Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Pianist and the Critic

(The following is an article I wrote five years ago. I’d almost forgotten about it till this morning, when by chance I came across it on the web. Amazingly, it found its way to the Wladyslaw Szpilman "The Pianist" Official Homepage ( It is an impassioned piece that I enjoyed re-reading.)


“Those who can’t do, review.”

by Leonardo Ciampa

Last night I finally saw Roman Polanski’s film, The Pianist. I avoided it like the plague, the bitter taste from Shine being still in my mouth. (Shine was a perfectly enjoyable movie, until I actually heard Mr. Helfgott play in real life. Perhaps he was so named because even mit der Hilfe Gottes he still can’t play accurately.)

Not so with the Pianist and its subject, Wladyslaw Szpilman.

Firstly, just in terms of moviemaking itself, The Pianist is a phenomenal artistic achievement. This fact was all the more palpable because the previous movie my wife and I had seen was Gangs of New York. In comparison to Polanski’s work, Scorsese’s was like a bad comic book. Typical Hollywood sensationalism which, starting from the very first scene, screams to the viewer, “This is not in any way realistic or even artistic. This is just an extravaganza of superficiality designed to win awards.”

The Pianist had the ring of truth from the getgo – in large part due to the fact that Szpilman’s work was written in 1946. How brave to document his tragedy so soon after it ended.

There is an old adage, “Those who can’t do, review.” It’s one of those silly sayings about which I wish I could say, “They’re not accurate – they’re just debunking expressions used by people who like to dish.” Experience, however, has told me that this expression in particular is a truthful one.
Critic Norman Lebrecht suffers from the same ailment as virtually every other critic: They seem to be against everything but for nothing. Lebrecht’s book,
The Maestro Myth, is a case in point. He glories in the demystification and deflation of every great conductor under the sun. The fact, however, remains that it is harder to conduct than it is to write about conductors.

Particularly deviant are Lebrecht’s criticisms of Maestro Szpilman, in a 2002 article entitled “The Real [sic] Szpilman Revealed.” Consider the following utterances:

Whether he was a good, bad or moderate musician is immaterial to his story.

No, in fact, it was perfectly material. Here is a man who was so respected that Jews and Gentiles alike rallied to his defense. Would they have done this for just anyone? What made Szpilman stand out among the millions and millions of other Jews who faced the same fate? Obviously (at least, it would be obvious to one with a rational and healthy mind), Szpilman was a special person with a special talent.

The composer Andrzej Panufnik … failed to mention [Szpilman] either in his memoirs, or (his widow tells me) in any of their conversations. Reich-Ranicki, who knew Szpilman in the ghetto, likewise omits him from his memoirs. … None [of the other important Polish musicians] made public acknowledgement of his contribution, if any, to their careers.

Lebrecht began his article by saying, “In classical music, you’ve got to be dead to be good. Only two or three composers at any given time achieve posterity while alive. The rest go gently into that good night, praying for posthumous recognition.” Why, then, does Lebrecht contradict himself by gloating over his inability to find contemporary kudos for Szpilman? How much contemporary kudos did J. S. Bach garner? As a keyboardist, some. As a composer? Yet another case of Lebrecht’s illogic and his obsession with desecration.

Szpilman did not achieve individual renown. He appears to have been a man with no shadow.

J. S. Bach was not renowned until Mendelssohn revived the
St. Matthew Passion 77 years after Bach’s death. Shadows are not always contemporaneous with the people who cast them.

On the other hand, movies tend not to be made about critics’ lives! That’s why criticism contains more ax-grinding than aural discernment.

Musical evidence has begun to emerge from the archives of Polish Radio revealing Szpilman as an artist of ironic refinement and restrained muscularity.

The evidence does not reveal this. It reveals a musician of the highest order, a Golden Age style composer-musician who seems not to have lost a thing despite six years (!) away from his craft. All that should be there is there: a well-grounded technique, a singing melody, an ear for voicing the harmony, an understanding of the structure of the music, all unified by God-given style and taste.

