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composers & the church

a recital honoring the legacy of the church as one of the greatest sponsors and curators of music.

Composers and The Church featured:

May 7th, 2018

Richard Strauss's Op. 27

Selections from Olivier Messiaen's Harawi

Benjamin Britten's The Poet's Echo

Arias and Oratorio by George F. Handel 

Sacred songs by Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Ralph Vaughn Williams, & Thomas Tallis

Composers and the Church Program Notes

Crypt Chapel, The Church of Intercession

550 W. 155th St., NY, NY 10032

Amanda Austin


Bénédicte Jourdois


Paul Grosvenor


Joseph Tancredi


Charlotte Merz


“The Church” has served as one of the greatest sponsors and curators of music throughout history.  Like many musicians today, composers were often able to sustain themselves and serve their communities through positions provided by The Church. Beloved composers from the classical canon often used their positions as testing grounds for compositional devices and public reception of their music.


This hour-long recital by Amanda Austin and Bénédicte Jourdois explored both the sacred and secular music of composers who served in music ministry positions or were historically noted as being sponsored in various capacities by The Church. 


Richard Strauss, Olivier Messiaen, Benjamin Britten, George Friedrich Handel, Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Ralph Vaugh Williams, and Thomas Tallis’s song was featured in the program. The first half of the evening’s music shared secular songs on sacred themes for soprano and piano, and the second half, hymns and songs that were largely secular and pastoral.


An audience full of musicians and those familiar with the melodies of the second half joined the soloists and all present echoed the canon of The Church and the composers that it fostered.

This program was performed and sponsored by The Church of Intercession, home to one of the most unique performance spaces in New York City. Their beautiful Crypt hosts weekly concerts sharing a variety of musical genres.  Composers & The Church was featured  as one of the " Jazz in the Crpyt" sessions. 

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