Sunday musical offering

February 17, 2019


Happy birthday, Felix

February 3, 2019

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847) premiered his oratorio Elijah in Birmingham, England in 1846. The libretto comes mostly from the Old Testament, chiefly First and Second Kings, Isaiah, and the Psalms. This chorus is a setting of Psalm 91:11.


Happy birthday, Franz

January 31, 2019

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) composed “Ständchen” in 1826. The words are from Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. Originally composed for piano and solo voice, it’s performed here in a setting for tenor soloist, choir, and orchestra.


Sunday musical offering

January 27, 2019

In celebration of the birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), here is his “Laudate Dominum,” a musical setting of Psalm 117, composed in 1780.

Praise the Lord, all nations; praise Him, all people;
For His loving kindness is great toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.


Happy birthday, Robbie

January 25, 2019

It’s the birthday of Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796). In his short life, Burns sired twelve offspring, some of them legitimate; and he wrote hundreds of poems and song lyrics, some of them suitable for polite company. When Scottish Television polled its viewers in 2009 on the question of who was the greatest Scot of all time, Robert Burns was the winner (William Wallace was the runner-up).

Scottish folk singer Jean Redpath (1937-2014) and American composer and ethnomusicologist Serge Hovey (1920-1989) teamed up in 1976 to record the complete songs of Robert Burns. Had they completed this rather ambitious project, it would have run to 22 volumes; but Hovey’s death in 1989 meant that only seven volumes were completed. This song appeared in Volume 3.

There’s nought but care on ev’ry hand,
In ev’ry hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life of man,
An ’twere not for the lasses, O.
Green grow the rushes, O;
Green grow the rushes, O;
The sweetest hours that e’er I spend
Are spent among the lasses, O.

The worldly race may riches chase,
And riches still may fly them, O;
And tho at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne’er enjoy them, O.
Green grow the rushes, O;
Green grow the rushes, O;
The sweetest hours that e’er I spend
Are spent among the lasses, O.

Gie me a cannie hour at e’en,
My arms about my dearie, O;
And worldly cares, and worldly men,
May all gae tapsalteerie, O.
Green grow the rushes, O;
Green grow the rushes, O;
The sweetest hours that e’er I spend
Are spent among the lasses, O.

For you sae douce, ye sneer at this;
Ye’re nought but senseless asses, O:
The wisest man the world e’er saw,
He dearly loved the lasses, O.

Green grow the rushes, O;
Green grow the rushes, O;
The sweetest hours that e’er I spend
Are spent among the lasses, O. 

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice hand she tried on man,
And then she made the lasses, O.
Green grow the rushes, O;
Green grow the rushes, O;
The sweetest hours that e’er I spend
Are spent among the lasses, O. 


Sunday musical offering

January 20, 2019

Rise, oh fathers, rise, let’s go meet ’em in the skies,
We will hear the angels singing in that morning.

Oh I really do believe that just before the end of time
We will hear the angels singing in that morning.

Rise, oh mothers, rise, let’s go meet ’em in the skies,
We will hear the angels singing in that morning.

Oh I really do believe that just before the end of time,
We will hear the angels singing in that morning.

No time to tarry here, no time to wait for you,
No time to tarry here, for I’m on my journey home.

Brothers, oh, fare ye well, for I’m on my journey home.
Sisters, oh, fare ye well, for I’m on my journey home.

No time to tarry here, no time to wait for you,
No time to tarry here, for I’m on my journey home.

Oh I really do believe that just before the end of time
We will hear the angels singing in that morning.


Sunday musical offering

January 13, 2019

Stillness comes when snow is falling,
Covering all in solemn white;
Lines of grey from hearth-fires rising,
Gathering all in restful night.

Spirit dwells in deep reflection,
Autumn cares to lay aside,
Finding signs of new direction
In the still of wintertide.

While outside the cold wind blowing,
Swirling, restless raw and rime,
Here inside a wave is growing,
Biding, silent, all in time.

After winter’s meditation
Gates of nature burst apart;
Comes the springtime’s inspiration,
Flowing from the ready heart.


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