[The] two tapes of the Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp minor … avoid bombast, triumphalism or sentimentality.

Is that piece bombastic, triumphal, or sentimental? Perhaps, then, Szpilman was a good interpreter.

The pianist can almost be heard to smile when there was nothing to smile about.

No, it is Lebrecht who inappropriately smiles. An autographical observation!

In the ubiquitous Rachmaninov Prelude in G-sharp he makes no attempt to compete with the fingerpower of Russian masters, but tosses the piece off with near casual panache.

Incorrect. Szpilman does have fingerpower, which is why the piece sounds “easy.” How Szpilman maintained that fingerpower during those six unspeakable years shall remain one of the great mysteries of pianism.

[The] Sony Classical disc that comes out this week [is] a testament to a shy executant.

Shy? Why, because in Chopin’s Nocturnes he doesn’t pour gasoline into the piano and throw a matchin? Szpilman is one of the only pianists in history to capture Chopin’s dreamy introversion. Or do you prefer Rubinstein’s jaded versions that reek of debauchery?

The most interesting discovery on the disc is Szpilman’s own music… (etc.)

Typical critic behavior: Disarm the reader with a seemly complimentary sentence, then whip out the condescension.

In the ghetto he composed a Gershwin-like concertino for piano and orchestra, astonishingly cocky in the deadly circumstances.

Cocky? Here Lebrecht is making two ridiculous comments – one, that Gershwin’s music is cocky, two, that Szpilman’s is. Is any music that is “lighter” than Beethoven’s somehow brash? And what is the relevance of world events? In 1937 America was in a depression, the world was at the brink of war, and Cole Porter suffered an accident that would eventually result in amputation. That didn’t stop him from writing songs like Most Gentlemen Don’t Like Love, From Now On, and Get Out Of Town. Should he somehow not have been allowed to write light-hearted songs at that time?

Naggingly persistent, [the Concertino] is not a particularly likeable piece but it lodges in the ear like a grommet. It’s one of those pieces you find yourself humming and wonder where it’s from.

Typical mentality of the 20th-century music critic: If a piece is popular, it must not be good. So if the piece didn’t stay in one’s ear, would it then qualify as a masterpiece?

In a year or two, Szpilman’s music will be played no more than Górecki’s.

An easy statement to make, because in a year or two no one will remember Lebrecht’s review in order to refute it.

Leonardo Ciampa
2 February 2004

Copyright © MMIV Leonardo A. Ciampa. All rights reserved.

Note: The soundtrack is played not by Szpilman but by another excellent Polish pianist, Janusz Olejniczak.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

278 pages of music in 24 hours!


I didn't exactly plan it this way, but within 24 hours, not one but two major collections of my music were published -- one with 128 pages, the other with 150 pages! That makes 278 pages of my music, made available for purchase anywhere in the world. 24 hours prior it was not available. A little surreal ...

The Advent/Christmas album is the result of 20 years' worth of concerts, services, Masses, and concerts.

The Five Organ Symphonies are "Neoromantic," with individual movements suitable for both concert and church use.

To purchase:


I am grateful for the many thoughtful comments (mostly private) on the last post. It's true that, at the moment, the organ is anything but "in." Chamber music and symphonies by Central European, German-speaking composers, written between 1775 and 1925 -- that is in. But look at how the Early Music movement was a mere curiosity in the 1950s. In the 1960s it was derided, but it was becoming prevalent enough to scare people into that derision. By the 1970s it was starting to be trendy; now people were really becoming scared. By the 1980s, Boston had more Early Music happening than the other kind. Today, most all classical musicians of any camp perform Baroque music with some sort of stylistic understanding. In 1950 it wouldn't have seemed possible.

