30 Nov 2020

Lord, How My Foes Are Multiplied: Psalm 3

Another psalm from the RPCNA's Book of Psalms for Worship: Lord, How My Foes are Multiplied. This is Psalm 3 and is one of those texts that speaks freely of "smashing their [the wicked's] teeth with mighty blows," a phrase notably absent from most contemporary worship songs. In light of such language, I wonder whether another tune might be more fitting for this text. Perhaps something in the phrygian or dorian modes.

What do you think? Do you have difficulty singing psalms with such language? How ought Christians to sing them and in what spirit?

29 Nov 2020

Mazmur Jenewa: Psalm 25

On the first sunday in Advent, the western church for nearly two millennia has sung Psalm 25: "Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long." The theme of waiting pervades the entire Advent season, as we look to our salvation in the coming of Jesus Christ, God incarnate, into the world. Here the psalm is sung in Indonesian: Mazmur 25 Mazmur Jenewa / Psalm 25 Genevan Psalter, at the GPIB Paulus (St. Paul's Protestant Church) in Jakarta, with Nico Gamalliel at the organ.


28 Nov 2020

O Lord, our Lord: Psalm 8

Here is another sung psalm from the RPCNA's Book of Psalms for Worship: O Lord, Our Lord (Psalm 8c), set to the familiar tune STROUDWATER.

Incidentally, in future I will be including links to the video in addition to embedding the video itself in my post. This is because some people access my blog with their phones, which appear unable to handle embedded videos.

27 Nov 2020

Thanksgiving Psalm: Psalm 67

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in the United States. As such it is appropriate to post a choral performance of Psalm 67, the text and tune for which appear to come from the metrical psalter of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America (RPCNA), or Covenanters. The Psalm was originally written with the season of harvest in mind. The melody, THAXTED, is, of course, from the Jupiter movement of Gustav Holst's orchestral suite, The Planets.

26 Nov 2020

Psalmul 42: Singing the Psalms in Romanian

The congregation of the Biserica Evanghelică Reformată București (Reformed Evangelical Church of Bucharest) sings the familiar Psalm 42:

Salmo 65

The congregation of the Igreja Presbiteriana de Arcaju, Brazil, sings Psalm 65:

25 Nov 2020

Chants et Musiques de la Réforme

A member of the Lovers of Metrical Psalmody Facebook group has alerted us to this album posted online, beginning with variations on the Genevan melody for Psalm 9. The entire playlist can be accessed here: Chants et Musiques de la Réforme (along with commercial messages).

24 Nov 2020

Jubilee Octet: Psalms 47, 61, 62, 67, 130, 134, 138

Last year I posted four Genevan Psalms sung by the Jubilee Octet, namely, Psalms 2, 6, 22, and 42. Here then are Psalms 47, 61, 62, 67, 130, 134, and 138. The Jubilee Octet is located at the Jubilee Canadian Reformed Church in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. They sing the texts from The New Genevan Psalter. Unlike much of the singing in the Dutch churches, the Octet's performance of these psalms maintains a brisk and lively pace, with the obvious exception of Psalm 130. Very nice indeed!

23 Nov 2020

More Psalms from Chile

Here are more psalms from the Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana in Santiago:

22 Nov 2020

Salmo 23, salterio de ginebra

Singing Psalm 23 in Spanish at La Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana, Santiago, Chile.

18 Nov 2020

Pidoux's history

I have added in the right sidebar a link to a page carrying a History of the Genevan Psalter - Dr. Pierre Pidoux. Here is an excerpt: 

On entering a cathedral, a tourist is often struck by the inherent harmony of the whole structure; a harmony which results from a well-defined design and successful proportions. He would not, at first, be aware that the edifice was the work of several generations of architects and stone-masons. His attention for details, evidence of a development of taste or techniques of successive generations, would only come later.

That is the case as well with the French Psalter which in its completed form was published in 1562. At first glance it seems that it is of uniform construction; one psalm looks much the same as another. One could easily think that the words and music were put together at one and the same time. The unity is even so strong that, if the initials of the author were not given, it would be impossible to tell who was responsible for what versification. The same can be said for the melodies: they all look the same, their origin, however, is veiled in anonymity.

It is indeed a unity: the Psalter of Geneva contains only versifications that remain faithful to the Biblical prose text. We do not find in them commentaries, paraphrases nor meditations inspired by a certain passage. Neither do we find attempts to actualize them, as can be found in German hymns of the same period.

One assumes that the text on this webpage is taken from the two-volume work by Pierre Pidoux (1905-2001), Le psautier huguenot du XVIe siècle, i: Les mélodies; ii: Documents et bibliographie (Basle, 1962).

17 Nov 2020

Paduan Suara GRII Bandung - Mazmur 42 (Claude Goudimel)

Here is another performance of Psalm 42 by Gereja Reformed Injili Indonesia (GRII) Bandung. Bandung is the second largest metropolitan area in Indonesia and lies 140 km southeast of Jakarta. Typical of 2020, this is a remote, socially-distanced performance.

Here is a translation of the description accompanying the video:

Psalm 42 describes the Israelites' longing for God and God's house like a deer longing for water. Without water, the deer will go thirsty and eventually die. Such are we human beings without God's presence: dry and even dead.
The song's lyrics are based on Psalm 42, while the melody is taken from the Genevan Psalter, which first appeared in 1539. The polyphonic arrangement of the third stanza was composed by French composer Claude Goudimel (1514-1572). Both the melody and the arrangement have an anticipatory feel depicted by the notes rising and falling again.

Hopefully, through this song, we will appreciate how wonderful it will be when we are once again able to gather at God's house to worship communally. May God strengthen us all.

This praise offering was delivered by the GRII Bandung Youth Choir.

8 Nov 2020

Salterio Ginevrino

A member of the Lovers of Metrical Psalmody Facebook group alerted us to the following website and YouTube channel, maintained by Italian guitarist Simone Caneparo, who has recorded the 150 Genevan Psalms for guitar. Here is the website: salmodia.org. And here is his YouTube channel: The Genevan Psalter For Guitar. These sound like they're played on electrified acoustic rather than classical guitar, with melody overdubbed with chords.

And here are six samples from Caneparo's collection:

5 Nov 2020

Mazmur 42: Mazmur Jenewa

Here is the Cantate Deo Chamber Choir singing Genevan Psalm 42 in Indonesian. The boy soprano solo on the second stanza is most impressive. The young man sings easily and beautifully, enhancing the performance as a whole. The venue is the GRII Sydney, a congregation of the Reformed Evangelical Church of Indonesia, located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.