Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Richard Gladwell

WXXI in Rochester is probably my favorite radio station in the world. When I lived in Rochester for eight years, WXXI was my radio station of choice. Primarily a classical music station, it also had wonderful variety music shows like Salmagundi, to which I cleaned my apartment every Saturday morning (alas! I see it is no more), and Fascinatin' Rhythm, which featured the American Songbook.

Before church each Sunday, there was also With Heart and Voice with Richard Gladwell. Richard was a member of my church, Christ Church downtown, but I didn't know that for a long time. Mostly I knew him as a voice, this lovely British inflected tenor who played Rutter and Finzi and CV Stamford. It's from Richard and the Christ Church choir that I have my education in Anglican church music.

Richard died on October 15th. I heard about it from Rochester friends, and then saw it on the Episcopal Cafe and I was amazed at how amazed I was--my Richard Gladwell, the Richard I knew, being known far and wide. But of course he was. And I'm probably not the only one to owe my church music education to Richard Gladwell.

WXXI did a wonderful commemorative show celebrating Richard Gladwell that I listened to this morning, partly because today is also the day of his funeral at my old parish, Christ Church. It seemed an incredibly fitting tribute that his obituary should be aural in nature. You can hear Richard himself, talking about being at the Invasion of Normandy as an orderly. Then the announcer says, "Maurice Durufle was the organist at such-and-such a church while Richard was stationed in France." And then his motet Ubi Caritas. Such a wonderful thing, hearing the life and the music together. I couldn't imagine anything more appropriate.

Prayers and blessings go out this day to Claire and all the Gladwell family, and to my church family at Christ Church, Rochester. I'm thinking of you all.


Anonymous said...

Greetings from Rochester, where Richard's funeral finished about an hour ago. The church was full of people and full of song - and as we all joined in the hymns and listened to the anthems, I couldn't help thinking that it was as if we had all stepped inside an episode of "Heart and Voice" ourselves. It was beautiful.

And, on a slightly sillier note, you might be happy to hear that someone had the brilliant idea of decorating all the tea sandwiches at the reception with little British flags.

Art Deco said...