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Hymns through the Centuries, v.2/Cathedral Choral Society
Hymns Through Centuries volume 2 - Cathedral Choral Society - J. Reilly Lewis

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Program and Notes
Hymns Through the Centuries, v. 2
Cathedral Choral Society
J. Reilly Lewis, Music Director

This new recording of the National Cathedral Choral Society follows their best-selling first volume. Booklet contains notes on the history of each hymn and texts.

Peal Bells
Jesus, my all, to heaven has gone
Our thanks we give for love and hope
In the bleak midwinter
Creating God, your fingers trace
Rejoice, ye pure in Heart!
Let all the world in every corner sing
Organ solo: Ar hyd y nos
Of the Father's love begotten
Come down, O Love divine
Spirit of God, descend upon my heart
God is love
What wondrous love is this!
All my hope on God is founded
Carillon Solo: Leoni
O God of our divided world
Christ, might Savior
Breathe on me, Breath of God
I vow to thee, my country
The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended
Lord of all hopefulness
O brightness of the immortal Father's face
O praise ye the Lord!
Bagpipe Solo: Hyfrydol
Program Notes

“And when they had sung a hymn . . . .” The great tradition of singing of hymns in Christian worship is rooted in the ancient temple and synagogue services of the Jewish people. The Cathedral Choral Society presents this collection of old favorites and new hymns accompanied by Washington National Cathedral's Great Organ. These thirty hymns span more than twenty centuries from the ancient Jewish Yigdal melody Leoni through medieval plainsong Divinum Mysterium to Cathedral View, a hymn composed in 1995.

The Greek word “hymnis” means “a song written in praise or honor of God.” Many of these hymns are paraphrases of the Psalms of David. The Greek word “psalmos” indicates they were sung accompanied by a stringed instrument.

Hymns learned in childhood endure for a lifetime in the human heart. These sacred songs, born out of adversity and mourning, deliverance, thanksgiving and praise, have also been chosen to encompass the seasons of the Christian liturgical year (Advent, Christmas-Epiphany, Lent, Easter-Pentecost, and Ordinary Time), the calendar of the Church by which its mysteries of faith are remembered and celebrated.

These hymns, with origins in both English cathedrals and American camp meetings, are sung in a variety of ways. Some are unison hymns with stirring organ accompaniment and descants; others are sung in rich harmony by voices alone. Three hymns feature the shaped-note tradition of the New England singing schools that emerged during the Colonial era. Five hymns are instrumental arrangements for the Great Organ, the carillon, and bagpipe, among the most ancient of mankind’s instruments. Three hymns owe their composition to specific occasions at Washington National Cathedral. All are heard in the magnificent sacred spaces of the world’s sixth largest cathedral sung by the Cathedral Choral Society, the resident symphonic chorus of Washington National Cathedral since 1942.

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