Sunday, 10 July 2022

Sunday 10th July 2022 Sea Sunday

 Crossing The Bar  Sir H Parry   Alfred Lord Tennyson

The Anthem was the famous poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, put to music by H Parry.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was a British poet, and for much of Queen Victoria's reign was Poet Laureate

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson by George Frederic Watts.jpg
Alfred Lord Tennyson, from Wikipedia

C H H Parry was born in Bournemouth in 1848 into a rich family and was educated at Eton where he also gained his music degree.  He went to study further at Oxford.  His music influenced other great English composers such as Elgar and Vaughan Williams.  He wrote his best music in his later years and this include his Songs of Farewell.  He died in Rustington in 1918, just before the end of the Great War.

Sir Parry from Wikipedia

Saturday, 9 July 2022

Saturday 9th July 2022

The Lord is my shepher (Psalm 23)  Howard Goodall

Personal life

Born in Bromley, Kent, Goodall was educated at New College School, where he was a chorister in the Choir of New College, Oxford. He then went on to Stowe School and Lord Williams's School. He read music at Christ Church, Oxford, where he gained a first-class degree.

He is married to Val Fancourt, who is a classical music agent, and they have two daughters.


Popular music

In the late 1970s, Goodall was a member of the band Half Brother with his friend Jonathan Kermode. They produced an eponymous LP album, Half Brother, in 1978.

Musical theatre

Goodall's 1984 musical The Hired Man, an adaptation of the novel by Melvyn Bragg, won an Ivor Novello award (1985) and TMA Award (2006) award for Best Musical. Professional revivals of The Hired Man in recent years include a UK tour by the New Perspectives Theatre Company in 2008 and a production directed by David Thacker and Elizabeth Newman at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton in June 2010.

A Winter's Tale, commissioned for the opening of the Sage Gateshead in December 2005 was presented during 2009/10 by Youth Music Theatre UK. In 2011 its London professional premiere at the Landor Theatre won the Off west end award for Best New Musical.

Love Story, based on the novella by Erich Segal, premiered in 2010 at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester.

Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical, written with Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges and Charles Hart began previewing at the Phoenix Theatre, London, in May 2015.

Other musicals include Girlfriends (1986), Days of Hope (1991), Silas Marner (1993), The Kissing-Dance (1998), The Dreaming (2001) (both with Charles Hart), A Winter's Tale (2005) and Two Cities (2006).


Goodall has composed the main themes and incidental music for UK comedy programmes including Red Dwarf, Blackadder, Mr. Bean, The Thin Blue Line, The Vicar of Dibley, The Catherine Tate Show, 2point4 Children, Words and Pictures and QI, on which he has also appeared twice as a panellist. A single "Tongue Tied" from Red Dwarf reached no. 17 on the UK charts.

As an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford, Goodall met actor Rowan Atkinson and writer Richard Curtis, his collaborators on several of these projects, including his first break into TV, Not the Nine O'Clock News.

Choral works

Goodall has a body of choral music to his name, including "In Memoriam Anne Frank" (2001), "O Lord God of Time and Eternity" (2003) and settings of Psalm 23 (used as the theme tune to The Vicar of Dibley) and "Love Divine". In September 2008, his Eternal Light: A Requiem was premiered by Rambert Dance Company to choreography by the company's artistic director, Mark Baldwin. The result of a commission from London Musici to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Eternal Light: A Requiem was commissioned as both a choral-orchestral-dance piece and a choral orchestral work. The London premiere took place on 11 November 2008 at Sadler's Wells with Rambert Dance Company, London Musici, The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, Finchley Children's Music Group and soloists, conducted by Paul Hoskins. Also in September 2008, EMI Classics released the premiere recording of Eternal Light: A Requiem, with soloists Natasha Marsh, Alfie Boe and Christopher Maltman joining London Musici, The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and conducted by Stephen Darlington. Eternal Light: A Requiem has now had over 400 live performances across the world.

In March 2009, Classic FM released Howard Goodall's Enchanted Voices, a modern exploration of ancient chant, scored for upper voices, cello, organ, handbells and synthesiser. The disc marks Goodall's position as Classic FM's Composer-in-Residence for 2009. A month after its UK release, it became the best-selling specialist choral CD of 2009. It subsequently earned a nomination for Classical Brit Album of the Year. Howard Goodall's Enchanted Voices was followed by Howard Goodall's Enchanted Carols (November 2009) and Pelican in the Wilderness (March 2010).

