Click below to listen to this new piano duet that I recently arranged. After a couple practice sessions, Shelly Hamilton and I played it for the offertory at my church’s afternoon service. (Being a “live” recording, it’s a little rough and has a few mistakes.) This arrangement, in addition to being professionally recorded, will appear in a piano duet collection put out by Majesty Music sometime in the first half of next year.
A Mighty Fortress
In honor of Reformation day (10.31), this hymn by Martin Luther is one of the Christian church’s most cherished and is certainly one of deep doctrinal truth. The tune Ein Feste Burg has undergone several stages of evolution over the centuries and this instrumental arrangement gives it a fresh, modal twist with an Irish jig in the mix. The text, like a psalm of Moses or of David, celebrates the triumph of God over Satan. We can rest and not fear because of the triumph God will secure through us.
Luther’s original melody was not as most sing it today, in a strict 4/4 quarter note time but rather was one of rhythmic energy that just dances. I wanted to bring a little of that back with this arrangement as well. Read the text as you listen to the attached audio.
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.