More Bible and Music

More Bible and Music October 24, 2020

Let me begin with two items of news from around blogs. One is the discovery of what might perhaps be an underground music room on the Temple Mount! Another is a piece by Malcolm Lipkin inspired by the story of Naboth’s Vineyard in the Bible.

Now, getting to the actual music I want to share in this post, some things that are either new to me or which I have enjoyed previously but not shared on my blog before. Let me start with Paul Mealor’s setting of the Beatitudes, since I also want to share something he wrote on Facebook about the arts.

Mealor wrote an important Facebook post recently in support of the arts, which I want to quote a substantial part of here:

If you are like me and the majority of your life is ringed by music – you think in it, you dream in it, you write it, you listen to it, you perform it and you feel through it – then it certainly seems like the music has stopped right now…It’s almost like a heart palpitation, a pause, a moment without structure, a silence between the heartbeats of life. And, there seems to be no end to the enforced silencing of live music-making. COVID-19 has closed-down our choirs, orchestras, bands, folk-groups and theatres, our artistic beating hearts, our souls and – for many of us – our very reason for existing. We are exiled from our lives.

For my colleagues and friends whose income, as freelance musicians and music teachers, has completely dried up, there appears absolutely no help from the government either. ‘These jobs are not viable’ our Chancellor tells us. ‘Sport, sport, sport’ the Prime Minister constantly tells us is what holds our communities together. Well, of course, I like many sports and agree that they are vital for health, mental health and fitness; but, so too are the arts. More people are involved in, employed by, and enjoy the creative industries in the UK than any other area. Our choirs, brass bands, theatres, theatre groups, dance groups and classes, painting, sculpture and other arts groups ARE the true lifeblood of our communities! They are how all of us express ourselves, join together for a common good, see each other, relate to each other and live better with each other…

“Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.”
Sarah Dessen

“Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the State always change with them.’
Plato (Attributed)

Here is Todd Wood’s setting of Psalm 23:

Next, a piece by Jonathan Dove that I mentioned here before in passing but which deserves to be highlighted in its own right:

Next, Roxanna Panufnik’s “Deus est Caritas”:

I have long loved the music of Arthur Honegger. Here is his setting of Psalm 130 which I don’t believe I was aware of until just recently:

Max Stern has a new cantata out on biblical prophecies, “Behold, The Days Come.”  Here is the piece that gives the larger work its title:

Moving from music to commentary on music, the Milken Archive continues to provide interesting content, including Tovah Feldshuh on the Genesis Suite as well as a new series “Cantors on Record.” Also, don’t miss their SoundCloud for both music and commentary!

Here are two of my Butler University colleagues talking about Haydn’s Creation:

Here’s a tribute to Romanian poet Traian Dorz that makes reference in the process to David’s songwriting. See also Bob Cornwall on Psalm 96, as well as this post by Eddie Arthur on a topic that is broader than biblical music but certainly overlaps with it:


See too:

Demons, DSS, and Jesus: Psalm 91 and the Need for Text Critical Pastors

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