Why can't there be a musical renaissance if there's already been a culinary one? Today you can go to a regular supermarket and find 15 kinds of whole bean coffee, 15 kinds of pasta, 15 kinds of cheese, 15 kinds of olive oil, 15 kinds of wheat bread ... As recently as 20 years ago, you had to go to expensive specialty stores for anything like that. And TV didn't have entire cooking networks -- there were Julia Child and the Frugal Gourmet, and only a couple of other smaller names. The public has become culinarily more sophisticated, more aware. It can also happen for music, and especially for the organ. In fact, I think it will.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Future of Classical Music, or of Anything Else

Being a "classical" musician (not sure what that means), it's hard not to wonder, at least occasionally, what the future of "classical" music is going to be.

Some corners of the classical music market certainly will fail. The major conservatories have already started their descent to failure, and the reason is a very simple financial one: tuition prices are moving in contrary motion to the salaries being earned by graduates, which means that the #1 fund-raising source of any school -- alumni -- is soon going to be no source at all. To put in layman's terms that even the administrators of a famous conservatory could understand: you can't teach someone to do a low-earning job and charge that person big money for the privilege.

Also on the road to failure are the major symphony orchestras. Again the reason is a simple one: people perceive that "classical music is boring," and as executed in the major concert halls, indeed it is. The last thing on Beethoven's mind -- the very, very last thing -- was a bunch of people wearing crisp tuxes, playing long programs, requiring the audience to sit for long stretches in total silence -- no one speaks to the audience, the audience speaks to no one. And, for this privilege, the ticket prices continue to climb. It defies all logic, and if fewer people are attending, it's probably for some of the same reasons that I don't attend (unless a friend is performing).

The future of opera? I won't even discuss it, because the level of singing is so low that I don't even respect the genre in the state that it's being currently perpetrated. (Recently I saw a video of a live Aïda from Verona, 1967, with an in-his-prime Bergonzi, Gencer, Cossotto, Colzani, and the list goes on. Excellect chorus. Excellent orchestra. Excellent direction by Capuana. And I remarked to my wife, "You could not even assemble a cast like this today. You could search the whole world and not even find this much talent and ability." And even if you did, you could never get from them a live, unspliced performance of this quality. Opera today is not even to be considered among serious music-making.)

There was an interesting article by Anne Midgette in yesterday's Washington Post about the topic of classical music in today's world:

and many interesting blog responses, notably this one:

The future of "classical music," or of anything else, will depend on the leadership not of the country but of musicians. Undoubtedly you will consider this to be exaggerated and mathematically suspicious, but I will state that 99.999% of musicians follow instead of lead. Instrumentalists apply for jobs in symphony orchestras because "that's what's done." When orchestras fail and something else becomes popular, they will apply for that thing because "now this is what's done." To survive in music is very easy. Do what isn't done. Be one of that 0.001% who is strong enough to say, "I feel passion about this, this has beauty, this has cultural value, I'm doing this." People will follow.

And who follows more obediently that a music critic? Recently a critic in a major newspaper was trying to get across how famous Gustavo Dudamel is. He wrote, "Dudamel, in case you've been living in an organ loft, is [a famous conductor, etc.]."

Here is the letter I wrote in response:

Dear [name of newspaper],

I object to Mr. [Critic]'s statement that "[Gustavo] Dudamel, in case you've been living in an organ loft, is [a famous conductor]." Some of my best friends live in organ lofts.

Sincerely yours,

Leonardo Ciampa
Cambridge, MA

They printed it.

The fact, meanwhile -- and the conservatory administrators will be the last, I mean THE LAST, ones to figure it out -- is that the pipe organ is beginning its ascent to a comeback. The reasons are numerous, but here are the two major ones:

1. Churches are gradually forsaking their organs for guitars and drums, and other churches are closing altogether, but in the meantime, there has been a spate of new pipe organs going into concert halls (see ). Secular groups are buying the closed churches, or buying and relocating the organs they contained. Strangely enough, the organ is benefiting from the church attendance crisis. The organ is gradually shaking its perceived affiliation with the church. It is an independent musical instrument, like the oboe or the piano. Because of this, people who normally would never give money to something church-related are giving money to organs and organ recitals.

