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Father's Days Music: "In Praise of St. Joseph''

May 1, 2023
"In Praise of St. Joseph''
"In Praise of St. Joseph''

Father's Days Music? Check out "In Praise of St. Joseph'' (Foster Father of Our Lord) by Norberto Guinaldo.

Composer’s note:

What to play for Father’s Day has been, for years, a question not easily answered. This piece may fill this particular need. In a time of great cultural changes and their effects in home life, the strength of character of both natural and foster fathers has been brough to the fore time and again.

In writing this piece, the figure of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, was meant to be held as an example of the love and care of nurturing fathers who, in their particular situation, discharge their daunting responsibilities silently and selflessly. This piece speaks of these qualities.

Beyond Father’s Day, Christmas is another time when it can be played to great effect. For the Catholic organist, March 19th the Feast Day of St. Joseph, allows another opportunity to honor his name with this substantial piece.

There are in it four themes, all connected through liturgy and folklore with the figure of Joseph. One is a Gregorian melody and the other three folksongs—one German and two Spanish.

The first, “Ioseph, filli David…”is from the Introit to the Mass of his feast day; the second is the well-known “Joseph dearest, Joseph mine” also known as “Resonet in Laudibus.” These two are developed and become the backbone that holds the piece together. The third and fourth are Spanish “Villancicos”: “José es carpintero” (Joseph is a carpenter) and “Las barbas the San José” (The beards of St. Joseph), both from Salamanca, Spain, where the composer’s father was born and to whom the piece is dedicated.

The beauty of these Spanish melodies could be made to stand out in rich, colorful mutations (Cornets) and reed stops Krumhorn, Fagotto, Oboe). There are great climaxes, exciting crescendos and very sweet delicate and sinuous melodies. The harmonies are extremely rich, almost “French tasting” yet “sui generis” to this composer.

Everything holds together in such a way that it would be impossible to conceive doing away with any part of it. Extremely fulfilling.

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Company / Name: Guinaldo Publications