Heavenly Associate – Music of Polish Composer Selected to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Pipe Organs at Saint Louis Abbey 

February 11, 2018 3:00 PM

Saint Louis Abbey Church

500 S Mason Rd

Creve Coeur MO 63141

This is second of the three special concerts to  commemorate the 50th anniversary of its pipe organ built by an Austrian organ builder Hradetzky. Two of these musical programs include important sacred music works written by Polish composers of the Renaissance and the Baroque eras.

The first concert took place on Sunday, October 15. The concert  featured Missa Paschalis by Marcin Leopolita (born ca. 1540; died ca. 1589). Leopolita is regarded as one of the most outstanding representatives of Polish sacred music, in spite of the fact that out of several dozens of compositions he wrote only six are extant. Based on Polish Easter hymns, Missa Paschalis is the oldest complete musical setting of the Mass by a Polish composer. 

 This second anniversary concert “Heavenly Associate”  will feature the Completorium- a masterpiece by Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki (born ca. 1665-7; died 1734), one of the chief composers of the Polish Baroque. The score of the Completorium was discovered only in 1961. Gorczycki’s Completorium is based on the text of the Compline, the last service of the daily cycle of monastic prayers – the Officium.  Nevertheless, Gorczycki’s musical cycle that took a form of a vocal-instrumental sacred concerto has a purely artistic, non-liturgical, purpose. Some compositional techniques employed by Gorczycki in his Completorium were later adopted and developed by Georg Frederick Handel.

This program will involve some of the top singers and instrumentalists of Saint Louis. The main theme of The Heavenly Associate is cooperation of the organ with voices and an other instruments in sacred repertoire ranging from the solo aria to the music for vocal-instrumental ensemble in concertato style, mostly from the time of expressive seconda pratica which marks the beginning of the Baroque.

Stella Markau soprano
Thomas Dinan Alto
Jon Garrett tenor
Leon Burke bass
Hannah Frey violin I
Amy Greenhalgh violin II
John Korak trumpet I
Robert Souza trumpet II
Stephanie Hunt cello
David Sinden organ
Andrzej Zahorski director