2. In a world where live, acoustic music played on live, acoustic instruments has never been rarer, people are getting tired of the constant synthetic sound -- the iPods and mp3's and wmv's and TVs and CD players and every other medium of sound replication. The engineering of a pipe organ, and the physics of how it resonates in its acoustical environment, has never been more interesting to an increasingly educated society. It "sounds better." Real sound sounds an awful lot better than a Youtube recording of real sound. And there is no sound more beautiful, more varied, or more interesting than the sound of a good organ played by a good organist in good acoustics.

These are merely beginnings of the Renaissance. Carnegie Hall still reigns. Juilliard still reigns. The Met still reigns. But they are all weakening, and if you don't believe me, take a peak at their annual reports.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Effect of Paul Manz

Since Mr. Manz's death last Wednesday, I have listened, re-listened, and re-relistened to the three Pipedreams shows on Manz.

No two people are touched by the same thing in the same way. I knew a cleric who could hear Christian rock music of the lowest music and theological quality and say, "That touched my heart." Thus, these things are impossible to measure. That said, I have in these days been so touched -- in fact blessed -- by Mr. Manz's playing of his own music. It has "jumped out at me."

There are several qualities which make this man and his music remarkable and, well, touching.

A composer playing his own music. Without question, my greatest dilemma as a musician has been the inability to replicate how the composers played their own music. Even if, by some miracle, we could be certain of every articulation, rubato, and inflection of a composer, even by reproducing every one of these details, the personality, the "spirit" (and spirit is real) would never be right. Chopin is an extreme example. We know almost nothing about how he played. (Yes, I own Chopin: pianist and teacher, The Chopin Companion, and every other relevant book. So what? We still don't know what he sounded like. Or as Baron Munchhausen said, "Vass you dere, Sharlie?")

Then in 2001 I discovered the recordings of Ernesto Lecuona, playing his own music. From the "classical" point of view (I don't know what that means, but I said it anyway), the music is not on the level of Chopin, Liszt, or Debussy. But hearing Lecuona play it, it moved me on a profound level. It sounded ... well, right. Not just musically right -- spiritually right.

In 1989, in Newport, RI, I heard Charlie Callahan play the world-premiere of his Partita on "Slane." I remember seeing members of the audience in tears -- and they were musicians. Someday, a student of a student of a student of Callahan will exhume this piece and play it. And it won't be the same.

As a teenager, I played a lot of Neobaroque chorale-preludes, published by Concordia, of various composers of the Manz mold. Useful stuff for church, not all of it great. Today we know a lot more about how Baroque music was constructed. Improvisers like Bill Porter and Harald Vogel are not as rare as they once were. There are quite a few musicians today who can fashion Baroque-style music. We hear it, and in our snobbery we wonder, "How 'authentic' is it?" This week, hearing Manz play his music, the question instead was, "How right is it?"

In the context of church. The music of Manz seems even more right, because he wrote it for use on Sunday morning, during actual worship. Manz went one step further: instead of giving traditional organ recitals, he gave hymn festivals, playing hymn-based compositions and improvisations interspersed with hymns sung by all present.

I could not applaud this more loudly! We have dissected Bach's music from every angle and with every rationale. The composer whose music I most love to play is Bach. And the composer about whose music I feel the most subconscious is Bach. Every time I play a note, I imagine that I've broken ten rules. Maybe it was too legato or too staccato or, worse yet, it "wasn't in the style." What that "style" is, of course, no one knows, a fact that we've already established. It's a rather fluid thing; in ten years the "authentic style" will suddenly be something different.