Goodall arranged an orchestral and choir score for Psalm 122 for Tonbridge School to commemorate their chapel which burnt down in the 1980s. Goodall was also commissioned by Truro Cathedral to write a new work for all four of the Cathedral's choirs: Truro Cathedral Choir (boys and men), St Mary's Singers (mixed adults), Cornwall Youth Choir and Cornwall Junior Choir. The piece, entitled A New Heart, A New Spirit, sets a text from Wisdom and Ezekiel in four languages (English, Latin, French and Cornish).

The 45-minute oratorio, Every Purpose Under the Heaven (The King James Bible Oratorio), was premiered in Westminster Abbey in November 2011 (conducted by the composer). It was commissioned as a gift to the United Church Schools Trust and United Learning Trust from Sir Ewan and Lady Harper, to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Every Purpose Under the Heaven was recorded and released on the Decca Classics/Classics fm CD Inspired in 2012.

Goodall's commission Rigaudon was part of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Regatta and he was musically responsible for Rowan Atkinson's performance at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.

I am Christmas Day premiered at Southwark Cathedral as part of the Mercy Ships Charity annual Carol Service on Wednesday 5 December 2012. Commissioned by Mercy Ships UK, the work was performed by Southwark Cathedral Girls Choir, conducted by the composer.

Goodall contributed two choral items for the August 4th commemoration of the beginning of the First World War at St Symphorien Military Cemetery near Mons, Belgium, broadcast live in BBC2. He arranged British and German soldiers' songs into a suite with band accompaniment (The Band of the Coldstream Guards) and composed an entirely new work in English and German, "Sure of the Sky, Sure of the Sun – Des Himmels sicher, der Sonne sicher", performed jointly by the London Symphony Chorus and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Choir, conducted by Simon Halsey, based on the poems "May, 1915" by Charlotte Mew (1869–1928) and "An einen vermißten Freund!" by a German soldier killed in action on the Western Front, Goldfeld (discovered by Peter Appelbaum). Present at the event, alongside members of the UK Government, were the presidents of Germany and Eire, the King and Queen of the Belgians, and Prince William and Catherine and Prince Harry.

Steadfast, with music and lyrics by Goodall, was released on 14 October 2014, in aid of Global's Make Some Noise, a charity that helps disadvantaged children in the UK. Steadfast included performance contributions from Katherine Jenkins, Laura Wright, Milos, Charlie Siem, Alfie Boe, Myleene Klass and Alexander Armstrong.

More Tomorrows was commissioned by Classic fm for Cancer Research UK and premiered by the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall on 25 April 2013, conducted by the composer.

Invictus: A Passion, a 55-minute work for soloists, chorus and small orchestra, was commissioned by St Luke's United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, and premiered there under the composer's baton in March 2018, with the UK premiere following in May 2018, given by the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and Stephen Darlington.


Goodall has been awarded honorary Doctorates of Music from Bishop Grosseteste University College in Lincoln, the University of Bolton, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts with the University of East Anglia and Doctor of Literature (Education) from the Institute of Education, University College London. The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) gave him its Gold Badge Award for exceptional work in support of his fellow British composers. In 2007, he received the Making Music/Sir Charles Groves Prize for Outstanding Contribution to British Music and was appointed by the UK Government as England's first ever National Ambassador for Singing, leading a 4-year programme (Sing Up) to improve the provision of group singing for all primary-age children.

In April 2009, Goodall was nominated for The Classical BRITs "Composer of the Year" award for Eternal Light: A Requiem, which he won in May 2009, and in July 2009 he was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category "Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special (Dramatic Score)" for his work on the Winston Churchill biopic Into the Storm; which he went on to win on 12 September at a ceremony in Los Angeles.

In 2009, Goodall received the Karl Haas Prize for Music Education, awarded by the Klassix Society–Friends of 88.7KXMS / Fine Arts Radio International of Missouri Southern State University.

Additional awards include the Naomi Sergeant Memorial Award for Outstanding contribution to British Music, the MIA/Classic fm award for Outstanding contribution to Music Education and a Primetime EMMY award for Original Dramatic Score for the score of the HBO film Into the Storm.

In January 2011, Goodall was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to music education.

Taken from wikipedia.

