A favourite song that seems fitting for spring, sung by a favourite choir – here is “You Are The New Day” by Bob Chilcott sung by the Stellenbosch University Chamber Choir.
The Lamentations text reads:
O vos ómnes qui transítis per víam, atténdite et vidéte si est dólor símilis sícut dólor méus
O all you who walk by on the road, pay attention and see if there be any sorrow like mine
This beautiful setting, written in 1932 by Pablo Casals for the monks of Montserrat, is what I’m listening to today.
Not all the choral music that stops me in my tracks is of the sacred variety- take Voces8’s spellbinding arrangement and performance of the American folk song, “Shenandoah.” .
Most North American churches will be a buzz of activity today with fall kick-offs and attendance surging after summer vacation. While I love the ‘back to routine’ feeling that these early September Sundays bring, the introvert in me longs for something quieter and more reflective… something along the lines of Palestrina’s “Sicut Cervus.” Ironically, this piece is a setting of Psalm 41:2 which is all about longing.
British composer Will Todd has set Revelation 21:4 to a new choral piece that gives incredible colour, texture and life to this text. This composition, entitled “No More Sorrow,” feels fitting for remembrance.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4
The choir is Tenebrae, under the direction of Nigel Short.
I love Felix Mendelssohn’s motet “Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe” and the St. Olaf University Choir does a marvelous job. A translation can be read here.