But hearing Manz play his Neobaroque compositions, in the context of worship, I feel like I'm brought closer to the spirit of Bach. While the organ professors were out having fistfights over articulation, here in the Midwest, far from Boston, was a fervent Lutheran musician, improvising on Lutheran hymns during a Lutheran service. That is much closer to the Bach experience than some Bach recital by some top teacher on the trendy tracker of the time.

A good person making good music. Around 1991, I was at Duquesne University, playing what I think was the world-premiere of the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Elliott McKinley. It was some sort of new music festival organized by David Stock. One day, Bill Bolcom did a composition masterclass, during which the discussion somehow meandered to "good" music written by "not necessarily good" human beings. Bolcom mentioned Wagner and admitted that he wasn't sure how to reconcile the fact that great music was written by ... well, Wagner. I admired Bolcom's candor about it; he was brave enough to say, "I don't know the answer to that one."

It is a question that I've thought often of in the almost 20 years since.

There's no question that great people sometimes write bad pieces, and bad people sometimes write great pieces. And frankly, we can't always judge how "good" or "bad" a historical figure was. Some claimed that Verdi, Brahms, and other composers "believed in nothing." Chances are, they very much believed in a Higher Power but did not believe in the church hierarchy. Put differently, God's laws and church laws are not necessarily synonymous. The latter they were happy to break -- and historically the clergy themselves have been only too willing to break both categories of laws. ("Do as we say, not as we do," proclaims their conduct.)

However, what I do know is that when you have a great person writing a great piece of music, it transcends all earthly stratospheres. The greatest music of Perosi is greater than the greatest music of Wagner or some other reprobate. We have, for instance, a recording of Perosi conducting his "Giudizio Universale." This is a musical/spiritual level that Wagner never reached.

And so there is "a certain something" about the music of Paul Manz. It comes across that there is a great human being making this music. There is a simplicity -- a quality that is not childish but childlike. Manz, in his music, seemed to be behaving the way Christ admonished us to behave.

Here are the Pipedreams shows. Experience them for yourself:

Long live the memory of Paul Manz.

RIP Paul Manz

In Memoriam Paul Manz

by Scott M. Hyslop

Paul Otto Manz, internationally celebrated organist, dean of American church musicians, and composer of the internationally acclaimed motet “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come” has died in St. Paul, Minnesota at the age of ninety years.

Manz’s life and career were filled with the honors and accolades that many performing musicians strive for yet seldom attain. With a lengthy list of performances at venues like The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., with the National Symphony; Symphony Center in Chicago, with the Chicago Symphony; and Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, with the Minnesota Orchestra, Manz was able to perform the canon of major works for organ and orchestra – a feat that few organists can claim. His charisma at the console made him a favorite of conductors like Leonard Slatkin, Charles Dutoit, and Henry Charles Smith.

While his career as a soloist took him around the world to splendid cathedrals and thrilling concert halls, his charisma as a musician and a servant of the church found its fullest expression in the action of leading people in congregational song. Through his work as an organist and composer, Manz reinvented the classic organ chorale of Buxtehude and Bach, giving it a new voice which spoke clearly and unapologetically with a fresh American accent. His work in this genre led him to play thousands of hymn festivals around the world – playing that excited and invigorated countless organists, church musicians and lay people who came to hear him play. Manz’s work in congregational song and liturgy can be viewed as the spark that eventually became a bonfire in which the standards for service playing and church music in this country were recast.

Even with an enviable career as a concert organist, Manz’s heart was deeply rooted in his work as a parish church musician. “Love the people you have been called to serve” was the surprising answer Manz gave when asked what one piece of advice he would offer to an individual starting out in the field of church music today. This seemingly simple response belies a depth of experience, wisdom, and faith which was formed and molded in the crucible of service to God’s people of the church over the course of a life well lived.

