29 Sep 2020

Sweelinck: Psalm 150

Among Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck's exquisite arrangements of the Genevan Psalms is the final one, Psalm 150, performed here by the Netherlands Chamber Choir.

9 Sep 2020

Timeless: Psalm 125

Here is a recently posted performance of Psalm 125 from the Timeless Psalter. Words and music by Marva L. Hughes. Performed by Vocal Tapestry.

26 Aug 2020

Kodály cantors curtailing COVID

Among the many choirs performing on Zoom-like platforms during the current pandemic is this one from Hungary singing Zoltán Kodály's memorable arrangement of Genevan Psalm 114. The choir is from the University of Pécs, Faculty of Arts, under the direction of Dr. Péter Hoppál. 


12 Aug 2020

Psałterz Poznański: Psalm 13

Here is the latest contribution from Psałterz Poznański: Psalm 13, sung to the Genevan tune. There are no introductory notes to translate, but this psalm puts into words what many of us are feeling right now during this protracted pandemic:

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me? 
How long must I take counsel in my soul
    and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

The psalmist does not allow himself to remain on this note, wallowing in self-pity, but closes by expressing confidence in God's promises, something that may have taken some effort on his part:

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 
I will sing to the Lord,
    because he has dealt bountifully with me.

13 Jul 2020

Cantus Christi: 2020

Last month I received in the mail a copy of Cantus Christi 2020, the latest edition of a psalter and hymnal produced by Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho. The reason I was sent this is because I provided the music for their metrical text of Psalm 137. Whether it is appropriate to review a collection to which one has contributed I will leave the reader to decide. But given that I was in no way connected with the planning and editorial process, I believe I am permitted to post my impressions of the volume as a whole.

In that spirit I will indicate that this is a remarkable achievement drawing on the liturgical riches of the larger Christian tradition as well as on the gifts of the living contributors. That it was produced, not by a denomination, but by a single congregation is all the more impressive, although this makes for certain deficiencies, two of which I shall mention below. I myself worshipped at Christ Church during my visit to New Saint Andrew's College in late 2018, so I was able to make a brief acquaintance with the confessional and liturgical ethos of the congregation, which is part of the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches, a quite new denomination that is unusual for not having broken off from another larger Reformed denomination in the past.

23 May 2020

Psałterz Poznański: Psalm 67

They're at it again. Psałterz Poznański has now posted a lovely performance of Psalm 67. Here are the introductory remarks translated by google into English:

This beautiful Davidic psalm is at the same time thanksgiving (for the crops of the earth and other his gifts), a request for His blessing (in particular, that his ways would be known all over the Earth) and a call addressed to all nations to worship God. We invite you to listen to and sing Psalm 67 together.

The Polish lyrics and guitar chords can be found here.

17 May 2020

Sweelinck's Psalm 96

I never tire of listening to performances of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck's exquisite arrangement of Genevan Psalm 96. Not everyone does a good job of it, but Dennis Keene and the Voices of Ascension get it right.

I've not heard all of Sweelinck's arrangements of the Psalms, so I cannot say whether every one is as beautiful as this. At some point I would like to get my hands on Het Sweelinck Monument, which includes all 150 of his psalm arrangements. When and if I do, I will be sure to review it here.

14 May 2020

Central Presbyteria Church Virtual Choir singing from Psalm 19

During the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, many churches have been having online worship services and virtual choirs. Here is our church's virtual choir singing the closing verse of Psalm 19 to a setting composed by our choir director, Roger Bergs: