Archive for the ‘Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’ Tag

Feast of Henry John Gauntlett (February 21)   1 comment

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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HENRY JOHN GAUNTLETT (JULY 9, 1805-FEBRUARY 21, 1876)

Anglican Organist and Composer

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His literary attainments, his knowledge of the history of music, his acquaintance with acoustical laws, his marvelous memory, his philosophical turn of mind, as well as his practical experience, rendered him one of the most remarkable professors of the age.

–Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847), on Henry John Gauntlett; quoted in Armin Haeussler, The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (1952), 667

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Henry John Gauntlett comes to this, A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES:  AN ECUMENICAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS’ DAYS AND HOLY DAYS, via The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church.

You, O reader, may not recognize the name of this saint.  Yet, if you listen to the Festival of Lessons and Carols from England each Christmas Eve, you know one of his compositions–the tune to “Once in Royal David’s City.”

Our saint, born in Wellington, Shropshire, England, on July 9, 1805, came from a musical family.  His father, Henry Gauntlett, was the Vicar of Olney, Buckinghamshire.  At times, the elder Gauntlett doubled and tripled as the organist and choirmaster, too.  The father became the son’s first teacher of music.  At age nine, the younger Gauntlett began to serve as the organist in his father’s church.  Our saint also served as the choirmaster (1819-1825).  He continued to play the organ while studying and practicing law (1826-1842).

Gauntlett left the practice of law to devote his life to music.  He was the organist and choirmaster of:

  1. St. Olave’s Church, Southwark
  2. Christ Church, Newgate Street;
  3. Union Chapel, Islington;
  4. All Saints, Kensington Park; and
  5. Church of St. Bartholomew the Less, Smithfield.

Gauntlett participated in the production of hymnals, psalters, and related works, including:

  1. Hymnal for Matins and Evensong (1844);
  2. Cantus Melodici (1845);
  3. The Comprehensive Tune-Book (1846-1847);
  4. The Hallelujah:  or, Devotional Psalmody (1848-1866)
  5. The Church Hymnal and Tune-Book (1852, 1855), with William John Blew (1808-1894);
  6. The Choral Use of the Book of Common Prayer (1854);
  7. Carlyle’s Manual of Psalmody (1861);
  8. The Congregational Psalmist:  A Companion to All the New Hymn-Books, Providing Tunes, Chants, and Chorales, for the Metrical Hymns and Passages of Scripture Contained in Those Books (1861);
  9. One Hundred and Fifty-Six Questions on the Art of Music-Making and the Science of Music (1864);
  10. Tunes, Old and New (1868); and
  11. Pohlmann’s National Psalmody, or New Supplement to Houldworth’s Cheetham’s Psalmody, for Home and Congregational Use (1879, posthumously).

Gauntlett’s compositions included organ music, songs, and thousands of hymn tunes.

In 1853, Archbishop of Canterbury William Howley conferred an honorary doctorate of music upon our saint.  No Archbishop of Canterbury had conferred such a degree in nearly 200 years.

Gauntlett, aged 70 years, died in Kensington, London, on February 21, 1876.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 20, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF F. BLAND TUCKER, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND HYMNODIST; “THE DEAN OF AMERICAN HYMN WRITERS”

THE FEAST OF HENRY FRANCIS LYTE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF PRISCILLA LYDIA SELLON, A RESTORER OF RELIGIOUS LIFE IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

THE FEAST OF RICHARD WATSON GILDER, U.S. POST, JOURNALIST, AND SOCIAL REFORMER

THE FEAST OF THEODORE CLAUDIUS PEASE, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Henry John Gauntlett)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Feast of Edward Bunnett (January 16)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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EDWARD BUNNETT (JUNE 26, 1834-JANUARY 5, 1923)

Anglican Organist and Composer

Edward Bunnett comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church.

Bunnett served God via music.  our saint, born in Shipdham, Norfolk, England, on June 26, 1834, became a chorister at the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Cathedral, Norwich, when he was eight years old.  When our saint was fifteen years old, he began to study the organ under the tutelage of Dr. Zechariah Buck (1798-1877), organist at Norwich Cathedral (1819-1877).  Bunnett, the assistant organist at Norwich Cathedral (1855-1877), also had a fine singing voice.  In 1849, he performed Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s “Lift Thine Eyes” with opera star Jenny Lind (1820-1887), the “Swedish Nightingale.”  Our saint continued his formal studies at Cambridge, earning a Mus.B. (1857) and Mus.D. (1869).  In 1870, he became a Fellow of the College of Organists.

Bunnett, renowned for his virtuosity, taught, performed, and composed.  He became the organist of St. Peter Mancraft Church, Norwich, in 1877.  As the borough organist (1880f), our saint performed in well-attended concerts.  He also conducted the Norwich Musical Union for 21 years and performed in local musical festivals for more than 20 years.  Bunnett taught many organists, too.  His compositions included works for the organ, liturgical music and at least 21 hymn tunes and Christmas carols.

Links to YouTube videos of some of Bunnett’s compositions follow:

  1. Allegro moderato in G Major,
  2. Concluding Voluntary, and
  3. KIRBY BEDON.

Our saint, aged 88 years, died in Norwich on January 5, 1923.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 30, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICODEMUS, DISCIPLE OF JESUS

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Edward Bunnett)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Feast of Henry Fothergill Chorley (December 15)   1 comment

London Bridge

Above:  Tower of London, 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08569

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HENRY FOTHERGILL CHORLEY (DECEMBER 15, 1808-FEBRUARY 16, 1872)

English Novelist, Playwright, and Literary and Music Critic

Henry Fothergill Chorley found his vocation and succeeded in it.