The only child of Otto Manz and Hulda (nee Jeske) Manz, German-Russian immigrants who had come to America to make a better life for their family, Paul Otto Manz was born on May 10, 1919, in Cleveland Ohio. At age five, Manz began piano lessons. Two years later, upon the advice of his first piano teacher, Emily Dinda, Manz began studying piano and organ with Henry J. Markworth at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cleveland, Ohio. In order to study with Markworth, Manz had to agree to take two lessons at the piano for every lesson at the organ. Upon completion of the eighth grade, Manz entered Concordia High School in River Forest, Illinois, eventually matriculating into their teacher training program.

While a student at Concordia, Manz also began private organ studies at the American Conservatory in Chicago with the eminent American organist Edwin Eigenschenk, a student of Bonnet and Vierne. Manz would go on to further study with the eminent Bach scholar Albert Riemenschneider at Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, and Edwin Arthur Kraft at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland. Formal studies at the graduate level were pursued by Manz at the University of Minnesota, where he was a student of Arthur B. Jennings, and in 1952 he received his Master’s degree in organ performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

In 1956 Manz received a Fulbright grant for study with Flor Peeters at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Antwerp, Belgium. An extension of the Fulbright provided Manz with the opportunity to work with Helmut Walcha at the Dreikönigskirche in Frankfurt, Germany. Manz would subsequently return to Belgium for three more summers to study with Peeters. The bond between Peeters and Manz grew so close over the ensuing years that the Belgian government invited Manz to be the official United States representative in state ceremonies honoring Flor Peeters on his 80th birthday and his 60th year as titular organist of the Cathedral of Saint Rombaut in Mechelen, Belgium. At that time, Flor Peeters referred to his former student as "my spiritual son."

In 1943, Manz married Ruth Mueller, a union which was blessed with four children: David, who died at birth; Michael, who died unexpectedly in 2006; John, and Peter. Following the deaths of Ruth’s brother, Herbert Mueller, in 1961 and his wife Helene, in 1964, the Manzes took in their four orphaned children, Mary, Anne, Sara, and John, increasing their family number to nine. Through all of life’s vicissitudes Ruth was Paul’s partner in every sense of the word, and he has been quoted as saying, “Without her I would probably be playing piano in a bar somewhere. Ruth has been the cantus firmus in our home and for our children, whom I treasure, while I practiced, taught, played and wrote.” Through the course of their 65 years of marriage, Paul and Ruth shared an exceptionally close relationship until her death in July of 2008. Her influence on his work and career cannot be underestimated.

Upon graduation from Concordia in 1941, Manz filled positions as teacher, principal and musician with several parishes in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1946, Manz received a call to Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, where he served as full-time director of Christian education and music, an affiliation that would last for 37 years. Over the course of his service at Mt. Olive, Manz’s job description would change several times as the congregation made every effort to nurture and share his gifts with the church-at-large. A man of many sought-after talents, Manz served on the faculties at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College in St. Paul before he accepted a call in 1957 to serve as professor and chair of the Division of Fine Arts at Concordia College in St. Paul. Rather than lose him, Mt. Olive arranged for Paul’s duties to be pared down, allowing him to share his gifts at both institutions.

Manz would serve for many happy years at Concordia. Noteworthy among his numerous accomplishments during his tenure was his establishment of a sound program of music studies with a well-trained and distinguished faculty. His ultimate achievement at Concordia was the fulfillment of the dream that the Fine Arts Division of the school would have its own facility replete with rehearsal rooms, classroom space, and an auditorium complete with a concert pipe organ – designed by Manz, as well as well-designed studios for the art department. Shortly after the realization of this dream, Manz would find himself caught in the whirlwind and cruel chaos that enveloped the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod at that time. His own convictions, coupled with deeply personal connections to the fray, left Manz with little choice but to resign his position at Concordia. He returned to full-time parish service, this time as Cantor at Mt. Olive with a specific mandate from the parish to use his many gifts in the service of the church catholic.

