A Musical Work inspired by "The Valley of Vision"
Puritan Sketches is a devotional/concert work composed by Donald Bradley Kelley and comprised of 12 choral pieces based on the meditations, prayers and other devotional writings of Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Isaac Watts, and other Puritan writers collected in "The
Valley of Vision", published by The Banner of Truth Trust. The "Puritan Sketches"
are original compositions with texts adapted from "The Valley of Vision" and scored for SATB with chamber instrumantal accompaniment. They are fully performable with piano accompaniment only.
The Puritan Sketches are titled and drawn from selections found in "The Valley of Vision":
1. The Means of Grace (SATB, pno, flute, vcl)
2. The Worth of Jesus (SATB, pno, horn, cello)
3. I Bless Thee (SATB, pno, vln)
4. Thou Hast Created (SATB, pno, organ)
5. Gracious Lord, Thy Name is Love (SATB, pno, vln, cello)
6. God, the Holy Trinity (SATB, pno, flute, oboe, horn, cello)
BOOK 2 (Not included in this Packet)
7. The Lord¹s Given Place (SATB, pno, vln, vcl)
8. Called By Thy Spirit (SATB, pno, cor anglais)
9. A Stranger and a Pilgrim (SATB, pno, flute, vcl)
10. Lord of the Oceans (SATB, pno, flute, vcl)
11. To Glorify Thee (SATB acappela)
12. Thou Great I AM (SATB, pno, inst TBA)
"Puritan Sketches" is available in several forms;
1. Choral Music (SATB with piano and optional chamber instrumentation accompaniment)
2. Pre-recorded instrumental accompaniment tracks
3. audio CD Performed by The Baxter Singers, directed by David German, produced by Donald Bradley Kelley.
The theological content and musical outlook of "Puritan Sketches", music
inspired by "The Valley of Vision" would be a natural fit for Presbyterian, Reformed, and Baptist Churches, or any church which emphasizes the sovereignty of God and the necessity of personal holiness. The artistic vision of "Puritan Sketches" makes them appropriate for college and civic choral ensembles. Anyone who knows and loves "The Valley of Vision" will love "Puritan Sketches."
Philosophy and Occasion for Writing
10 years ago I was given a copy of "The Valley of Vision" - A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett and published by the Banner of Truth Trust. It was in the pages of that "silent, wise companion" (to employ Richard Baxter's
phrase) that I met the people behind the popular myth and encountered the passion for holiness which energized all their daily considerations. I was quite taken by their clear, unambiguous declaration of divine truth and their passion and zeal for God. At the time, I thought it would be interesting to set some of their reflections to music but never acted on the impulse until the summer of 2005. Having started, I found myself entirely caught up in trying to communicate their truth and passion through music. The pieces employ the language of the Puritans as found in "The Valley
of Vision" but the musical vocabulary is my own. I have done my best to frame their thoughts to best effect without being ostentatious or showy. The choral parts are quite straightforward and the settings give opportunity for meditation, truly a lost discipline in these times. I want to emphasize that I have made no effort to be "authentic" in any sense. (Puritan musical practice, at least in worship settings, was largely restricted to a capella singing of the psalter.) This is a work of art, not musicology. But I have tried to convey the Puritan sensibilities of a gracious communication of the truth. The work is my own but I freely admit my debt to "The
Valley of Vision." I am becoming aware of the large numbers of people who also love this book and trace their spiritual lineage to the Puritans.
Please accept the "Puritan Sketches" as an homage to the men and women whose lives and deaths are strands woven into the great tapestry of the faithful of all ages and as a thanksgiving to Him whose prevenient grace makes faith possible.