November 18, 2017

Music Monday: October 24, 2016

Music Monday: Preparing for Reformation Day One of Martin Luther’s great contributions to the Church was the restoration of hymn-singing to the people of God. A favorite album in my collection that I love to listen to this time of year was released by Concordia Publishing House; it’s called Martin Luther: Hymns, Ballads, Chants, Truth. It […]

Music Monday: October 17, 2016

Note from CM: Another of my favorite “autumnal” albums is Mark Knopfler’s Get Lucky. But rather than write about Mark myself today, I found this 2013 piece by our friend Rob Grayson that gives a good report of what it’s like to see this remarkable singer/songwriter in concert. Beyond that, it is an encouraging reminder […]

Music Monday: October 10, 2016

Music Monday: Music from the North Country Last year, in a Saturday Ramblings post, I listed five of my favorite “autumnal” music albums, and one of them was by a family group from Nova Scotia named The Rankin Family, called North Country. The Rankins as a musical group were born out of the practice of […]

Music Monday: October 3, 2016

Music Monday: Piano Music for Autumn One of my favorite recordings was an old vinyl LP I had by Irish pianist John O’Conor, entitled Autumn Songs. It is, unfortunately, difficult to find these days, though if you follow the Amazon link, you might be able to procure a used copy. As I was thinking about […]

Music Monday: Bach and the Church Year

Music Monday: Bach and the Church Year For years now, one of my favorite sites on the internet has been the Bach Cantatas Website. This comprehensive site covers all of J.S. Bach’s cantatas and vocal works, and many of the instrumental works as well. Here you will find: detailed discussions, texts and translations, scores, commentaries, […]

Music Monday: Rock Music’s Most Formative Year

Note from CM: We are going to move our classic Michael Spencer posts back to Fridays for a while, and renew our “Music Monday” theme to start each week. • • • Fifty years ago. 1966. I was ten years old. An article in The Guardian asks the question, “Was 1966 Pop Music’s Greatest Year?”  I hesitate to say it […]

Music Monday: Appalachian Spring

The fate of pieces is really rather curious…you can’t always figure out in advance exactly what’s going to happen to them. • Aaron Copland, speaking about Appalachian Spring • • • I delight in listening to one of our most beloved pieces of classical music at this time of year: Aaron Copland’s orchestral suite, Appalachian […]

Music Monday: There are years and there are Years (part 2: 2015)

In 2015, I’m looking forward to a great year in music. As I said last week, it would be hard to overestimate how much music means to me and how the songs and albums I listen to each year accompany and shape my life. Michael Spencer loved music and wrote about it or spoke about […]

Music Monday: There are years, and there are Years (part 1: 2014)

When it comes to music, there are years, and there are years. 2014 was a year. 2015 looks like it may be a year. Since I didn’t do an end-of-the-year review of music in December, I’ll write about the first today and we’ll focus on the second next Monday. It would be hard to overestimate how […]

Music Monday: Top Songs for Lent

One of the best resources on the web for pastors, church musicians, and worship leaders is the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. In their Resource Library, I found a page on which four church leaders listed their top ten songs for the Lenten season. You can go to the site and read more about each […]