Psalm 23 is well known and has many settings as both motet and hymn. Howard Goodall's version was written in 1994 and first performed by the Choir of Christ Church Catherdral, Oxford. It is readily recognised as the theme tune for The Vicar of Dibley. Our arrangement was by Howard Goodall, copyright 2000.

Monday, 20 June 2022

Sunday 19th June 2022 Trinity 1

"Never Weather Beaten Sail " music by Charles Wood, poem by Thomas Campion.

“Never Weather beaten Sail” uses the poem from the renaissance by Thomas Campion (1567- 1620) who wrote both poetry and music during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. The storm tossed boat and its tired sailors are a metaphor for the soul’s journey. As they seek for a harbour and anchor from the restless sea, so does our soul seek refuge and peace. Wood successfully transformed a renaissance poem into a song which does not have the over sentimental feel of much Victorian music.

.Campion was born in London, the son of John Campion, a clerk of the Court of Chancery, and Lucy (née Searle – daughter of Laurence Searle, one of the Queen's serjeants-at-arms). Upon the death of Campion's father in 1576, his mother married Augustine Steward, dying soon afterwards. His stepfather assumed charge of the boy and sent him, in 1581, to study at Peterhouse, Cambridge as a "gentleman pensioner"; he left the university after four years without taking a degree. He later entered Gray's Inn to study law in 1586. However, he left in 1595 without having been called to the bar.

On 10 February 1605, he received his medical degree from the University of Caen.

Campion is thought to have lived in London, practising as a physician, until his death in March 1620 – possibly of the plague. He was apparently unmarried and had no children. He was buried the same day at St Dunstan-in-the-West in Fleet Street.

He was implicated in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, but was eventually exonerated, as it was found that he had unwittingly delivered the bribe that had procured Overbury's death.

Poetry and songs

A Book of Ayres, 1601, with words by Campion and music by Philip Rosseter
The body of his works is considerable, the earliest known being a group of five anonymous poems included in the "Songs of Divers Noblemen and Gentlemen," appended to Newman's edition of Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel and Stella, which appeared in 1591. In 1595, Poemata, a collection of Latin panegyrics, elegies and epigrams was published, winning him a considerable reputation. This was followed, in 1601, by a songbook, A Booke of Ayres, with words by himself and music composed by himself and Philip Rosseter. The following year he published his Observations in the Art of English Poesie, "against the vulgar and unartificial custom of riming," in favour of rhymeless verse on the model of classical quantitative verse. Campion's theories on poetry were criticized by Samuel Daniel in "Defence of Rhyme" (1603).

In 1607, he wrote and published a masque[6] for the occasion of the marriage of Lord Hayes, and, in 1613, issued a volume of Songs of Mourning: Bewailing the Untimely Death of Prince Henry, set to music by John Cooper (also known as Coperario). The same year he wrote and arranged three masques: The Lords' Masque for the marriage of Princess Elizabeth; an entertainment for the amusement of Queen Anne at Caversham House; and a third for the marriage of the Earl of Somerset to the infamous Frances Howard, Countess of Essex. If, moreover, as appears quite likely, his Two Bookes of Ayres (both words and music written by himself) belongs also to this year, it was indeed his annus mirabilis.

In 1615, he published a book on counterpoint, A New Way of Making Fowre Parts in Counterpoint By a Most Familiar and Infallible Rule,[8] a technical treatise which was for many years the standard textbook on the subject. It was included, with annotations by Christopher Sympson, in Playford's Brief Introduction to the Skill of Musick, and two editions appear to have been published by 1660.

Some time in or after 1617 appeared his Third and Fourth Booke of Ayres. In 1618 appeared the airs that were sung and played at Brougham Castle on the occasion of the King's entertainment there, the music by George Mason and John Earsden, while the words were almost certainly by Campion. In 1619, he published his Epigrammatum Libri II. Umbra Elegiarum liber unus, a reprint of his 1595 collection with considerable omissions, additions (in the form of another book of epigrams) and corrections.


Minutes of the examination of Thomas Campion on the 26th Oct. 16 15, prior to the arrest of Sir Thomas Monson for complicity in the Overbury murder.
Campion made a nuncupative will on 1 March 1619/20 before 'divers credible witnesses': a memorandum was made that he did 'not longe before his death say that he did give all that he had unto Mr Phillip Rosseter, and wished that his estate had bin farre more', and Rosseter was sworn before Dr Edmund Pope to administer as principal legatee on 3 March 1619/20.

