“Baba Yetu” is The Lord’s Prayer in Swahili. It was set to music by Christopher Tin, who conducts this performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Angel City Chorale, and Prima Vocal Ensemble.
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was just an obscure Czech musician and composer until the publication in 1878 of his first set of Slavonic Dances set him on the road to success and international fame. The Slavonic Dances, written for piano four hands and later orchestrated by the composer, exemplify the 19th century movement that came to be known as musical nationalism. Like Frédéric Chopin in France, Edvard Grieg in Norway, Enrique Granados in Spain, Jean Sibelius in Finland, and Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály in Hungary, Dvořák created music that captured the spirit of his homeland by employing musical styles, motifs, harmonies, and rhythms specific to the region. Here is the seventh of the Slavonic Dances in its orchestral version.
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord.
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance now and always;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.
High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?
In every condition—in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea—
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.
Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.