CHICHESTER VOICES – ‘I Was Glad’ – A celebration of the music of C H H Parry
Accompanied by Richard Copeland and directed by Andrew Naylor. Proceeds to ‘Raise the Roof’
I was glad when they said unto me . . . we will go into (St Thomas’) house of the Lord to listen to this wonderful collection of music where ears and hands and hearts and voices all combined so beautifully to praise God. This Parry’s masterpiece was thrilling and at the top of the programme was printed – ‘O pray for the peace of Jerusalem’ and, yes, we still do. This was followed by the much quieter ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace’, S S Wesley in beautiful contrast. Richard, the organist, played ‘Chanson de Matin’ by Edward Elgar where we looked to the roof to see where the birds were chirping!
After the interval at the top of the page were the words I hope to see my Pilot face to face’ but couldn’t see ‘Sunset and evening star’ mentioned. My friend and I were very disappointed and dared to hope that it could be that big word at the end ENCORE. Happily we were right. The words are so very moving that they are printed at the foot of this write-up for you to enjoy. The Soloists in Gustav Holst’s Nunc Dimittis were Rebekah Webb (Andrew’s lovely daughter) whose soprano voice resounded pleasingly around the rafters. It was interesting that she was standing on the South side of the chancel this time. Tim Lewis sang the Tenor solo with a voice that contrasted so beautifully.
‘Give unto the Lord’ Edward Elgar really contained the tingle factor with words from Psalm 29 – printed below. At this point, I thanked God for the gift of hearing and remembered the deaf musicians I’ve met in the past, who knew when to play their instrument by the vibrations they felt from the music. We all felt those during this exciting piece and the following organ solo Sinfonia Wir Danken dir Gott J S Bach. Afterwards, Andrew said that he wished there had been a camera recording the dancing footwork of Richard’s!
Several times throughout the performance, Geoffrey Simmonds who sings Bass, delighted us with details of the various Composers – Parry b Bournemouth 1848 – died in Rustington 1918. He wrote ‘The Oxford History of Music’ and over 100 songs, including ‘Songs of Farewell’. His ‘Jerusalem’ was chosen in 1918 by the National Union of Suffrage Societies to be their hymn and today it is the WI hymn. Thank you Geoffrey.
It was truly exciting to be conducted by Andrew as the audience stood to sing ‘Jerusalem’.
Thank you one and All!
by Shirley Witcomb
From Psalm 29
Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength, give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth; it is the Lord that ruleth the sea.
The voice of the Lord is mighty in operation; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty;
the voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars. Yea, he breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire, the voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness and strippeth the forests bare. In His temple doth every one speak of His glory. The Lord sitteth above the water-flood; and the Lord remaineth a King for ever.
The Lord shall give strength unto His people; the Lord shall give His people the blessing of peace.
Crossing the Bar Alfred Lord Tennyson
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea.
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.