A Gift of Listening – Ascension and Easter

We began sharing the gift of music from the Church of the Transfiguration through weekly videos while many of us were at home. As we slowly return to our businesses and houses of worship, we want to continue to share this gift. Our prayer is that the music of the E.M. Skinner organ, combined with images of sacred art will bring you and your loved ones peace and spiritual refreshment.

This page includes celebratory videos for Ascension and the Resurrection Season. You may also want to view the videos for Palm Sunday and Holy Week and the videos inspired by Hymns, Scripture and the music of J.S. Bach.

Allegro (Mvmt III) from Concerto in Bb for Trumpet – Tomaso Albinoni

Ascension Sunday falls between The Feast of the Ascension and Pentecost and is celebrated in many denominations. This movement, a joyous gigue, seemed a fitting piece for such a celebration. Albinoni, a baroque composer and well known in his lifetime, has let us several of these concertos for which he is also best known today.

“Serene Alleluias” from The Ascension – Olivier Messiaen

Messiaen’s L’Ascension (1932-33), a suite of four meditations on Christ’s return to Heaven, was originally composed for orchestra. Messiaen re-envisioned it for organ the following year. This movement was inspired by and is a picture of this text: Serene Alleluias of a Soul Longing for Heaven “We beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we may in mind dwell in Heaven.” (Text from Mass for Ascension Day) Messiaen’s wife once said that his composing was never more beautiful or moving than when he was “before the Eucharist”. How true that is of this movement as we hear Messiaen call upon the sweetest and warmest sounds of the organ to make his vision audible, even employing nature itself with bird calls!

Suite in D Major, G. F. Handel

This video includes the Overture, Aire and Gigue movements from Handel’s Suite in D Major originally written for Trumpet, Strings and Bass Continuo and adapted here for piccolo trumpet and organ. A glorious way to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus!

God of Grace, arr. Paul Manz

“God of Grace, and God of Glory” seems a particularly fine hymn text to sing and celebrate at this time in history, as it calls directly upon God for “strength for facing of this hour.”

Toccata from Symphony V, C. M. Widor

One of the most famous “classical” pieces of all time, this Toccata is often referred to just as “the Widor.” The grandeur of its one (and only) theme combined with the inexhaustible energy of the perpetual motion of the brilliant toccata or “ touch” figurations create a musical majesty, so appropriate for the celebration of Easter- the most royal of days!

As the Deer – Trumpet & Organ, Martin Nystrom, arr. Lori Goss

This beautiful melody is inspired by the text to Psalm 42.
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?