While Campion had attained a considerable reputation in his own day, in the years that followed his death his works sank into complete oblivion. No doubt this was due to the nature of the media in which he mainly worked, the masque and the song-book. The masque was an amusement at any time too costly to be popular, and during the commonwealth period it was practically extinguished. The vogue of the song-books was even more ephemeral, and, as in the case of the masque, the Puritan ascendancy, with its distaste for all secular music, effectively put an end to the madrigal. Its loss involved that of many hundreds of dainty lyrics, including those of Campion, and it was due to the work of A. H. Bullen (see bibliography), who first published a collection of the poet's works in 1889, that his genius was recognised and his place among the foremost rank of Elizabethan lyric poets restored.

Early dictionary writers, such as Fétis, saw Campion as a theorist. It was much later on that people began to see him as a composer. He was the writer of a poem, Cherry Ripe, which is not the later famous poem of that title but has several similarities.

In popular culture
Repeated reference was made to Campion (1567-1620) in an October 2010 episode of the BBC TV series, James May's Man Lab (BBC2), where his works are used as the inspiration for a young man trying to serenade a female colleague. This segment was referenced in the second and third series of the programme as well.

Occasional mention is made of Campion ("Campian") in the comic strip 9 Chickweed Lane (i.e., 5 April 2004), referencing historical context for playing the lute.

Charles Wood was born in Vicars' Hill in the Cathedral precincts of Armagh, Ireland, Charles was the fifth child and third son of Charles Wood Sr. and Jemima Wood. The boy was a treble chorister in the choir of the nearby St. Patrick's Cathedral (Church of Ireland). His father sang tenor as a stipendiary 'Gentleman' or 'Lay Vicar Choral' in the Cathedral choir and was also the Diocesan Registrar of the church. He was a cousin of Irish composer Ina Boyle.

Wood received his early education at the Cathedral Choir School and also studied organ with two organists and masters of the Boys of Armagh Cathedral, Robert Turle and his successor Dr Thomas Marks. In 1883 he became one of fifty inaugural class members of the Royal College of Music, studying composition with Charles Villiers Stanford and Charles Hubert Hastings Parry primarily, and horn and piano secondarily. Following four years of training, he continued his studies at Selwyn College, Cambridge, through 1889, where he began teaching harmony and counterpoint. In 1889 he attained a teaching position at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, first as organ scholar and then as fellow in 1894, becoming their first director of music and organist. He was instrumental in the reflowering of music at the college, though more as a teacher and organiser of musical events than as composer. After Stanford died in 1924, Wood assumed his mentor's vacant role as Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge.

According to his successor at Cambridge, Edward J Dent, as a teacher of composition, Wood "was surpassed only by Stanford himself [and] as a teacher of counterpoint and fugue he was unequalled". His pupils at Cambridge included Ralph Vaughan Williams, Nicholas Gatty, Arthur Bliss, Cecil Armstrong Gibbs and W Denis Browne. Dent says that, because Stanford did not reside in Cambridge, Wood took on the real burden on teaching for many years before his own election as Professor of Music, by which time his health was already undermined. He died in July 1926 after only two years in the post.

Personal life
He married Charlotte Georgina Wills-Sandford, daughter of William Robert Wills-Sandford, of Castlerea, County Roscommon, Ireland, on 17 March 1898. They had two sons and three daughters, including Lieutenant Patrick Bryan Sandford Wood R.A.F. (1899-1918), who was killed in an aircraft accident during the First World War and is buried at Taranto, Italy. The family's address in Cambridge was 17, Cranmer Road. He is buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge, together with his wife. There is a memorial to him in the north aisle at St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh.

Like his better-known colleague Stanford, Wood is chiefly remembered for his Anglican church music. As well as his Communion Service in the Phrygian Mode, his settings of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis are still popular with cathedral and parish church choirs, particularly the services in F, D, and G, and the two settings in E flat. During Passiontide his St Mark Passion, written in 1920 for Eric Milner-White, the then Dean of King’s College, Cambridge, is sometimes performed. It demonstrates Wood's interest in modal composition, in contrast to the late romantic harmonic style he more usually employs.

Wood's anthems with organ, Expectans expectavi, and O Thou, the Central Orb are both frequently performed and recorded; as are his unaccompanied anthems Tis the day of Resurrection, Glory and Honour and, most popular of all, Hail, gladdening light and its lesser-known equivalent for men's voices, Great Lord of Lords. All Wood's a cappella music demonstrates fastidious craftsmanship and a supreme mastery of the genre, and he is no less resourceful in his accompanied choral works which sometimes include unison sections and have stirring organ accompaniments, conveying a satisfying warmth and richness of emotional expression appropriate to his carefully chosen texts.

