In 1929 the Boston Symphony Orchestra commissioned Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, one of the most important composers of the first half of the 20th century, to compose a work to celebrate their 50th anniversary — a symphony Time magazine later named the century’s best classical piece.
Stravinsky’s “Symphony of Psalms” was a work in three movements for chorus and orchestra, the last of which is the longest, inspired by Psalm 150: “Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens . . ." (Psalm 150:1, ESV)
In an interview, Stravinsky said that “The Psalms are poems of exaltation, but also of anger and judgement, and even of curses.”
He even included a section of music in the symphony inspired by 2 Kings, when Elijah’s chariot climbs into the heavens.
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