Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith, whose many hymns, including Tell out my soul and Lord, for the years, have become hits with congregations all over the world, has just had a new hymn book called A Mirror to the Soul published by the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM). The thirty contemporary hymns in this collection are based on the psalms, and are set to both familiar and new tunes.
Several of the new texts have been set to well-known hymn tunes such as Wolvercote and Abbot’s Leigh, but the music editor William (Bill) Llewellyn has also included some tunes especially written for Bishop Timothy’s texts, including one from the popular choral composer John Rutter. Other well-known composers represented are John Barnard, Cyril Taylor and Paul Edwards. Some hymns have a choice of tunes and the names of other familiar alternatives are suggested throughout.
A Mirror to the Soul reflects a range of moods to be found in the Old Testament book of Psalms. Bishop Timothy refers to the lost art of chanting the psalms, and the value of metrical psalms as an alternative: “to congregations used to hymn singing they can offer something of the riches that singing (or saying) of the psalms can provide”. The hymns in this collection “claim to be no more than ‘based on’ the psalm in question, and of course… in their own right they can be sung as hymns, regardless of their origin”.
The new volume will be officially launched at Sarum College in Salisbury on Thursday 20th March 2014, at 4.00pm, hosted by Sarum College Bookshop and the RSCM. There will be an opportunity to hear and sing some of the new hymns, and to meet Bishop Timothy and William Llewellyn. All are welcome to attend: please RSVP to 01722 326899 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the book may be found at www.rscm.com/shop, where sample pages may be viewed. Purchase direct from RSCM Music Direct at £6.95 (£5.21 RSCM affiliates).