"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

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Wexford Carol

One of my all-time favorite Christmas carols, performed by Clare College Choir under the direction of John Rutter.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Silent Devotion and Response, by Ernest Bloch

This is performed by students at Eastern New Mexico University, but I went searching for it because I heard it at Southside Baptist Church this morning as they recounted their interfaith partnership with with Temple Emanu-El.
It is Jewish sacred choral music by Ernest Bloch. The words are from Psalm 19, and they are words I often heard as the benediction by Rev Murray Seay at Dadeville First Baptist Church when I was a kid: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer."


Sunday, August 20, 2017

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say - Ralph Vaughan Williams (Kingsfold)

Ralph 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. Kingsfold is a wonderful example of the fusion of English folk music with English poetry. As such, "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say" has been included in Celtic celebrations as well as in Christian hymnals across many denominations.

Vaughn Williams may have been an agnostic, but that was surely reflective of the times that he was born into and the world in which we live today. He had a compassionate, humanitarian spirit and an ear for beauty and harmony. Kingsfold, set to the text by Horatius Bonar, 19th century Scottish poet and churchman, beautifully and transcendently declares our discovery of "this dark world's light."

(For further reading: Why Ralph Vaughan Williams should he as revered as William Shakespeare, by Simon Heffer, The Telegraph.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Sunday, February 5, 2017

I Believe in You (Dylan cover by Alison Krauss)

Here  is a superb cover of Bob Dylan's "I Believe in You." The song first appeared on Dylan's Slow Train Coming album released in 1979. The album was the first of Dylan's "Christian albums" and it introduced him to a whole new audience. For many people, Slow Train Coming was the first Dylan album they had ever bought. At the time, Noel Paul Stookey (of  Peter, Paul & Mary fame) wrote a review of the album for Christianity Today in which he celebrated Dylan's ability to appeal to an audience that would not likely connect with the typical gospel album. Alison Krauss's beautiful rendition is yet another example of the timelessness of Dylan's songwriting skills.