Tuesday, May 5, 2009

T. Tertius Noble

Thomas Tertius Noble (1867- 1953) already appeared here last year, but like many composers and hymnwriters, he produced more than one work worthy of our consideration.

In addition to his compositional skill, Noble was also a renowned organ recitalist, gaining an international reputation during his years living in England. He was on a recital tour of the US when the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York approached him to become their organist and choirmaster. Once hired, he naturally made suggestions regarding the new pipe organ they were having built that would make it comparable to the organ he played while employed at York Minster, which was considered to be one of the finest in England. After the new organ was installed, Noble began a series of weekly recitals on Sunday evenings at 8 pm, which further enhanced the musical reputation of St. Thomas. He continued to play concerts across the country, for occasions as diverse as the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco and the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Vassar College.

O God, the Giver of all good;
Thy people live by daily food;
And daily must our prayer be said,
“Give us this day our daily bread.”

What large provision thou hast made!
As large as is thy people’s need;
How wide thy bounteous love is spread!
Wide as the want of daily bread.

The life of earth and seed is thine;
Suns glow, rains fall, by power divine;
Since every day by thee we live,
May grateful hearts thy gifts receive.

Samuel Longfellow, 1864; alt.
T. Tertius Noble, 1917

In my research thus far I've found seventeen hymn tunes by Noble, a few carols, and several harmonizatrions of other, older hymn tunes. I'm sure there are more of each. I'm also curious about his anthems and other choral music, but there are only so many hours in the day.

1 comment:

Dorothy said...

I certainly sympathize with that problem of "only so many hours in the day" that prevents us from following up on all of one's interests, C.w.S.