Sunday, July 07, 2019
Chester (William Billings, 1778)
I wasn't able to put together a patriotic playlist this time--too sick. But last night I recorded myself playing William Billing's great patriotic anthem, Chester. Billings, a choral composer and songbook publisher, was a self-taught genius regarded, for a century or so following his death, as some kind of a joke--now, as far as I know, he's considered one of our first major composers. I concur.
I used two organ patches on my Casio WK-3800 and added a bit of acoustic simulation, though the Casio patches are nice and full by themselves. I got the public domain music (in standard hymnal SATB form) at the great Cyber Hymnal site. I did a few modifications to the harmony where things clashed--otherwise, I played as written. It's astonishing how hard it is to find out-of-copyright stuff on line in anything but paid form, and I deeply appreciate sites like The Cyber Hymnal. More than I can possibly say.
DOWNLOAD: Chester (Billings)
Lee Hartsfeld, Casio WK-3800