29 Dec 2017

Psałterz Dawidów: Psalm 47

Here is a lively performance of Psalm 47 from the Polish-language Psałterz Dawidów:

21 Dec 2017

The Concordia Psalter 2

I thought I had said everything that needed to be said in my review of the Concordia Psalter nine days ago, but now that I am taking a closer look at it, it seems appropriate to comment on its usability for actually chanting the Psalms. As I mentioned then, the collection contains a number of tones for chanting. Although chant can be quite complex, containing multiple melismata in quick succession, the chant tones offered here are quite simple and, with practice, can be easily sung by a congregation and certainly by a competent choir. As far as I can tell, the pointing of the Psalms is the same in this volume as in the Treasury of Daily Prayer and Reading the Psalms with Luther (2007), both Concordia publications.

Daily prayer: a new pattern

Nearly forty years ago, I discovered the practice of daily prayer when I purchased a copy of Herbert Lindemann's The Daily Office in the bookstore at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Since then I have prayed through the Psalms on a regular basis and through the Bible itself using the Daily Office Lectionary published originally in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (BCP) of the Episcopal Church (United States) and subsequently republished in the hymnals and worship books of other denominations.

The major difficulty with this lectionary is that it does not prescribe reading through the entire Old Testament, instead taking the reader only through key highlights. I followed this for a number of years but then grew dissatisfied with this approach. So I decided several years ago to maintain the lectionary for the New Testament but with the Old to follow a lectio continua, or simply to read the entirety in course, which would take anywhere from between two and a half years to as many as five, depending on whether I included the Apocrypha or on whether I actually read an entire chapter each day. In this fashion I would read the whole of scripture over an indefinite period of time.

12 Dec 2017

The Concordia Psalter 1

Although this blog is devoted primarily to the singing of metrical psalmody, it is appropriate occasionally to highlight an excellent prose psalter, especially one designed for liturgical use. The Concordia Psalter is one of these and merits close attention. Concordia Publishing House of St.Louis is the publishing arm of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, whose Canadian branch is known as the Lutheran Church-Canada. This is the denomination that sponsors The Lutheran Hour, the decades-old radio broadcast that has aired weekly since 1930. Over the years, Concordia has published top-quality devotional materials, including Herbert Lindemann's out-of-print classic, The Daily Office (1965), which had a profound impact on my own prayer life when I first discovered it in the late 1970s. More recently, Concordia produced a Treasury of Daily Prayer, an oversized volume enabling individuals and families to pray the Daily Office in their own homes. (Its sheer heft would prevent them using it elsewhere!)

7 Dec 2017

Psałterz Poznański: an interview with Andrzej Polaszek

A complete Polish-language Psalter using the Genevan tunes is on its way. In the meantime, the first fifty psalms have now been published. This is a modified google translation from Polish taken from the website of the Tolle Lege Institute:

Tolle Lege: First of all, congratulations on the release of the first fifty psalms, and we look forward to more. Could you tell us in a few words what the Psałterz Poznański is?

Andrzej Polaszek: Thank you. We are working intensively to make the whole come out in 2020. Psałterz Poznański is a project that aims to renew the custom of singing psalms in evangelical churches and Christian homes. Our intention is to develop a complete set of 150 psalms in contemporary Polish with notes and chords. The Psalter will be accompanied by a number of promotional tools and events: a psalterz.pl website, recordings, concerts, conferences. We hope that our psalms will be included in the repertoire of musicians representing different styles of Christian music.
 

1 Dec 2017

Die Nuwe Psalmberyming: An Afrikaans-Language Psalter

Not long ago my good friend Lucas Grassi Freire, who translated my first book into Portuguese, sent me a copy of the Nuwe Psalmberyming, a new versification of the 150 Psalms in Afrikaans published in 2001. Much as the Dutch Interkerkelijke Stichting voor de Psalmberijming had had multi-denominational support in revising the texts for the Psalms in 1968, so this project in South Africa was supported by four Reformed church bodies, including the large Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk (about 1 million members), the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (130,000 members), the Afrikaanse Protestantse Kerk (35,000 members) and the Gereformeerde Kerke in Suid-Afrika (100,000 members), the last of which is associated with what used to be called Potchefstroom University west of Johannesburg and which once had a close relationship with the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the former Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland.

