Music Notes for October 9, 2022

Hymn of the Day: "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing", ELW 886
Text: Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Tune: AZMON, Adapter: Lowell Mason (1792-1872); Composer: C. G. Gläser (1828)

In 1739, for the first anniversary of his conversion, Charles Wesley wrote an eighteen-stanza text beginning "Glory to God, and praise and love." It was published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740), a hymnal compiled by Wesley and his brother John. The familiar hymn "Oh, for a Thousand Tongues" comes from stanzas 1 and 7-12 of this longer text (this pattern already occurs in Richard Conyers's Collection of Psalms and Hymns 1772). Stanza 7 is the doxology stanza that began the original hymn. Wesley acquired the title phrase of this text from Peter Böhler, a Moravian, who said to Wesley, "If I had a thousand tongues, I would praise Christ with them all" (Böhler was actually quoting from Johann Mentzner's German hymn "O dass ich tausend Zungen hätte”). Through this jubilant, partly autobiographical text Wesley exalts his Redeemer and Lord. With its many biblical allusions it has become a great favorite of many Christians.

Lowell Mason adapted AZMON from a melody composed by Carl G. Gläser in 1828. Mason published a duple-meter version in his Modern Psalmist (1839) but changed it to triple meter in his later publications. Mason used (often obscure) biblical names for his tune titles; Azmon, a city south of Canaan, appears in Numbers 34:4-5.

Offertory Anthem: Be Joyful in the Lord, Kathryn Smith Bowers (1948-2020)

Before retirement in 2010 Dr. Bowers served as director of choral studies and coordinator of music education at Webster University for 26 years. During a 24-year-tenure she led the Webster Chorale and Choral Society, in addition to the highly regarded St. Louis Summer Sings series.

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with a song.

Know this, the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and speak good of His name.

For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His faithfulness endures to all generations.

Opening Voluntary: Liturgical Prelude #1, George Oldroyd (1886- 1951)

George Oldroyd was an English organist, composer and teacher of Anglican church music. He composed numerous settings of the mass, but is best remembered for his Mass of the Quiet Hour composed in 1928. It is still part of the repertoire of many English cathedrals and parish churches. Other works include the part song, 'Lute book lullaby', organ works including the Liturgical Prelude played today and pieces for piano and for violin. Oldroyd was an authority on counterpoint, and published The Technique And Spirit Of Fugue: An Historical Study.

Closing Voluntary: Fanfare, Kenneth Leighton (1929-1988)

Kenneth Leighton was a chorister at Wakefield Cathedral and studied at Queen's College, Oxford, graduating with both BA in Classics and BMus having studied with Bernard Rose. In 1955 he was appointed Lecturer in Music at the University of Edinburgh where he was made Senior Lecturer, Reader, and then Reid Professor of Music in October 1970.

Kenneth Leighton was one of the most distinguished of the British post-war composers; over 100 compositions are published, many of which were written to commission, and his work is frequently performed and broadcast both in Britain and in other countries. As a pianist Kenneth Leighton was a frequent recitalist and broadcaster, both as a soloist and in chamber music. He recorded his piano music for the British Music Society and conducted many performances and broadcasts of his own music.