When Music is About Music

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Choral composers through the ages have set texts about music as a kind of one-two punch. Consider the Psalm 150, a text that urges the congregation to celebrate God through singing and dancing. As we hear today, both Anton Bruckner and New Yorker Louie White have used this text to create compositions that celebrate music.

We then feature three works dedicated to Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music. Britten's stunning setting of W.H. Auden's poem Hymn to St. Cecilia sits alongside Henry Purcell and George Frederic Handel's odes to the the power of music, From harmony, from heav'nly harmony.  

We also have a new release to share: Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music, a beautiful reflection on music. This is a piece both soloistic and choral; you'll hear a recording by the Rochester Philharmonic together with 16 singers from Mercury Opera Rochester under the direction of Christopher Seaman.



Louie White/ Choral Music By 20th-Century American Composers/ Trinity Church Wall Street, Larry King

Hymn of the World’s Creator 5.50


Purcell/ Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day/ Gabrieli Consort, Gabrieli Players, Paul McCreesh

Hail Bright Cecilia, hail to thee 3.51


Britten/ Saint Nicolas/ Corydon Singers, Matthew Best

Hymn to St. Cecilia 9.56


Handel/ Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day/ The English Concert and Choir, Trevor Pinnock

From harmony, from heav’nly harmony 3.29


Vaughan Williams/ A London Symphony/Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Christopher Seaman, Singers from Mercury Opera Rochester

Serenade to Music 12.33


Bruckner/ Missa Solemnis/ Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker, Karl Anton Rickenbacher

Psalm 150 8.32