Isaiah and the Seraph

I shame at mine unworthiness, yet fain would be at one with Thee: Thou art a joy in heaviness, a succour in necessity. (Sir William Leighton, 1614) Shame and joy move in polyphonic sway: the vision delights, augments, and yet diminishes the confidence. How can I, with unclean lips, hymn praises without minor chords? MustContinue reading “Isaiah and the Seraph”

Christmas 9: Join the dancing

On the ninth day of Christmas, apparently, someone’s true love once gave them nine ladies dancing. Impractical though this is as a Christmas present (not to mention hard to wrap), it suits today’s carol well: the majestic “In dulci jubilo”, set by the seventeenth-century German Lutheran composer Michael Praetorius. The story of the text, originallyContinue reading “Christmas 9: Join the dancing”

Kyrie (Cornucopia of Heaven)

Kyrie After Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, “Missa Papae Marcelli: Kyrie”   From earth, from soil, from hearts, from fractures              Kyrie               Kyrie From death, from fire, from quake, from anguish                           Kyrie               Kyrie From drought that blocks, from self that locks                        Kyrie eleison From sin, from toil, from pride, from hate             Christe             Christe FromContinue reading “Kyrie (Cornucopia of Heaven)”