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Sunday Muisc Musings Feb. 5, 2022

February 5, 2022
That one little pile of snow we must stand on before choir…

Our opening Song of Praise from the choristers is Stephen Tappe’s Eternal Light. It is a great piece to teach two part singing. The ancient text is by Alcuin (c. 735 – 804), clergyman, poet and scholar for Charlemagne’s court. Stephen Tappe is a composer, arranger, conductor, choir trainer, organist, liturgist, editor, and engraver based near Denver, Colorado, who was a colleague at Yale in the 1980s.

Eternal light, shine in my heart;

eternal hope, lift up my eyes:

eternal power, be my support;

eternal wisdom, make me wise.

Eternal life, raise me from death;

eternal brightness, make me see:

eternal Spirit, give me breath;

eternal Saviour, come to me:

Until by your most costly grace,

invited by your holy word,

at last I come before your face

to know you, my eternal God.

Sunday is the calling of the disciples and last year I wrote extensively about the hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind. Last year our pandemic cantor sang the hymn version, and this year we can have choir sing Parry’s beautiful anthem version. I’ll also do the same Prelude by Hotton. Whereas last year the cantor sang David McK Williams’ They Cast Their Nets, this year we are back to teaching it to the choristers. Please read about all of this music here.

In place of the psalm we have our teen tenors and basses, The Gargoyles, singing a beautiful duet by J. S. Bach from Cantata Der Herr denket an uns BWV 196. Here is a wonderful performance of the full cantata. According Wikipedia Der Herr denket an uns is a early church cantata, possibly for a wedding. The text is a passage from Psalm 115, assuring of God’s blessing, especially for children–which is the text of the TB duet Der Herr segne euch: “The Lord bless you, you and your children.”

Our hymn of the day is Thy Strong Word to the wonderful welsh tune TON-Y-BOTEL. This and the postlude by WIllan based on it are discussed extensively here.

Thank you for reading and letting me refer you back to last year when I had lots of time to go into detail. I am off to 4 hours of sectionals and an hour of solo auditions – live music making in preparation for an upcoming live concert! Please get your tickets now—its only a month away!

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