Published: November 2013
In celebration of the University’s Sesquicentennial and its Jesuit heritage, professor of music Thomas Oboe Lee composed “God’s Grandeur,” for chorus and chamber orchestra. The work sets to music five poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ (1844–89).
“God’s Grandeur” had its premiere on November 9, 2013, in Trinity Chapel on the Newton Campus, sung by the University Chorale under the direction of John Finney. A chamber orchestra of professional musicians also performed.
“God’s Grandeur,” second movement:
The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like an ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs— Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ (1877)