In 1983, after 37 years of service at Mt. Olive, Paul and Ruth Manz pulled up stakes and began a new chapter of ministry in Chicago, where Manz received a double call to serve as Christ Seminex Professor of Church Music and Artist in Residence at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and as Cantor at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Luke. Manz retired from LSTC in September of 1992, but this retirement was merely a change of direction that provided an opportunity for friends and colleagues to encourage him to share his wealth of knowledge through workshops and master classes throughout the country. The dream was formalized with the creation of the Paul Manz Institute of Church Music based at the Church of St. Luke in Chicago. The Institute enabled him to continue to give lavishly and selflessly to others in the church, drawing from his own wealth of education and experience.

After a lifetime of faithful service as a church musician, in 1999 Paul Manz retired from the Paul Manz Institute of Church Music and St. Luke Church at age 80. The Manzes moved back to Minneapolis to be closer to family and friends.

Although it was Manz’s intent to keep performing from his base in Minneapolis, his life would soon take another direction. In May of 2000, while in North Carolina preparing to dedicate a new organ at an Episcopal Church in Hendersonville, Manz was stricken with sepsis. While Manz’s life was spared, his hearing was greatly compromised. After months of difficult recuperation it became apparent that he would not be able to play again.

The esteem and respect with which Paul Manz was regarded is seen in the numerous honorary doctorates, and honors he received over the course of his career. Northwestern University, his alma mater, presented him with the prestigious "Alumni Merit Award"; Trinity Lutheran Seminary of Columbus, Ohio bestowed the "Joseph Sittler Award for Theological Leadership”; The Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago presented him with the distinguished "Confessor of Christ Award"; The Chicago Bible Society presented him with the "Gutenberg Award"; and the Lutheran Institute of Washington, DC honored him with the first "Wittenberg Arts Award".

Paul Manz’s organ and choral works are internationally known and are used extensively in worship services, recitals, and teaching, and by church and college choirs. His motet “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come”, having sold over one million copies, is regarded as a classic and has been performed and recorded in the United States and abroad. Manz’s life and work is the subject of a doctoral dissertation, published in 2007 by MorningStar Music Publishers in St. Louis, Missouri as The Journey Was Chosen: The Life and Work of Paul Manz.

Composer, recitalist, teacher, minister of the Word, clinician, author, organ consultant, faithful servant -- all facets of Paul Manz’s life shone as sure and faithful reflections of the hope, joy and peace which God has promised to us.

Paul is survived by his children, daughter-in-law Patricia Manz (Michael, deceased) of Spokane, John Manz (Ellen Anderson Manz) of Saint Paul, Mary Mueller Bode (Joel, deceased) of Saint Paul, Peter Manz (Stephanie Cram) of Portland, Anne Mueller Klinge (David) of Saint Louis, Sarah Mueller Forsberg (Dale) of Minneapolis, and John Mueller of Spokane. Twelve grandchildren: Erik Manz (Kimberly), David Manz (Caitlin) Rachael M. Manz, Rachel C. Manz, Rebekah Manz, Sarah Bode Selden (Dave), Katherine Edmonds, Erin Klinge Eftink (David), Jessica Klinge Hemmann (Scott), Laura Klinge, Peter Forsberg, Anna Forsberg, and five great grandchildren; many treasured friends, colleagues, former students, and legions of people in the pews. Through the example of his life, through the legacy of his family, and ultimately through the legacy of music that he graced us with to stir our souls, to excite our imaginations, and to enable our prayer and proclamation, we hear Paul Manz say,

Thank you for the grace of singing with me across the years in good times and in bad, when our words have stuck in our throats and when our eyes have overflowed with joy. It has ever been a Song of Grace: ‘Love to the loveless shown that we might lovely be.’ I have just been the organist. Thank you for letting me play.

(Mr. Hyslop is the author of The Journey Was Chosen: The Life and Work of Paul Manz. To purchase this book: )