Chorley came from a Quaker family of Lancashire, England.  His father was a lock manufacturer who died four years after going  bankrupt.  An uncle, one Dr. Retter of Liverpool, gave young Chorley an office job.  That paid pills, but our saint had musical and literary interests, so some cousins encouraged him to become a writer.

He did so.  In 1830 Chorley started writing for The Athenaeum, a literary magazine which existed from 1828 to 1921.  Three years later he joined the editorial staff.  Eventually our saint wrote music criticism and literary reviews.  He left The Athenaeum in 1868 and became a music critic for The Times of London.  Chorley favored the music of Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) and Louis Spohr (1784-1859) yet not that of Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), Robert Schumann (1810-1856), and Richard Wagner (1813-1883).  On the literary side, our saint, a friend of Charles Dickens (1812-1870), wrote novels, dramas, opera librettos, and other works.  His books included the following:

  1. Music and Manners in France and Germany (1841);
  2. Pomfret (1845);
  3. Modern German Music (1854);
  4. Roccabella (1859);
  5. The Prodigy (1866); and
  6. The National Music of the World (published posthumously, 1880).

Chorley also wrote hymns.  Among them was “God the All-Terrible!” (1842), which has become part of “God the Omnipotent,” a composite text.

Chorley died at London on February 16, 1872.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 22, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARY MAGDALENE, EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Henry Fothergill Chorley and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of Wilhelm Heinrich Wauer (June 23)   Leave a comment

Herrnhut 1765

Above:  Herrnhut, 1765

Image in the Public Domain

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WILHELM HEINRICH WAUER (JUNE 23, 1826-JANUARY 3, 1902)

German Moravian Composer and Musician

Many careers and jobs are respectable and edifying to the people who hold them and to their communities.  And many of the saints on this, the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, made their lasting spiritual contributions via such careers and jobs.  Others, however, made their lasting spiritual contributions via their hobbies instead.  Wilhelm Heinrich Wauer (1826-1902) was one of these.

Wauer was a resident of Herrnhut, the Moravian headquarters, in Saxony, Germany.  He entered the world there on June 23, 1826, and died there on January 3, 1902.  He spent only two and a half years away from Herrnhut, when attending school at Niesky, Germany.  Our saint’s day job was managing business correspondence in English and Spanish for Abraham Duringer and Company, a manufacturing firm at Herrnhut.  Wauer became so literate in the two languages that he enjoyed reading literature in them.  He also enjoyed studying, singing, and composing music.  Thus he sang in the Herrnhut choir, introduced works of great European composers (especially Felix Mendelssohn, his favorite) to local musicians, and composed songs, cantatas, and an oratorio.

His music has survived him.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 9, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PEPIN ON LANDEN, ITTA OF METZ, THEIR RELATIONS, AMAND, AUSTREGISILUS, AND SULPICIUS II OF BOURGES, FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS ACROSS GENERATIONAL LINES

THE FEAST OF SAINT ADRIAN OF CANTERBURY, ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY PUCCI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF JULIA CHESTER EMERY, NATIONAL SECRETARY OF THE WOMEN’S AUXILIARY OF THE BOARD OF MISSIONS, THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

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God of grace and glory,

you have given a rich variety of interests and talents to us; thank you.

Thank you for those who have served you and helped their fellow human beings

in their daily lives habitually via their vocations yet most memorably their avocations,

and for those who do so.

May we, reminded of and encouraged in our responsibilities to you and each other by their examples,

continue faithfully in the endeavors you assign us.

In the name of Jesus, who came to serve, not to be served.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 38:24-34a

Psalm 33

Romans 14:7-8

Matthew 5:13-16

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 14, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM CROFT, ANGLICAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF JONATHAN MYRICK DANIELS, EPISCOPAL SEMINARIAN AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAXIMILLIAN KOLBE, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

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Feast of Thomas Attwood (March 24)   1 comment

St. Paul's Cathedral, London

Above:  St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England, United Kingdom

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-D4-73191

Copyright Holder = Detroit Publishing Company

THOMAS ATTWOOD (NOVEMBER 23, 1765-MARCH 24, 1838)

“Father of Modern Church Music”

James Moffatt, in his 1927 companion volume to the Scottish Presbyterian Church Hymnary, wrote of Thomas Attwood:

He was a man of singularly lovable character, of sincere religious spirit, and of rare musical gifts.

–page 256

Attwood, son of a coal merchant, pursued a life in music.  He played the trumpet and the viola.  Attwood also sang as a chorister at the Chapel Royal.  From there, thanks to the patronage of the Prince of Wales, the future King George IV, he studied abroad in Italy then in Vienna, where he became a favorite pupil of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Attwood was fortunate to have the opportunities he did.  And he made the most of them.  In 1796 he became the organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, and composer to the Chapel Royal.  Twenty-five years later, he became organist at the private chapel (at Brighton) of his patron, the newly-crowned George IV.

And, in 1823, Attwood became one of the first professors at the Royal Academy of Music.  Thirteen years later he became organist at the Chapel Royal, under King William IV.  Attwood also championed the music of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, his good friend, in England and dedicated the Prelude and Fugue for the organ to him.

Attwood’s church compositions made him the “Father of Modern Church Music.”  He composed nine chants, eight anthems, four services, and at least two hymn tunes–Veni Creator and Sanctus.

Music can function as a portal to God and as a means of expressing the talents which God has bestowed upon one.  Thomas Attwood used music to praise God and to create beauty.  That is a legacy worth honoring.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 29, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LYDIA, DORCAS, AND PHOEBE, COWORKERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GENESIUS I OF CLERMONT AND PRAEJECTUS OF CLERMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; AND SAINT AMARIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT GILDAS THE WISE, HISTORIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Thomas Attwood and all those who have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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