Monday, 30 October 2017

29th October 2017 Last after Trinity Reformation Sunday

The anthem was "Turn thy face from my sins" by Thomas Attwood (1765 - 1838)  based on Psalm 51 vv 9-11.

Attwood was born in London, the son of a musician in the royal band. He became a chorister in the Chapel Royal by the age of nine.  He was sent abroad to study at the expense of the Prince of Wales (later George IV) who was impressed by his skill at the harpsichord.  He was a favourite pupil of Mozart. He returned to London in 1787.

In 1796 he was made organist of St Paul's and the same year composer of the Chapel Royal.  For George IV's coronation he wrote the anthem "I was glad".

Much of his work is forgotten, only a few anthems regularly performed including "Turn thy face from my sins".

As this was Reformation Sunday, the choir also sang Psalm 46 to a chant written by Martin Luther and "Ein feste Burg" based on psalm 46, melody also by Martin Luther (1483-1546). Luther was a German professor of theology, composer, priest and monk and was a leading light in the Reformation.

Martin Luther by Cranach-restoration
Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach the Elder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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