14 Nov 2017

Psałterz Dawidów: Psalm 91

Here is a lovely performance of Psalm 91 from the Psałterz Dawidów of Jan Kochanowski and Mikołaj Gomółka:

3 Nov 2017

Psalm 4, Psałterz Poznański

Here is a lovely performance of Genevan Psalm 4 in Polish. This is part of the ongoing Psałterz Poznański project.

24 Oct 2017

Le Psaume des batailles

As we approach the quincentenary of the Reformation, it is good to recall that our Reformed Christian forebears in France, who were subject to persecution throughout the 16th century, adopted for themselves a battle anthem from the biblical Psalter, namely, the 68th Psalm. Here it is sung by unaccompanied unison voices, as it would have been sung at that time:

Psaumes 100 et 138

Two performances of two Psalms by the Ensemble Sweelinck de Genève:


23 Oct 2017

More from the Psałterz Dawidów

A lovely performance of Psalms 127, 22, 91 and 30 from the Psałterz Dawidów, by the Ensemble MORGAINE at the Trigonale 2017 / Festival der alten Musik, 2 September 2017, St Georgen am Längsee, Austria.

20 Oct 2017

Psalm 11, Jan Kochanowski

The Psałterz Dawidów is a Polish metrical psalter translated and versified by Jan Kochanowski and published in 1579. Here are two renditions of Psalm 11 from that collection, the first set to the associated music of Mikołaj Gomółka, and the second set to an apparently more recent composition.



The lyrics can be found here.

17 Sep 2017

Everhard on liturgical psalters

Here is a nice survey of three liturgical psalters by Presbyterian pastor Matthew Everhard:


Here are the links to the three psalters he describes:

14 Sep 2017

Kodály Zoltán: Psalm 50

Over the centuries the Hungarians have done wonderful things with the Genevan Psalms. Here is Zoltán Kodály's compelling arrangement of Psalm 50:

11 Sep 2017

Psalm 150: The Niagara Psalter

I don't know whether Psalm 150 is my absolute favourite psalm, but it certainly ranks near the top. Here is my rendition of the One-Hundred-Fiftieth Psalm from my ongoing Niagara Psalter project:


Here is the text:

                                            Psalm 150

                    Sing your praises to the LORD! Alleluia!
                    Praise God in his temple's court! Alleluia!
                    Praise him in his skies above!
                    Alleluia! Praise him for his deeds of love! Alleluia!

                    Praise his all-surpassing grace! Alleluia!
                    Let the trumpet sound his praise! Alleluia!
                    Praise him with the harp and lute! Alleluia!
                    Praise with dance and praise with flute! Alleluia!

                    Praise with tambourine and string! Alleluia!
                    Praise with cymbals' brassy ring! Alleluia!
                    Clashing cymbals sound his praise! Alleluia!
                    All that breathe, your voices raise: Alleluia!

                              Copyright © 2013 by David T Koyzis

10 Sep 2017

Psalm 47: two versions

Here are two choral performances of Psalm 47, as sung to the English text used by the Canadian Reformed Churches. The second arrangement sounds like Claude Goudimel's arrangement, with the melody in the tenor line, as is typical of early modern harmonizations.



9 Sep 2017

The very first psalm

Here is my recent performance of Psalm 1 from my ongoing Niagara Psalter project. This one is dedicated to my good friend, Russell David Kosits.


                                                                   Psalm 1

                                     How blest is the one who refuses to heed
                                     the wicked's advice and shuns every dark deed,
                                     who never will walk where the sinful have trod,
                                     nor sit in the presence of scoffers at God,

                                     who finds great delight in the law of the LORD,
                                     by day and by night meditates on his word.
                                     Like trees that are planted where water streams wend
                                     and put forth their fruitfulness at season's end,

                                     whose leaf does not wither or fade in the sun–
                                     prosperity ever shall bless such a one.
                                     Not so will it be with the wicked who stray,
                                     for they are like chaff that the wind blows away.

