24 Sept 2012

Stolz: Psalms 31 through 39

Ernst Stolz appears to have turned off the embedding function on his videos, so I will have to content myself with linking to his performances of Psalms 31 through 39 and let you play them for yourselves. It has been almost exactly a year since he began posting these. At this rate one can assume that, if he maintains the same pace, he will make his way through the entire Genevan Psalter in not quite three years. Perhaps by then he will consider releasing a recording of the entire collection, which would be a valuable contribution towards making it better known outside of those places where it is still sung.

3 Sept 2012

Mikołaj Gomółka and David's Psalter

Although Poland as a whole did not embrace the Reformation in the 16th century, the country nevertheless managed to produce a metrical psalter of high quality that is virtually unknown to outsiders. This is the Psałterz Dawidów, or David's Psalter, consisting of 150 metrical texts by the great Renaissance poet Jan Kochanowski set to tunes by Mikołaj Gomółka. So highly esteemed was this collection by Poles that it has reputedly been used liturgically by both Catholics and protestants. Midi files of the tunes can be found here: Melodie na Psałterz Polski, and pdf files of the scores can be found here.

Twenty-three of these Psalms were recorded in 1996 in a collection titled, Mikolaj Gomolka Melodie Na Psalterz Polski - Melodies For The Polish Psalter, and is available from the Polish Art Center. The recording received a Fryderyk award from the Polish music industry.

Might there be possibilities for setting English translations of these Psalms to their proper tunes from David's Psalter? It is certainly worth considering.

Here are some performances from this collection below:

Psalm 1:

Psalm 29:

Psalm 77: