Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Eve Candlelight Services

24 December, 2010
On Christmas Eve you can choose from either two afternoon services, and two Candlelight midnight services:

Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church (click here for map)
8011 Douglas, Dallas, Texas 75225, Tel. 214-363-5471

3:00pm and 5:00pm – Christmas liturgy with the Gyros String Quintet, organ and choir.


St. Luke's Episcopal Church (click here for map)
5923 Royal Lane, Dallas, TX 75230

Christmas Eve Music, 10:00 pm - with the Gyros String Quartet
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 10:30 pm


St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
6306 Kenwood Avenue, Dallas, TX 75214

11:00 pm prelude with the Gyros Strings, 2 oboes, organ and choir

J. S. BACH  –  Cantata No. 140 - “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme”
ALESSANDRO MARCELLO  –  Oboe Concerto in c minor

Midnight Service:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tracie & Chance at St. Andrew

This very beautiful wedding ceremony took place on September 25, 2010 at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano.


Entrance of the choir
Bach – “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”

Seating of the Family
Bach – “Air on the G String”

Entrance of the Attendants
Handel – “Larghetto” from “Xerxes”

Entrance of the Bride
Rogers – “Wedding Processional” from “The Sound of Music”  (trumpet and organ)

Unity Candle
Schubert – “Ave Maria”  (boys choir)

Mendelssohn – “Wedding March” (trumpet and organ)

Handel – “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”

Aleksandr Snytkin, violin
Filip Fenrych, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

Glen Hummel, trumpet
Bradley Reznicek, organ

Choir: Texas Boys Choir

Coordinator: Marsha Ballard French, Stardust Celebrations

Friday, November 12, 2010

Schubert and Haydn Masses

Sunday, November 21

You can choose from either a late morning service, or an evening concert:

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
6306 Kenwood Avenue, Dallas, TX 75214

11:00 AM service with the Gyros String Quintet, organ and choir

GABRIEL FAURÉ – Cantique de Jean Racine


Northridge Presbyterian Church
6920 Bob-O-Link, Dallas, TX  75214

7:00 PM choral concert with chamber orchestra*

JOSEPH HAYDN – Missa Brevis St. Joannis de Deo (aka, “Little Organ Mass”)
ALESSANDRO MARCELLO – Oboe Concerto in C-minor

* Gyros String Quintet, Ashley Howe, oboe, Glen Hummel, trumpet

The concert is open to the public at no charge.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Haydn Project

This past Sunday, September 26, we started a new project: get together casually once or twice a month, with the idea of working our way through all 68 Haydn string quartets in chronological order, starting with Op. 1, No. 1.

Composed over four decades, between 1757 and 1803, they comprise roughly 20 hours of stunning musical invention -- clearly this will take some time to explore.

The stand out piece came early: the slow movement of Op. 1, No. 1 - showing Haydn at his sunniest - MP3

Swang Lin, violin
Amy Faires, violin
Jennifer Sweetman, viola
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Loren & Robert, Shearith Israel

This lovely ceremony took place on Sunday, September 5, 2010 at Shearith Israel.

Brother of the bride - and very fine clarinetist - Todd Cope suggested collaborating with us in Mozart’s late masterpiece, the “Clarinet Quintet”, KV 581. We ended up playing the complete first movement during prelude - listen to the sample MP3. The sublime “Larghetto” was reserved for the Seating of the Grandparents.


J. S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3
Mozart: Divertimento No. 1 in D Major
Respighi: “Italiana” from Ancient Airs and Dances
Mozart: “Clarinet Quintet” - Allegro

Seating of the Grandparents
Mozart:  Larghetto from Clarinet Quintet -  MP3

Groom and Parents
S’u Sh’orim  (Look Up to the Gates)

Bridal Party & Flower Girls
Mi Bon Siach (Jewish Wedding March)

Bride’s Processional
Pachelbel: Canon in D

Siman Tov

Jennifer Sweetman, viola  |  Todd Cope, clarinet  |  Oliver Schlaffer, violoncello

Violinists Gary Schnitzer & Ordabek Duissen

Monday, September 13, 2010

Laura & Stephen’s “Real” wedding

Featured in the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of DWeddings: This very beautiful wedding ceremony took place on Sept. 19, 2009 at Laura’s home in Lakewood.


Seating of the Grandparents and Parents
Schubert – “Ave Maria”

Wedding Party Processional
Bach – “Air on the G String”

Bridal Processional
Bach – “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”

Handel – “Hornpipe” from “Water Music”

Handel – “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”

We blogged about this ceremony last year here -- great photos, as always, by Gary Donihoo, f8 studio

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bridesmaids Playlist on AOL

Back in February a Los Angeles writer/contributor to InStyle had asked for a list of my favorite music choices for bridesmaids. This was to be for a new AOL web site focused on weddings. I sent it in and promptly forgot about it:

Below is a list of some of my favorite processional choices for bridesmaids - in no particular order. Most were originally requested during the last 8 years or so by brides in search of something a little less boiler-plate. They are - for the most part - big, romantic, sweeping, and just about the right length. If I had to use only one word to describe the music - “poignant” would most easily come to mind. Because of their contrast in mood they also help set the stage for the bride's processional.

I did include Pachelbel's "Canon in D" - how could I not?

