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The spacious firmament on high

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Playing Georg Muffat by Dr. Wolfram Syré

Playing Georg MuffatGeorg Muffat was born in 1653 at Megève (Savoyen). He studied in Paris (1663-16...

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (05/06/18)
Composer: Sheeles, John
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Hymn
Description:
Today, May 5th is the Sixth Sunday of Easter, commonly called Rogation Sunday.

Rogation days are days of prayer and fasting in Western Christianity. They are observed with processions and the Litany of the Saints. The so-called major rogation is held on 25 April; the minor rogations are held on Monday to Wednesday preceding Ascension Thursday. The word rogation comes from the Latin verb "rogare," meaning "to ask", which reflects the beseeching of God for the appeasement of his anger and for protection from calamities. It has been the tradition to celebrate this day with processions in the fields, or if not that, than to the church garden.

John Sheeles (1688-1761), the composer of this hymn-tune, was one of the original subscribers to the Royal Society of Musicians on 28 August 1739. He was a harpsichordist and composer at the "Little Theatre" (the Haymarket). The fine, and grandly-rolling melody is named "Addison's (London)" - in honor of the composer's London associations, and the author of the text, Joseph Addison (1672-1719). Unlike most hymns, this music was specifically composed to be paired with this text.

I've played the hymn in a "simple" manner, as it doesn't need or want fussing. The musical phrases match the phrases of the words, and the registrations used "color" the meaning of the text.

The score is attached below, as well as the same painting that I used last year of a Rogation Procession. The devotions and sincerity of the simple farmers, along with some of the hidden details of this make it worth a careful study. It depicts a scene that has all but vanished from our modern worship...

Also attached is a photo of a painting of Joseph Addison, the author of the words.

The entire text is given in the First Comment.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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