I recorded these pieces using the Hauptwerk VPO Magnuskerk Anloo sample set. Clicking on the title will open a media player in a new window.
Both tunes evoke a sense of mystery and unearthly peace.
In the case of Picardy I was most envisioning the following verse:
Rank on rank the host of heaven
spreads its vanguard on the way,
as the Light of light descendeth
from the realms of endless day,
that the powers of hell may vanish
as the darkness clears away
I have been fascinated by the mating of the text (below) and Dr. Hillert's simple tune since I had the opportunity and privilege to meet F. Samuel Janzow.
Neither first nor last time I have attempted to interpret this unique union.
From Shepherding of stars that gaze
Toward heav'nly fields of light,
I come with tidings to amaze
You watchers in the night.
Your shepherd King from starlit hall
Bends down to weary lands,
Lies mangered low in cattle stall.
Go touch his infant hands.
This night your King brings from afar
The virgin's lullabye,
The Wise Men's faith, a guiding star,
And love from God Most High.
He shepherds from the thistled place
The flocks by thickets torn;
His pierced hands heal all your race
Sore wounded by the thorn.
Embrace the Christchild, and with songs
Bind up the hearts in pain.
The shepherd-healer-king let throngs
Sing glorias again.
- F. Samuel Janzow (1913-2001)
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