After the fashion of the time Wood composed a series of secular choral cantatas between 1885 and 1905, including On Time (1897-8, setting Milton), Dirge for Two Veterans (1901, setting Walt Whitman), and A Ballad of Dundee (1904, setting W.E. Aytoun). There were also madrigals (including If Love be Dead, setting Coleridge), partsongs (such as Full Fathom Five) and solo songs, one of which, Ethiopia Saluting the Colours (setting Walt Whitman) attained high popularity.

Of the orchestral works, both the Piano Concerto (1886) and the Patrick Sarsfield Variations (1899) remained unpublished, although the Variations received a performance at the Queen's Hall Beecham Concerts in 1907. Walter Starkie said the work "shows his power of creating what may be called the Irish atmosphere in music".[9] It has been revived in modern times by the Ulster Orchestra, conducted by Simon Joly. However, Wood appears to have lost confidence and abandoned the orchestral medium after 1905. Three symphonies and an opera remained uncompleted.

He also composed eight string quartets (six numbered, plus the Variations on an Irish Folk Tune and a first movement fragment in G minor), spanning 1885 to 1917. The early quartets show the influence of Brahms, but from No. 3 in A minor (1911) a more personal voice emerges, partly through the use of Irish folk melodies and dance tunes as thematic material. There is a modern recording of No. 3 by the Lindsay Quartet. The quartets were edited after the composer's death by Edward Dent and published in a collected edition by Oxford University Press in 1929.

He is remembered for his Anglican Church music.

Both biographies taken from Wikipedia.

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Sunday 12th June 2022 Trinity Sunday

I Will Sing With The Spirit     John Rutter

"I will sing with the spirit" is a sacred choral composition by John Rutter. The biblical text is taken from 1 Corinthians 14:15, adding to the second half of the verse an often repeated "alleluia". Rutter scored the piece for four vocal parts (SATB) and organ, adding other versions. He composed it in 1994 for the Royal School of Church Music in England.

The work was published by Oxford University Press in 1994. Marked "Brightly and serenely", the music is in A major and common time, and takes about three minutes to perform. Rutter also wrote a version for two upper voices and piano, and orchestral accompaniment for both versions. It is included in the collection John Rutter Anthems.

It was recorded several times, for example ending a collection of Rutter's choral works performed under his direction by the Cambridge Singers and the City of London Sinfonia, featuring his Mass of the Children. It is part of the 2008 Anniversary Collection of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Text and music
The text, with its juxtaposition of "spirit" and "understanding", interpreted also as "heart" and "mind", has been used by church musicians to reflect the synthesis of the two elements needed in good church music. Rutter chose the text, "mingling the heart and mind of worship music", well for a school of church music. In the four-part version, the soprano alone presents the first part of the text. "I will sing" leaps up a sixth to a long note on "sing", in a first repeat even up an octave, followed by a sequence of "alleluia". In a third repeat, all voices sing the first version in unison, then they perform in homophony the second version and the alleluia. In a middle section, the second part of the biblical text is sung three times, marked three times dolce e legato. The soprano, the alto, finally the men sing "with understanding also", culminating in a four-part lively alleluia. In a reprise section, the first line is repeated by all voices, with imitation of motifs. A coda repeats alleluia two more times, rallentando to Lento, and gradually softened to pp, ending on a soft six-part long note.

Taken from Wikipedia.

John Rutter was born in London in 1945 and had his first musical training at Highgate School as a chorister. He studied music at Clare College, Cambridge where he wrote his first published music and had his first recording whilst still an undergraduate.

John Rutter
John Rutter [Wikimedia Commons]

His compositions cover a wide variety of musical genres but he is well know by all choirs who must have some Rutter in their repertoire. He formed the Cambridge Singers and spends his time composing and conducting.

He was awarded a CBE for services to music in the 2007 Queen's New Year Honours List.

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Thursday 25th May Ascension Day

 Lift Your Heads   Anthem for Ascension  J S Bach

This comes from The Royal School of Church Music, words adapted by C S Phillips and the mean parts added by P C Buck. It is an anthem in 2 sections, it starts as a sedate 4/4 largamente passage 

"Lift your heads, ye gates eternal, 
Welcome your returning King:
 Angel choirs, with loud Hosannas 
make the courts of Heav'n to ring." 

