This week I was sent a wonderful list of music by women, thanks to the Multitude of Voyces project. I promptly fell down a rabbit hole of listening to lots of music instead of updating my database… hence this post is a day late.
When I finally pried myself away from the Tube of You, I added some work by Canadian composer Ruth Watson Henderson to the site, and I added a new page for works I haven’t sorted into categories yet.
I’m going to take a couple of weeks off from updating the database, so there won’t be “new music this week” posts on Tuesday 26th December or Tuesday 2nd January. I do still intend to make music recommendations, though.
Now it gets interesting. There’s enough imagery in Isaiah alone to last several weeks: the focus on justice and good news for the poor and downtrodden, or the rejoicing as a bride, or the earth bringing forth its shoots.
To complicate things further, you could have the Magnificat as a canticle instead of the psalm this week, or next week instead. Psalm 126 is one of the Songs of Ascents, and it’s about a harvest of (guess what?) joy and thanksgiving.
1 Thessalonians is short and sweet, rejoice in the Lord always, and some other instructions and benedictions from the letter-writer. And “the one who calls you is faithful”.
And then we have John the Baptist, again, this time as told by John rather than Mark.
If you are using the Magnificat this week, check out the Evensong page for a couple of recommendations. If you’re really going all-out for Gaudete you could also consider Isabella Leonarda’s Magnificat, but it does require two violins and a basso continuo as well as the choral parts and it lasts a good nine or ten minutes, so this is not a good substitute for the psalm at your average Parish Eucharist! Here’s a recording:
During an already-busy time of year for church musicians (even ones like me who don’t have a steady post), something came up this past week that demanded a lot of my time and attention.
As a result I haven’t added very much music to the site this week. Just one piece, in fact: this rather lovely setting of “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Justine Koontz, for unison voices with piano accompaniment.
I thought, briefly, about doing some kind of Cecilia’s List Advent calendar. Then I thought better of it: I don’t have enough music in the database yet to do that without repeating composers. But there are some other musical Advent calendars which might be of interest:
Isaiah: Comfort ye my people. Make the way straight. The Lord is coming, and he will feed his flock like a shepherd.
Psalm: A prayer for God’s favour. Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
2 Peter: It’s all a bit wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey… The Lord is not slow, but patient; and then some stuff about what it will be like when God does turn up, new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. In the meantime we are to wait patiently and strive to be found at peace.
Gospel: good old John the Baptist, telling us who’s coming next. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
I was expecting to run into a Sunday eventually where I couldn’t make many recommendations yet, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon.
There’s always Crimond, if you didn’t use it last week, given the feeding of flocks like a shepherd; but that isn’t particularly Advent-y.
This week I added some music by Isabella Leonarda, Leanne Veitch, Susan Partlan, and Helen Williams. Check out the pages for Advent, Christmas, Lent and Eucharist to have a look.
I’m also changing the format of the listings slightly, using H6 (heading six) tags within the lists to make individual works easier to find for people using assistive screenreaders. I haven’t updated absolutely everything just yet, so please bear with me while the site looks a bit mis-matched.
Finally, please do use the music submission form if you’d like to suggest music for me to include on the site. I’ve updated it slightly to allow for you to submit someone else’s work.
I’m doing some testing of formatting to make the site more accessible to people using assistive tech. Proper update later today!
Mary’s Whys. Williams, Helen.
Words by Sarah Lutton. English, SATB with or without children’s choir, organ, 3:00, easy to medium difficulty. [Listen to mp3] [Download score from Canossa Choral Music] Inspired by Luke 1:26-38. Sarah Lutton’s poem imagines Mary’s response to being asked to bear the Son of God. Suitable for Mothering Sunday, the Annunciation or the Fourth Sunday of Advent. May be downloaded and used in Christian worship without charge. For other use please contact Canossa Choral music.