Often when I share a piece of music in a blog post it's the combination of lyric and music that has particularly moved me. There are many times, however, that music doesn't need to be accompanied by words to reach deep into our heart and soul.
Our music director, David Stratkauskas, has talked of the music within our worship services as giving us a sense of 'transcendence' - of being taken out of our everyday and lifted to a place beyond ourselves. There are a number of pieces that have inspired such a feeling in me, John Taverner's haunting 'The Protecting Veil' played by Stephen Isserlis, Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Bruce Cockburn's The End of All Rivers, Steve Vai's For the Love of God, to name a few. The first piece I ever really feeling that sense of 'more' from was Sir Edward Elgar's 'Nimrod' from the Enigma Variations, which I have posted above. The first time I heard it I realized I had been moved in a way that I hadn't understood before, much as I have loved music of all different styles for as long as I can remember, it was a breathtaking moment.
Music that reaches the heart, wherever it comes from, is a gift, it enlarges our sense of who we are are and connects us to something bigger than ourselves. It is truly an experience, for me, of the Divine.
Sound praises to the Lord, all the earth;
break into singing and make music.
Make music to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the voice of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sound praises before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea thunder and all that fills it,
the world and all that dwell upon it.
Let the rivers clap their hands
and let the hills ring out together before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
In righteousness shall he judge the world
and the peoples with equity.