Music Notes for October 23, 2022

Hymn of the Day: “Lord Jesus, think on me” (ELW 599)
Text: Synaceus of Cyrene
Tune: SOUTHWELL, William Damen (1540-1591)

This text was written in the early fifth century by Synesius, who lived in Cyrene, North Africa (present-day Libya), during a time that his city was suffering from war and natural disasters. The first stanza, pleading for forgiveness, sounds as if the tax collector could sing it, and later stanzas refer in metaphoric ways to the chaos of Synesius’ society. 

— Gail Ramshaw

Damon was a foreign composer resident in England. He arrived around 1566 as a servant of Sir Thomas Sackville. In 1576 he became a recorder player at the Court of Elizabeth I. He was described as having been born in "Luke" and "Lewklande" and, on the assumption that these names refer to Luik or Liège, it has been inferred that he was a Walloon. However contemporary London records describe him as an Italian and a later reference refers to him having been born in "Luke in Italy", i.e. Lucca. His unanglicised name may have been Gulielmo (or Gulielmus) Damano.

Offertory Anthem: “Though All the World Below” Robert Lehman 

The tune, Captain Kidd, takes its name from a ballad about the notorious pirate. A somewhat related tune called HONOR TO THE HILLS was published in The Christian Harmony in 1805. It was first published under the name “Captain Kidd” in 1818.  Further versions appear in shape note tune books, including The Southern Harmony in 1835.

Through all the world below, 
God is seen all around; 
Search hills and valleys through, 
There he's found. 
The growing of the corn, 
The lily and the thorn, 
The pleasant and forlorn, 
All declare God is there, 
In the meadows dressed in green, 
There he's seen.

See springs of water rise, 
Fountains flow, rivers run; 
The mist below the skies 
Hides the sun; 
Then down the rain doth pour 
The ocean it doth roar, 
And dash against the shore, 
All to praise, in their lays, 
That God that ne'er declines 
His designs.

The sun, to my surprise, 
Speaks of God as he flies: 
The comets in their blaze Give him praise; 
The shining of the stars 
The moon as it appears, 
His sacred name declares; 
See them shine, all divine! 
The shades in silence prove 
God's above.

Opening Voluntary: “Prelude” Henry Sumsion (1899-1995) 

Herbert Whitton Sumsion CBE was an English musician who was organist of Gloucester Cathedral from 1928 to 1967. Through his leadership role with the Three Choirs Festival, Sumsion maintained close associations with major figures in England's 20th-century musical renaissance, including Edward Elgar, Herbert Howells, Gerald Finzi, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Although Sumsion is known primarily as a cathedral musician, his professional career spanned more than 60 years and encompassed composing, conducting, performing, accompanying, and teaching. His compositions include works for choir and organ, as well as lesser-known chamber and orchestral works.

Closing Voluntary: “Now Let Us All Loudly” Heely Willan

This is a setting of the hymn tune “Now Let Us All Loudly,” (Nun preiset alle) by Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern.  Löwenstern’s hymns, thirty in all, are of very varied worth, many being written in imitation of antique verse forms, and on the mottoes of the princes under whom he had served. In the original editions they were accompanied with melodies by himself. When or where they were first published (cir. 1644) is not clear.