Academic journal article The Hymn

Murmurings of the Soul

Academic journal article The Hymn

Murmurings of the Soul

Article excerpt

Murmurings of the Soul by Iteke Prins. Colfax, NC: Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc., 2008. 84 pp, ISBN 978-1-881162-26-1. US $16.25

This volume presents a collection of engaging hymn tunes, quite singable (give or take a challenging interval here or there); some of them are truly brilliant. The setting of John Thornburg's text, "Come, Holy Spirit," is contemplative, and just as inviting in its quiet way as is the hymn "Praise God with Motion" (text by John Core) that reaches out and practically pulls us into the dance. Others that particularly speak to this reviewer are also settings of John Core texts: the meditative prayer "God Have Mercy!" with its alternation of harmony and unison textures, and the fresh look at the thought processes of the mother of Jesus after his birth, "Mary, What Is It You Ponder?"

The texts, set in unison as well as in four parts, are the work of five authors, with John Core providing the bulk of them, followed by James Hart Brumm, John Thornburg, and Mary Bittner and Daniel B. Merrick. This wide variety of texts has been indexed in ways that one might hope would be considered "usual," but are not always found: topic, source, meter, tune, and first Unes. This reviewer is particularly grateful for indexed topics that point to texts focusing on The Arts ("God Brings Us Into Harmony"), Creation ("O Mother Spirit"), Dance ("Praise God with Motion"), and Music ("God Has Given Gifts to AU" and "The Song is Faith") - all subjects that merit more attention than they have often received in the past. …

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