Sunday, October 10, 2010

Anglican Chant VIII: Deerhurst - Protestant Church: "Psalm CXLIX"

What a gorgeous tune! I'm sure our resident AC experts will be along shortly to tell us who wrote it; check the comments for info.

Psalm 149:
1 O sing unto the Lord a new song *
let the congregation of saints praise him.
2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him *
and let the children of Sion be joyful in their King.
3 Let them praise his Name in the dance *
let them sing praises unto him with tabret and harp.
4 For the Lord hath pleasure in his people *
and helpeth the meek-hearted.
5 Let the saints be joyful with glory *
let them rejoice in their beds.
6 Let the praises of God be in their mouth *
and a two-edged sword in their hands;
7 To be avenged of the heathen *
and to rebuke the people;
8 To bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles with links of iron.
9 That they may be avenged of them, as it is written *
Such honour have all his saints.

Somebody out there is posting lots of Anglican Chant videos representing parish churches in the Church of England! And we are very lucky they are.


Sir Watkin said...

Chant by Ivor Atkins, organist of Worcester Cathedral and friend of Elgar. Think A is the original key (tho' sung here in Bb).

Atkins wrote a superb set of chants for Psalm 107.

bls said...

Thanks, Sir Watkin. BTW, you are competing with a poster on another of my blogs to see who can post the composer first. You won - this time.


(I think I'll probably introduce you two to each other soon, by linking to each of your comments. It's really quite great to have this going on, and I can't wait for the next video!)

He and I are now trying to figure out what's going on in the text. They seem to be singing a pastiche of words here from various translations (Coverdale, NAB, a Jewish Bible); does that seem right to you?

This really is a lovely and tuneful chant, and I'd love to hear more from Atkins; will have to see what I can find. Thanks!

Sir Watkin said...

I can't be sure as I haven't a copy to hand to check, but I think they are singing from the so-called Revised Psalter of 1963/1964. This was a lightly revised version of 1662/Coverdale, which both T.S. Eliot and C.S. Lewis were involved with. It avoided making changes except where the original was manifestly wrong or incomprehensible. It also seems to have made a point of rephrasing the second half of verses where they were too short to fit the six syllables of an Anglican chant comfortably.

Personally I just find the changes annoying (as I do the more extensive changes of the R.S.V and R.V. of the Bible - and don't get me started on the Neo-Vulgate ....). I'd rather have the Real Thing, warts and all. If there are quirks and errors and puzzles, we can live with them. They are like the lineaments of an old friend whom one loves as much for his imperfections as despite them.

And of course such a conservative approach to liturgical/biblical revision didn't date well, being swept away by the onslaught that soon followed.

bls said...

Thanks, Sir W; that makes more sense than the "pastiche" idea. I haven't seen that Psalter anywhere, but will see if I can find online.

I do love the Coverdale, myself - but I also don't mind new translations, depending on whether or not they are good, of course.

I'll report your theory to Scott!


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