Then we move to a swifter and dance -like 3/4 section, 

"For swift as an eagle that soareth on pinion, 
The son cometh home to the Father's dominion. 
His sorrows are ended, His lifework is done: 
Victorious He mounteth to take back His throne."

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He was a highly respected organist in his lifetime, although not recognised as a composer of magnitude (possibly one of the greatest) until a revival of his works in the first half of the 19th century. He showed considerable skill in counterpoint and harmony. He was able to adapt rhythm, form and texture from abroad. He was a prolific composer of church music due to the demand for huge numbers of cantatas over the Christian year.  It is thought her wrote over 300 with only around 200 surviving. He also wrote many other works sacred and secular.  It is now agreed that his music has technical command, intellectual depth and artistic beauty.

Sunday 29th May 2022 Easter 7

God Is Gone Up  William Croft

Croft was born at the Manor House, Nether Ettington, Warwickshire. He was educated at the Chapel Royal under the instruction of John Blow, and remained there until 1698. Two years after this departure, he became organist of St. Anne's Church, Soho and he became an organist and 'Gentleman extraordinary' at the Chapel Royal. He shared that post with his friend Jeremiah Clarke.

In 1707, he took over the Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal post, which had been left vacant by the suicide of Jeremiah Clarke. The following year, Croft succeeded Blow (who had lately died) as organist of Westminster Abbey. He composed works for the funeral of Queen Anne (1714) and for the coronation of King George I (1715).

In 1724, Croft published Musica Sacra, a collection of church music, the first such collection to be printed in the form of a score. It contains a Burial Service, which may have been written for Queen Anne or for the Duke of Marlborough. Shortly afterwards his health deteriorated, and he died while visiting Bath aged 48.

One of Croft's most enduring pieces is the hymn tune "St Anne" written to the poem Our God, Our Help in Ages Past by Isaac Watts. Other composers subsequently incorporated the tune in their own works. Handel used it, for instance, in an anthem entitled O Praise the Lord and also Hubert Parry in his 1911 Coronation Te Deum. Bach's Fugue in E-flat major BWV 552 is often called the "St. Anne", due to the similarity (coincidental in this case) of its subject to the hymn melody's first phrase. Croft also wrote various violin sonatas, which are not nearly as often performed as is his religious music, but have been occasionally recorded.

Perhaps Croft's most notable legacy is the suite of Funeral Sentences which have been described as a "glorious work of near genius". First published as part of the Burial Service in Musica Sacra, the date and purpose of their composition is uncertain. The seven Sentences themselves are from the Book of Common Prayer and are verses from various books of the Bible, intended to be said or sung during an Anglican funeral. One of the sentences, Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts, was not composed by Croft, but by Henry Purcell, part of his 1695 Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary. Croft wrote:

"...there is one verse composed by my predecessor, the famous Mr Henry Purcell, to which, in justice to his memory, his name is applied. The reason why I did not compose that verse anew (so as to render the whole service entirely of my own composition) is obvious to every Artist; in the rest of that service composed by me, I have endeavoured as near as I could, to imitate that great master and celebrated composer, whose name will for ever stand high in the rank of those who have laboured to improve the English style..."

Croft's Funeral Sentences were sung at George Frederic Handel's funeral in 1759, and have been included in every British state funeral since their publication. They were used at the funerals of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 2002, Baroness Thatcher in 2013 and Prince Philip in 2021.

The above is taken from Wikipedia.

God is gone up, is an appropriate anthem to sing at Ascensiontide.  

God is gone up with a merry noise
and the Lord with the sound of the trumpet.
O sing praises, sing praises unto our God,
O sing praises, sing praises unto our King.
For God is the King of all the earth,
O Sing ye praises with understanding.


Sunday, 17 April 2022

Sunday 17th April 2022 Easter Day

On Easter Morn Ere Break Of Day   Sung by the Greek Church at Lauds on Easter Day  Melody: The Bashful Lover

This is a jolly tune, being almost a hornpipe so goes along at a fair pace. But the words are from the Greek Church, traditionally sung at Easter. It describes the three Marys arriving at Christ's tomb and finding him gone. But this is a tremendous thing as the Bible foretold Christ's ressurection for the good of all mankind.

The music was set to a poem by Robert Burns On a bank of flowers ae simmer day.