                                     When judgement comes, none of the wicked shall stand,
                                     nor sinners assail the upright of the land;
                                     while GOD knows the way that the righteous have sought,
                                     the ways of the wicked will soon come to naught.

                                           Text © 2013 David T. Koyzis 
                                           Tune: RUSSELL, © David T. Koyzis

8 Sep 2017

Psalm 121

I've always thought that this melody carries the feel of the text of Psalm 121 exceptionally well. I would be hard pressed to come up with something better.

7 Sep 2017

Le premier psaume: The first Psalm

The Ensemble Sweelinck de Genève sings Psalm 1 in a live performance before an audience, complete with the occasional cough:

21 May 2017

Les frères de Taizé chantent les psaumes génévois

The singing isn't polished, but it is earnest and heartfelt. Here are the brothers of Taizé singing Psalm 92 according to the proper Genevan melody:


And here is a mixed congregation at Taizé singing Psalm 100 according to the proper Genevan tune for Psalm 134

5 May 2017

Announcement: Emeritus status

As many of you know, not quite two months ago, I was laid off from my thirty-year position at Redeemer University College due to financial constraints and programme restructuring. At the time I was told that I would not be eligible for emeritus status.

This week I was informed that the Senate and Board of Governors have approved emeritus status for me after all.

Nevertheless, I am still seeking opportunities for service in other contexts after the next academic year. I am grateful for the large numbers of people who have expressed support for me in recent weeks, and I would appreciate your continued prayers.

Thanks so much.

David Koyzis

25 Apr 2017

O Brasil cantam os salmos: Salmo 65

I found last year's trip to Brazil a most encouraging experience, as it showed the great power of the gospel in the world's fifth largest country. Here is a Presbyterian congregation in Aracaju singing Psalm 65, as set to the proper Genevan melody.

Achei a viagem no ano passado para o Brasil uma experiência muito encorajadora porque mostrou o grande poder do evangelho no quinto maior país do mundo. Aqui está uma congregação presbiteriana em Aracaju cantando Salmo 65, de acordo com a melodia de Genebra:

3 Apr 2017

New web home sought

As my employment will soon be ending at Redeemer University College, I am currently seeking a new online home for my Genevan Psalter website. If you know of someone who would be willing to host it, please let me know. Thank you.

Psaume 52: Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

20 Mar 2017

Announcement: termination of employment

Friends:

This is to let you know that, after teaching political science at Redeemer University College for thirty years, I have been let go due to programme restructuring and budgetary constraints. Some of you may recall that I was nearly let go two years ago but was reprieved by the institution's senate. This time, however, my termination was approved by the senate and the board of governors. Accordingly I will not be teaching during the 2017-2018 academic year.

As I am approaching the normal retirement age, I may take that option at the end of that year, but, if so, under the conditions of my termination I will do so without receiving emeritus status from Redeemer. Instead I will use the next year for my own research and writing, as well as to seek other employment opportunities. If you know of any such opportunities, I would be grateful if you would let me know.

In the meantime, if you have young people who are considering university, please do consider Redeemer, where they will continue to receive a high-quality education.

I would appreciate your prayers for my family and me, as well as for my soon-to-be former employer.

Thank you.

David Koyzis

22 Feb 2017

Psaume 100 en français

By the time the famous Scottish Psalter was published in 1650, the Genevan tune for Psalm 134 had been renumbered as OLD ONE-HUNDREDTH. Then, of course, the tune was matched with Bishop Thomas Ken's text, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow," often referred to as The Doxology and sung after the collection of the offering in Reformed church services.

But the real "Old One-Hundredth" from the Genevan Psalter is a hauntingly lovely tune deserving wider recognition. Hear it beautifully sung below in the French language.


13 Feb 2017

Psalms 81 and 114 in Hungarian

A very nice rendition of Psalm 81, notwithstanding the coughing:


And a performance of Psalm 114, according to the well-known arrangement by Zoltán Kodály, in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation: