Ralph Vaughan Williams: Easter

12 04 2009
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The cross taught all wood to resound his name

Rise heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delays,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him may’st rise;
That, as his death calcined thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and much more, Just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art.
The cross taught all wood to resound his name
Who bore the same.
His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long:
Or since all music is but three parts vied,
And multiplied;
O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

–George Herbert

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Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Call

29 03 2009

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"Such a heart as joys in love"

The fourth movement of Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs for choir and baritone soloist, full of light and festivity, calls to mind the joyful banquet of heaven.  I particularly enjoy the recording of the St. Paul’s Cathedral Choristers because the purity of the voices seems appropriate for the music.