Aug 20

Holy, Holy, Holy (Nicaea) Reharmonization

Aug 01

Because He Lives – Organ Improvisation Medley

Jul 21

Felix Mendelssohn’s War March of the Priests

Sep 16

“His Hymns” Podcast 3 – The Spacious Firmament on High

Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of “His Hymns”. Today’s hymn is “The Spcious Firmament on High” using the tune from Haydn’s Creation. We just had a week of the most gorgeous weather here in Stamford Connecticut and one could not help but marvel at the beauty of God’s creation. Practically every day we enjoyed clear blue skies and low humidity. A couple of years ago I found a solution for easing any stress I was beginning to feel if I got caught in a traffic jam, and that was to take that time to be still and enjoy the wonder of God’s handiwork. The Psalms say that “the heavens declare the glory of God” and I have found that when I focus on the beauty of the earth I can sense His glory pouring forth from what I see…the vast expanse of the skies and sea, the colors of fall, the diversity of all the races and many more wonders. God is amazing, and to add to these blessings, he gives us beautiful music as well. Here is a great example. Enjoy!

The Spacious Firmament on High
1
The spacious firmament on high,
with all the blue eternal sky,
and spangled heavens, a shining frame,
their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun from day to day
does his Creator’s power display;
and publishes to every land
the work of an almighty hand.

2
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
the moon takes up the wondrous tale,
and nightly to the listening earth
repeats the story of her birth:
whilst all the stars that round her burn,
and all the planets in their turn,
confirm the tidings, as they roll
and spread the truth from pole to pole.

3
What though in solemn silence all
move round the dark terrestrial ball?
What though no real voice nor sound
amid their radiant orbs be found?
In reason’s ear they all rejoice,
and utter forth a glorious voice;
for ever singing as they shine,
“The hand that made us is divine.”

Words: Joseph Addison (1672-1719); para. of Psalm 19:1-6
Music: Creation, Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809); adapt. Dulcimer, or New York Collection of Sacred Music, 1950, alt.
Meter: LMD

Sep 09

“His Hymns” Podcast 2 – Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken

Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of “His Hymns”. Today’s hymn is “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” and I am going to be using the tune “Austria”. This is a hymn rich with examples of God’s majesty, sovereignty and love for us. I particularly like the second verse, which talks about the streams of living water springing from His eternal love. Indeed we, as His sons and daughters ought not to fear if our needs will be provided. He is “Jehovah Jireh” and his grace is and always will be sufficient for us.

Have you ever had an experience where you were in need and about to despair that your particular need was not going to be met, then just at the right moment, God provides it? I can remember a few examples in my own life and at those moments I was reminded that the Lord was hearing my plea all through that trial. In fact he already knew my need before I even began to ask for it. Imagine what our days would be like if we continually approached them with the confidence that we serve a Lord and Savior who knows our every need and is more than able to meet them. Sometimes we put such an emphasis on wants that we skew their importance in our lives. A common experience of Christian groups on mission trips to poor countries is that they see what it means to fully depend on God’s providence, and that those who do so possess true joy and peace. As you sing along with this great hymn, remember that we serve a great God who calls us his sons and daughters and rest in the knowledge that, as Hebrews 13:5 says, he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God;
he whose word cannot be broken
formed thee for his own abode;
on the Rock of Ages founded,
what can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
thou may’st smile at all thy foes.

See! the streams of living waters,
springing from eternal love,
well supply thy sons and daughters
and all fear of want remove.
Who can faint, when such a river
ever will their thirst assuage?
Grace which, like the Lord, the giver
never fails from age to age.

Round each habitation hovering,
see the cloud and fire appear
for a glory and a covering,
showing that the Lord is near.
Thus deriving from their banner,
light by night, and shade by day,
safe they feed upon the manna
which he gives them when they pray.

Blest inhabitants of Zion,
washed in the Redeemer’s blood!
Jesus, whom their souls rely on,
makes them kings and priests to God.
’Tis his love his people raise
over self to reign as kings:
and as priests, his solemn praises
each for a thank-offering brings.

Words: John Newton (1725-1807), alt.
Music: Austria, Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1807)
Meter: 87. 87. D

Sep 02

“His Hymns” Podcast 1 – Come, Labor On

Hello everyone,
Welcome to “His Hymns”, a podcast series celebrating the joys of hymnody and how God speaks to us through them. I grew up in Barbados, exposed to hymns in church and was privileged to hear them played beautifully by my father on both piano and organ. Needless to say, my love and appreciation grew for this form of worship and I eventually became fluent at playing hymns. I hope you enjoy this series and I welcome comments and discussion on some of the topics I address.
Today I will play the hymn “Come Labor On”, to the tune “Ora Labora”. This is frequently heard in churches around this time of the year as Americans celebrate Labor Day weekend. Colossians 3:23 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters”. Just imagine that command in the first verse of this hymn coming directly from the Lord to you…”Go, work today”. Yes, there are many of us who remain jobless today but that does not mean that we dare stand idle. I have heard it said many a time that seeking a job is a full time job. As we return from summer holidays to our regular routines of the academic year, let us remember what Psalm 128:2 says, “You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.”

Come, labor on.
Who dares stand idle on the harvest plain,
while all around us waves the golden grain?
And to each servant does the Master say,
“Go work today.”

Come, labor on.
The enemy is watching night and day,
to sow the tares, to snatch the seed away;
while we in sleep our duty have forgot,
he slumbered not.

Come, labor on.
Away with gloomy doubts and faithless fear!
No arm so weak but may do service here:
by feeblest agents may our God fulfill
his righteous will.

Come, labor on.
Claim the high calling angels cannot share–
to young and old the Gospel gladness bear;
redeem the time; its hours too swiftly fly.
The night draws nigh.

Come, labor on.
No time for rest, till glows the western sky,
till the long shadows o’er our pathway lie,
and a glad sound comes with the setting sun.
“Servants, well done.”

Words: Jane Borthwick, 1859, 1863
Music: Ora Labora, Qui orat laborat
Meter: 4 10 10 10 4

Jul 26

Olympic Fanfare and Theme (abridged) – John Williams

Jul 25

Toccata from Léon Boëllmann’s Suite Gothique

Feb 18

Toccata in B minor by Eugène Gigout

Oct 21

October 2011 Vodcast – Carillon Sortie – H. Mulet

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