Purcell and Handel and Bach!

The Episcopal church has named July 28 as a day to remember three composers who were influential in the development of Western church music (and Western music in general)–Henry Purcell (1659-1695), George Frederic Handel (1685-1759), and Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).

Over the next few days, I’ll be reflecting a bit on who these men were, how they studied, where they lived, what their music is like, and why it is important. I look forward to the potential for a discussion regarding your feelings on their work, how it has or hasn’t affected you, and whether you’d like to hear more or less of it in church today.

Here’s some listening to get us all started:

Purcell–“Hear My Prayer, O Lord”

Handel–“Rejoice” from Messiah

Bach–“Herr unser Herrscher” from St John Passion
(If you hit the “show more” button below the video, you can read the English translation.)