous melodies of these sacred texts bequeathed to us by composers including Haydn, Mozart, ... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Monday, November 7, 2016