Academic journal article The Hymn

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus

Academic journal article The Hymn

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus

Article excerpt

Nothing But the Blood of Jesus by David Rasbach [SATB and piano]. Hope C5680, 2011. $1.90

Set in the key of D? major with a later modulation, this anthem uses all four stanzas of the simple but convincing nineteenth-century text on forgiveness by Robert Lo wry (1876). The musical treatment is attractive and suitable for the text. For example, the first two opening questions: "What can wash away my sin? What can make me whole again?" match a single upward step-like melody for treble voices in unison. Their answers are stated with descending phrases. The second stanza repeats the same pattern, this time for low voices in unison. Also, the first unresolved ending cadence becomes perfected on the second round. For these two stanzas, the standard gospel format of stanza and refrain is altered into two consecutive stanzas before the refrain. The third stanza repeats the original melody for the upper parts of each register, joined in simple parallel harmony in thirds for the lower parts.

The SATB refrain reveals a majestic and lyrical character, sung a cappella with dynamic sensitivity. …

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