Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kennedy Funeral - Music Question

The last work listed in the official order of the service for Ted Kennedy's funeral today is "America the Beautiful," played as a recessional as Senator Kennedy's coffin left Our Lady of Perpetual Help. But they ran out of verses, and the organist played something magnificent and severe that I did not recognize. As the coffin was enshrouded with an American flag by the honor guard, that work ended and the chorus started in on "Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen," from the Brahms Requiem.

If anyone knows what that organ work was, please tell me.


Osbert Parsley said...

I didn't watch the service, but the situation you describe is one in which most organists would improvise. It's just not practical to prepare a piece of repertoire for that sort of situation, because you don't have a clear idea of how long you will need to play.

I was pleased to see in the order of service that the organist was Jim Christie, who I've had the pleasure of working with on a couple of occasions. A superb player, who among other accomplishments studied improvisation in Paris with Jean Langlais.

Lisa Hirsch said...

The piece certainly could have been an improvisation. Maybe I'll call the church tomorrow and ask.

Flicka said...

I too have been looking for this piece finding it glorious and shockingly alive, and would love to know what if anything you find out. I am so glad someone else is looking for it as everywhere I have looked I've hit a dead end.

mbreuer said...

The piece is entitled "Pavane" and was composed by Mr. Christie for a friend's wedding. He played this as my wedding processional in 1983.
His family is so very proud of everything he has done, but this was definitely a highlight!

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thank you so much, mbreuer, and wow. I would like to hear more of his music.

flicka said...

Thank you everyone, especially mbreur, and how fabulous that this was part of the beginning of your new wedded life!
Is this piece recorded by Mr. Christie? And I, like Lisa, would love to hear more of his music as well.