Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Wonderful Interlude from Herbert Howells: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

When I lived in Chattanooga, I sang in the Chattanooga Bach Choir from 1989 to 1995 (when I left to go to Auburn for graduate school), and I have many fond memories of the many wonderful anthems and other pieces we sang. (There were some magnificent voices in that choir and it was a privilege just to be able to sit among these people.)

Our director, Jim Greasby, especially loved the music of Herbert Howells, and one day we rehearsed (but did not sing in concert) Howells' "Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem," which comes from Psalm 22. This is an especially moving piece and is meaningful to me as I see turmoil and wrongdoing going on all around us. Howells wrote this in 1941, while Europe and Great Britain were seeing very dark days as the German Wehrmacht was rolling through Europe and North Africa seemingly unstoppable.

It reminds me that God is on His Throne and that, indeed, the "Peace of Jerusalem" is not far off. I hope this piece is as meaningful to you as it is to me.

I also add Howells' "Magnificat," and "Nunc Dimitis," which we sang at an evensong at Christ Episcopal on McCallie Avenue (which had a wonderful acoustic) in November, 1989.

4 comments:

KC Sprayberry said...

Bill, it's good to remember when everything is falling down around you, music is there to lift us up. Thanks for this reminder.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bill! I think some of us needed that.

john lichtenstein said...

What was the lie that jurors caught in the state's closing?

William L. Anderson said...

Arnt misrepresented what Dr. Nancy Fajman told the court in her testimony. He said that Dr. Fajman said that there was evidence of sexual abuse injuries when, in fact, she had said that the girls' vaginas seemed normal to her.