Posts tagged ‘Chapel Royal’

February 17, 2013

2013-02-17 Notes from the Bench

Three Anthems by Samuel Sebastian Wesley
A commentary on this week’s music by Dr. James Gerber, Music Associate

“Wash Me Throughly from my Wickedness” was written by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (c. 1840) and is among Wesley’s best-known anthems.  The text is based on Psalm 51: 2-3; a psalm frequently appointed during the season of Lent.

“Cast Me Not Away” is also based on Psalm 51, verses 8, 11, 12 and 17.  Wesley composed this anthem following a fall in late 1847 that resulted in a fractured right leg. Some of the musical discord that illumines the text, “the bones which thou hast broken…” is also attributed to Wesley’s personal expression of the pain he endured during his recovery.

The text of “Solomon’s Prayer” is based on I King 8.  This work was included in a collection of twelve anthems published in 1853 that comprised of works Wesley wrote over the previous 20 years.  Wesley considered these anthems among his most important works; “Solomon’s Prayer” being the final piece of the collection which he considered an offering in humility with supplication.

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