"If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music.

I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. I get the most joy in life out of music."

~ Albert Einstein

Friday, July 13, 2018

Forty Days (Dave Brubeck)

I found this gem, Dave Brubeck's “Forty Days,” from his Light In The Wilderness oratorio at Night Lights post, Sacred Blue: Jazz Goes to Church in the 1960s. It is performed by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Christ is Made the Sure Foundation (Westminster Abbey)

I heard this magnificent hymn sung in church recently and it stayed with me throughout the days ahead. I found this version on YouTube where it was sung at the Ecumenical Celebration at Westminster Abbey, September 17, 2010.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Nativity Carol (John Rutter)

My introduction to John Rutter was in the recording, The Holly and the Ivy: Carols from Clare College. I love Christmas music and this album became a favorite and made me pay attention to the work of John Rutter who is one of the most notable composers and choral directors living today. Rutter has certainly made his mark in sacred choral music.  “Nativity Carol” is one of Rutter’s compositions and appears on The John Rutter Christmas Album.  It is performed here by the King’s College Choir, Cambridge


Thursday, December 21, 2017

O Little Town of Bethlehem (Vaughan WIlliams) King's College Cambridge

The beloved carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was written by the Rev. Phillips Brooks for his Sunday School in 1868. He had spent Christmas in Bethlehem two years before. Brooks was born in Boston in 1835, graduated at Harvard College 1855, and was ordained in 1859. He served as rector at the Church of the Advent, Philadelphia, and later at Trinity Church, Boston.

Most congregations that sing this carol use the tune ST LOUIS, composed by Lewis Redner. Here we hear FOREST GREEN which is an English folk tune associated with the ballad "The Ploughboy's Dream." Ralph Vaughan Williams turned FOREST GREEN into a hymn tune for The English Hymnal (1906), using it as a setting for "O Little Town of Bethlehem." 

Vaughan Williams played a primary role in establishing English sacred music in the 20th century. Himself an agnostic, he took on the task of revising the English Hymnal and the result was both solid and magical. He had long collected English folk tunes and incorporated many of those tunes in hymns he composed for the hymnal.