sabato 21 marzo 2015

Study of an English hymn by Samuel Wesley

WesleySamuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876) was an English organist and composer.

Born in London, was descended from the family of the founders of the Methodist movement, the Awakening of the Anglican Church.

His hymn called Aurelia, present in the collection Selection of Psalms and Hymns, edited by C. Kemble, published in 1864, is still sung in English-speaking countries, in particular with the words Another year is dawning.

This is the text, by Frances R. Havergal (1836-1879):

Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.

Another famous text, which also inspired the Italian translation, is The Church's one foundation, by Samuel J. Stone (1866):
The church's one foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is his new creation
by water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her
to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her,
and for her life he died.

Elect from every nation,
yet one o'er all the earth;
her charter of salvation,
one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy name she blesses,
partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses,
with every grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder
we see her sore oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping;
their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song.

The music is typically nineteenth century, leaning on sweetly dissonant harmonies, which accentuate the expressive character.

Here's the music (with Italian text):


And here is the audio files, recorded live at the piano: sopranos, altos, tenors, bass

If desired, you can exercise the execution with a polyphonic listening made in MIDI format.

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