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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Musical Interlude

For this third Sunday in Advent 2016:

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
'All hail,' said he, 'thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favoured lady,' Gloria!
'For known a blessèd Mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honour thee,
Thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold.
Most highly favoured lady,' Gloria!
Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
'To me be as it pleaseth God,' she said,
'My soul shall laud and magnify his Holy Name.'
Most highly favoured lady, Gloria!
Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say --
Most highly favoured lady, Gloria!


  1. Replies
    1. I'm partial to choral music.

      The privilege of my becoming a member of a prestigious and exclusive adult choir in Washington, D.C., in 1965, when I was a babe of 13 years old, introduced me to the world of beautiful choral and symphonic music.

      To this day, I can't believe that I, such an ignoramus, managed to pass that audition! But I knew how to practice diligently -- and to follow the maestro's directing baton.

  2. Magnificent use of harmony in this simple, strophic utterance! The subtle dissonances that color the text give the piece a poignant vibrancy of astonishing expressive power. This is particularly apparent in the name of "Mary," the word "Gloria," and in the phrase "most favored Lady"

    I know nothing about the composer here, but he is one of many beautiful, unsung souls who contributed humbly to enrich the great store of Western Liturgical Music –– a treasure house of ineffable wonder sadly neglected in these turbulent times when increased awareness of true beauty and the capacity both for solace and inspiration are needed more than ever.

    Once again I see clear and convincing evidence that "The Great are Rarely Popular, and the Popular Rarely Great."

    Thank you,AOW, for yet anther reminder that there are far more significant things to consider than our personal needs and desires –– and certainly more than the clamorous, hideously divisive world of politics.


    1. FT,
      Thank you for your comment -- and for your musical analysis.

      Most of my uplifting music posts go unnoticed. Bloggers seem to be addicted to moaning and groaning. I do a lot of that myself, but not to the exclusion of noticing and enjoying beautiful things such as works of music, art, and literature. Moaning and groaning ALL the time will inevitably result in melancholy.

  3. I always enjoy your musical posts, AOW.


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