Music Matters

The following post was received from Clark Williamson:

We welcome the John Wesley Bell Choir this Sunday as they ring for the first time in the Fall music schedule.  They will be playing Cynthia Dobrinski’s arrangement of “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”; one of the more familiar traditional hymns incorporating the ST DENIO tune, a melody originating in Wales, United Kingdom.  The prelude music is full of big vertical walls of sound, lush chords which allow more ringers to be active at the same time.  The melody also goes through several transformations using variation techniques where the congregation will hear handbells shaking quickly, bumped against the cushions, and LV (let vibrate) to overlap sounds.  In 1867 Walter Chalmers Smith based the first stanza of lyrics on the passage from 1Timothy 1:17.  “Immortal, invisible, God only wise; in light inaccessible hid from our eyes, most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.”

Sheet MusicAlso on World Communion Sunday, our Chancel Choir will be singing the anthem “And Can It Be” which includes original music composed by Dan Forrest (2014) and lyrics by Charles Wesley (1738).  “Amazing love!  How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”  Wesley’s text is very moving and challenges us to realize the sacrifice that Christ made for us on the cross. This is a very beautiful choral work in the way the vocal lines are developed, and how the music builds in intensity, plus the lovely piano accompaniment.  Nobody has a boring part in this piece.  It’s an anthem that both begins and ends quietly which calls for an audible Amen from the congregation rather than applause.