Theme from "Anne of Green Gables" (Hagood Hardy)
Gabriel's Oboe (Ennio Morricone)
Love Theme from "Cinema Paradiso" (Andrea Morricone)
Rondeau from "Abdelazar" (Henry Purcell)
Flower Duet from "Lakme" (Leo Delibes)
O mio babbino caro from "Gianni Schicchi" (Giacomo Puccini)
“Adagio” from Concerto Grosso op. 6, No. 8 (Arcangelo Corelli)
Meditation from "Thais" (Jules Massenet)
Pavane, op. 50 (Gabriel Fauré)
Canon in D (Johann Pachelbel)

Today I received an e-mail that her editor had posted the Play-list. Check it out here. Comes with full length sound clips as well.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Souvenir d'amour

Violinist Sergey Tsoy - one of our favorite Gyros Quartet collaborators - performing one of his own compositions, Souvenir d'amour. It reminds me of a gentler time, perhaps with Michel Legrande and Catherine Deneuve ...  Bravo, Sergey!

Beethoven and the Ode to Joy

For last Saturday's ceremony at Royal Lane Baptist Church the bride and her mom had chosen the “Ode to Joy” for the recessional. They also wanted it played by the strings with organ, as well as the trumpet. I thought this might be a good time to visit Beethoven’s score and come up with something hopefully more reminiscent of the (9th) symphony, as usually some sort of 16 bar hymnal version gets looped over and over until the bridal party has exited.

Here is the result:

MP3 recording from sampler output - will give you a pretty good idea.

In the process of working on this arrangement I found a You-tube clip of the late great Leonard Bernstein, who was not only a fantastic musician, but also had the uncanny ability - much like Joseph Campbell in the field of mythology - to put into words what most of us only instinctively know and feel.

If you can spare a few minutes, I don’t think you will regret it:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Don’t Stop Believin’

Do you sometimes get the feeling the universe is trying to tell us something? During the week several brides had inquired with some urgency if we would be able to play Journey's 1981 hit Don't Stop Believin’. I had eventually relented and knuckled down to write a string quartet arrangement. Walking to my favorite corner of culture and commerce (Starbucks) on a lazy Sunday afternoon - the unrelenting ear-worm bouncing around in my head - I encounter this stop sign:

Friday, May 14, 2010

“Gabriel’s Oboe“ and “Nella Fantasia”

One of composer Ennio Morricone’s great movie themes - “Gabriel's Oboe” (from the 1986 film “The Mission”) has long been a favorite for wedding ceremonies. And with good reason. It has an uncanny way, like few others, of infusing a space with the sense of something serene, important and profound is about to happen.

Sarah Brightman eventually got permission (see clip below) to add lyrics in 1998 and the instrumental theme became Nella Fantasia" ("In My Fantasy") and has since then been covered by many others, including Celtic Woman, Paul Potts, Il Divo, etc.

Our client Carla in Portugal provided the necessary incentive to adapt and arrange “Nella Fantasia” for string quartet and voice:

Sarah Brightman introducing the song and what looks like the first performance in Sun City / South Africa in March of 1999:


Other, recently requested arrangements that have been added to the “sheet music” section on the Gyros String Quartet web site include:

  1. Don’t Stop Believin’  -  Journey 
  2. At Last  -  Etta James 
  3. Everybody’s Free (to Feel Good)  -  from Romeo and Juliet (1996) 
  4. The Luckiest  -  Ben Folds 
  5. All the Heavens  -  Third Day 
  6. Ave Maria  -  Caccini 
  7. Gabriel’s Oboe  -  Morricone 
  8. Libertango  -  Piazzolla
  9. Amarillo by Morning  -  George Strait

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    Lenten Concert - “Seven Last Words of Christ”

    The Gyros String Quartet performs Joseph Haydn’s “Seven Last Words of Christ” as part of the St. Thomas Aquinas Stations of the Cross and Concert Series. Stations begin at 7:00 PM and the concerts follow immediately at 7:45 PM.

    Admission is free. For more information, visit the parish website at

    Friday, 19 March, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
    6306 Kenwood Ave.
    Dallas, TX 75214

    Franz Joseph Haydn - The Seven Last Words of Christ, Op. 51 (Hob. III:50-56)
    (version for string quintet)

    The musicians: Gyros String Quartet * with bassist Tony Rosario
    1. Introduzione
    2. Sonata No. 1 - Pater, dimitte illis, quia nesciunt, quid faciunt
    3. Sonata No. 2 - Hodie mecum eris in paradiso
    4. Sonata No. 3 - Mulier, ecce filius tuus
    5. Sonata No. 4 - Deus meus, Deus meus, utquid dereliquisti me?
    6. Sonata No. 5 - Sitio
    7. Sonata No. 6 - Consumatum est
    8. Sonata No. 7 - In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum
    9. Il Terremoto - (The Earthquake)
    * Vesselin Demirev, Lynda O'Connor, violins, Norbert Gerl, viola, Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

    Sunday, February 28, 2010

    Brandi & Christian

    This beautiful wedding ceremony took place on February 27 in Rockwall.


    Seating of the Grandparents and Parents
    Bach – “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”

    Wedding Party Processional
    Pachelbel – “Canon in D”

    Bridal Processional 
    Wagner – “Bridal Chorus”

    Unity Candle
    Corelli - “Adagio” from Concerto Grosso op. 6, No. 8

    Mendelssohn - “Wedding March”

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Only once in a blue moon

    Dallas on a Thursday morning in the snow - how often does that happen?

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    J.S.BACH - “Erbarme Dich” Aria - part 2

    Last October I posted about a new adaptation for violin, cello and organ of  No. 39 from
    St. Matthew Passion - the Aria “Erbarme Dich”, originally for alto solo, solo violin, strings and continuo.

    Thanks to Gyros Quartet violinist Vesselin Demirev, cellist Mitch Maxwell and organist Bradley Reznicek who got together right before Christmas at St. Andrew in Plano to read through and rehearse the piece for a bit, we can now have a better idea of how it sounds.

    Sheet music available from Edition Maximilian.

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