Friday, November 7, 2014
Friday Music Two-Fer: Agincourt
This is the Agincourt Hymn by John Dunstable commemorating the Battle of Agincourt (1415) in which the English forces commanded by Henry V routed the French even though they were vastly outnumbered. If you've seen Shakespeare's Henry V (the recent Great Performances Henry V on PBS starring Tom Hiddleston was superb) you know this battle as the centerpiece of the play. Apparently the Agincourt Hymn has gone through several variations, both in tune and in words, and is based primarily on an English folk tune. But this one is the one I know, and this recording features Michael Murray playing the organ at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City.
The Agincourt Hymn is also the tune for the beautiful and majestic hymn O Love How Deep, How Broad, How High. Here's a lovely arrangement (by David N. Johnson) of that hymn featuring trumpet player Timothy Moke and organist Charles Luedtke.
The hymn has five verses, all lovely (you can look it up in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 at 449) but the last verse is this: All glory to our Lord and God for love so deep, so high, so broad; the Trinity whom we adore for ever and for ever more.