Something very old, majestic and for a very few; these beautiful songs
won't make the hitparades this time around:
Psalms from the Genevan Psalter, and the Scottish Psalter.
Some very nice renditions of Goudimel's settings of the Genevan on Youtube....Ernst Stolz and some of his mates playing period instruments. They also play a lot of other Renaissance music, plenty of it on Youtube for those partial to it. They're up to Psalm 32 as of mid-August 2012, and seem to be adding one every couple of weeks or so:
Genevan Psalter - Psalms / Psalmen - YouTube
Matthias Jorissen's renderings of the psalms in German matches the Genevan tunes, and the Scottish Psalter 1650 is a standalone translation from Hebrew and has them set to metred tunes which means the melodies can be changed around between various psalms as long as the metre fits. The tone progressions known as church modes are mostly very different sounding to the "modern" major/minor scales.....we have lost
a great deal of what we once had, in our rush for "progress". There is nothing new under the sun...it's all been done somewhere, sometime, by someone. There is
something to the legends of Atlantis, and the present world is striving to the same heights but will fail even more ignominouly and in a spectacularly different way.
A slightly nautical story I read once about how international the psalms were, once: A Dutch warship captured a Spanish galley
in the Mediterranean
sometime in the mid-17th Century....the galley
slaves were being ferried to the rescuers ship and some among them were singing psalms in Hungarian, to the Genevan tunes...the Dutch ship's company recognised the melodies and were greatly pleased to have saved some fellow Christians from that awful fate.
Anyway, some seriously deep music to feed the soul with wonder and joy, and give voice to every expression of the heart. Song of Solomon is lovely too, but that's an ocean on its own.