Old folk at lunch

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Brisbane 2013 Festival of male voice praise

Anne finally got me to go along to a concert  -- as above.  She knows I like religious music so she grabbed the chance of the above performance.

It was held this afternoon at the Hillsong church in Mt Gravatt.  There is a huge first-class auditorium there and church members helped as ushers etc.

We arrived just as the choir was filing in and were just in time to hear a rousing rendition of "Advance Australia Fair" as the opening song.  It was a Christian version of Australia's national anthem -- a version much deplored by secularists.  The usual version these days is not the same as the original anyway.  The version given in the program was the orthodox one but that is not what they sang!  All the words of all the songs were projected on a big screen

One of the songs I particularly liked was "Light's glittering morn bedecks the sky".  It was originally a medieval Latin song and the usual tune for it is adapted from Palestrina.  As such, however, there are lots of different versions of it and most are not too impressive in my view.  The version usually sung in Protestant churches is brilliant, however, as is the tune used.  I can't find a decent version on YouTube, unfortunately.  Anyway, the words as sung today were:


Tr. J.M. Neale; melody from 1623

1. Light's glittering morn bedecks the sky;
Heaven thunders forth its victor—cry;
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
The glad earth shouts her triumph high,
And groaning hell makes wild reply.
Hallelujah! (x5)

2. The pains of hell are loosed at last;
The days of mourning now are passed;
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
An angel robed in light has said,
"The Lord is risen from the dead."
Hallelujah! (x5) ’

3. All praise be Yours, 0 risen Lord,
From death to endless life restored:
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
All praise to God the Father be,
And Holy Ghost eternally.
Hallelujah! (x5)

The repeated hallelujahs are particularly powerful.

As well as the 50 or so male singers there were two attractive young blonde ladies singing duets.  They call themselves the Elan Sopranos.  At one stage they sang a durchkomponiert version of the Via Dolorosa  -- unusual in a Pentecostal church  -- which normally goes for musical simplicity.  There is a recent video of them singing here

The auditorium was pretty full and, looking around, all I could see was pink skin.  There was a fair age range though.  I gather that the audience was mostly drawn from Pentecostal congregations  -- who are good at outreach

The whole meeting was a lot like an old-fashioned revival hour, but I didn't mind that.  Being totally secure in my unbelief, expressions of faith don't bother me.  I rather admire them.


I have now found a video of that powerful Hymn:

It is Hymn 126 in Hymns Ancient and Modern

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