Stephen Watkins is back from holiday and his first program of the New Year, “Starry Night,” focused on liturgical offerings for the Epiphany feast. Go to his page on the Australian public radio web site for the audio link. Plainsong from Kentucky to John Rutter and a dollop of JS Bach.
This weekend’s lineup for the Baptism of the Lord feast also looks pretty good. The audio is usually posted by Monday morning Down Under, which translates to Sunday night in North America.
I know lots of my liturgical music colleagues love Rutter. I’ve sung his Requiem and it was nice. One of the cantors at my last parish often sang “Pie Jesu” before the funerals. I may get angry rumblings coming my way, but his music doesn’t really impress me. In fact, I thought the piece Watkins featured on last weekend’s program sounded a lot like 1980’s David Haas: nice enough but unremarkable. The orchestrations are lush and creamy, but is there something more? What am I missing?
By the way, how many church musicians have programmed something of Christmas on this penultimate feast of the Nativity cycle?
Image above Copyright © 2001, He Qi