May I join my voice to those who commend the Grail -Gelincau psalms? All the same, I would suggest that the way they have unisersally been taught in this country is in one respect inadequate, Strict-beat rhythm is naturally needed for the chorus-refrain to keep the singers in unison. Rut the solo verses—that is, the whole rectum excem the refrain— should ideally be sung by a skilled solo-singer (preferably, though not necessarily, male) singing with full intelligence and in free rhythm. True. he has to bring out the four strong stresses, allotted to certain key-words in between (printed in heavy type in the Grail books), but these are meant to be stresses or high points. not regular metronome beats at all. The words, often numerous, that borne in between the specially stressed words. ought not to be rushed together unnaturally so as It) be in time for the next beat, but should be spread out in a natural specoh-recitative with no regular beat.
This was the original way of singing the Gelineau psalms: I heard it in France long before they had reached this country. and the effect was far more electrifying than the way taught here, ehich regrettably reduces the psalm into an ordinary hymn-tune with too many v6ords to most of its lines. Won't somebody try the other way on the radio?
Midlander Father Sewell's reference. in his review of the Grail Psalms. to the "wan airs of Gelineau" makes one wonder if he has heard the excelteat French records published by Studio S. M. or the Grail records.
Properly sung, these psalms are anything but "wan". They are both melodious and exhilarating. They appeal to young and old, religious and lay people. to congregations of all denominations. 'there is no denying it. They do. Not onls were they a tremendous success in France. but the English version is spreading at an everincreasing rate throughout the United Kingdom, the U.S.A., Australasia, India and Africa. The books with words and melody (the first of which appeared in 1956) and the Grail records are being °peered from all parts of the world.
It looks as if a great many people would prefer these melodies and these words. which make plain everyday sense. to plain song or "Let us with a gladsom mind
(Miss) M. W. Pollock London.