Wednesday, June 17, 2020

New Settings for Beloved Melodies

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This Sounds of Faith episode explores how two modern American composers have contributed to the broad tradition of sacred music by composing new settings of beloved Christian melodies. Chapel Organist Christopher Jacobson, FRCO, explores two examples: Gerre Hancock’s choral setting of the spiritual "Deep River," performed at a recent Duke Evensong Singers concert, and William Bolcom’s setting for organ of the hymn "Jesus Loves Me" played during a recent Chapel worship service.

"These two great composers were grounded by vastly different guiding principles—Hancock by an unshakable, devout Christian faith, and Bolcom by the natural beauty of art,” Jacobson explains. “And yet both men wrote sacred music—here marked by simple, pure sounds of peace and childlike innocence—that continues to move and inspire today."

Listen to "Jesus Loves Me" by William Bolcom.
Find the music for "Deep River" by Gerre Hancock.

Watch more Sounds of Faith videos.

American Spiritual; arranged by Gerre Hancock
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