The Music of Transfiguration

Elizabeth Lenti,
Director of Music and Organist

When you step into St. Peter’s this coming Sunday morning, you may notice something unusual – 2 large speakers placed in the back of the church. Don’t worry, this isn’t a permanent addition to the nave! They are there to facilitate our anthem for this Sunday, Larry King’s Transfiguration. Larry King was Director of Music at Trinity Wall Street in Manhattan from 1968 to 1989. His leadership and creativity brought the music program there to national prominence.

In the 1970s, it was fashionable among composers to write pieces that included a pre-recorded track. Larry King scored Transfiguration for organ, choir, and tape. Most of these pieces are considered relics of their time and are not often performed, this one being an exception.

I think the reason it has endured is the story it is here to tell – a story we’ve heard so many times that we no longer fully feel just how strange and terrifying it is. Imagine being one of the disciples in this story. Imagine the wonder, awe, and fear they must’ve experienced witnessing this incredible event. Blending with the organ and choir, King’s pre-recorded sounds create an other-worldly, ethereal quality that invites us to experience this familiar story in a new way.

Elizabeth Lenti, Director of Music and Organist