This is my performance of Graham Twist’s (@grahamtwist) Chorale Prelude on Repton, a beloved hymn with a rich history on the organ of St. David’s Albury featuring the Trumpet stop as the solo. Graham expresses a deep love for hymns, having attended an all-boys boarding school in Wakefield for ten years, where Chapel started and ended each day during term, and this helped to nurture their love for the organ and church music during those formative years. The hymn text, which was actually the final six verses of a long, narrative poem called “The Brewing of Soma” by John Greenleaf Whittier describes the intoxicating effect of ‘Soma’, a drink made from hallucinogenic mushrooms and milk, used in Vedic (Hindu) rituals. Despite its unexpected origins, the hymn has become associated with gentle piety and prayerfulness, and with the Holy Land. Regardless, Whittier’s original message and purpose is worth remembering: doctrines, dogmas, and religious ritual should give way to the ‘simple trust’ of the Galilean disciples who heard the Lord’s call.
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