More Biblical Music

More Biblical Music June 14, 2020

Another composer that YouTube kindly introduced me to is Enjott Schneider . As soon as it offers me something that I really profoundly enjoy, I go looking for more, and usually look specifically to see if they’ve done anything with the Bible. Enjott Schneider most certainly has, including but not limited to Sieben letzte Worte Jesu (Seven Last Words of Jesus) shared above. I’ve looked for some of the others but did not find recordings of them, never mind recordings that could be embedded in or linked to from this blog post.

There is more information on the composer’s website about many of his works. He also gave an interview for the magazine Musica Sacra about composing church music.

It was his 7th Symphony that got me started, and I highly recommend that as well.

And perhaps my favorite of his works I’ve listened to thus far is this brief piece:

Also, just to share more music, I discovered that one of Carl Vine’s works, his Choral Symphony, has its text taken from the Enuma Elish! This might therefore be of interest to those who teach biblical studies, the Ancient Near East, and related topics. Or you can just enjoy the music…

For the Enuma Elish in comic book form, see what students in a class at Cornell did!

Returning to music, Vine’s piano concerto is also quite wonderful, as are many others of his works.

Before ending this post, let me share a few more works that intersect with biblical texts more directly than those I’ve just mentioned. First, here is Eric Zeisl’s Requiem Ebraico, a setting of Psalm 92:

There’s more information about the piece on the Milken Archive website. Zeisl has also composed music for a ballet, “Jacob and Rachel.”

There’s more info about that piece and the composer on Jonathan L. Friedmann’s blog. And while not a biblical setting, let me also share this piece by Zeisl, which is very reminiscent of the style of one my favorite composers, Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

Here is a symphony/rhapsodic poem by Ernst Toch that takes as its inspiration the story of Jephta in Judges:

There’s more about that work and composer as well in the Milken Archive. Another piece that is new to me recently is this instrumental exploration of the Book of Revelation by composer Boris Arapov:

And finally, for a combination of apocalyptic texts from the New Testament here’s some Russian Christian music:

There are other works on YouTube by the same artist, Simon Khorolskiy, and he seems to have a propensity for setting biblical texts to music, as “My Redeemer Lives” illustrates – straight out of the Book of Job!

I had already come across something by him, his “epic version” of the famous Welsh hymn, “Oh the Deep Deep Love of Jesus.” I have long loved that melody, and at some point I’d like to hear (or if necessary be involved in creating) a version adapted to 7/8 time. In the meantime Khorolskiy’s version (which I think is actually in 6/8 although I might be misled by triplets as in the 4/4 original) will certainly do.

Hope you enjoyed this collection of music that is connected with the Bible. Please always feel not only free but invited and encouraged to share music you know and love that has something to do with the Bible with me!


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