The Corner

Battle Hymn

The wonderful orchestral arrangement of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” performed at Friday morning’s funeral service, with its trumpet fanfares, unaccompanied setting of the verse beginning “In the beauty of the lilies/Christ was born across the sea,” and thunderous climactic octaves, was made by by Peter J. Wilhousky. It is frequently heard on great occasions and is also beloved of high-school choirs (mine sang it thirty years ago). If memory serves, it was first recorded by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the fanfares and coda were used to preface the congregational singing of the “Battle Hymn” at the National Cathedral’s 9/11 memorial service. “The soft, slightly discordant trumpet fanfares at the beginning,” I wrote on that occasion, “are a haunting detail-a stern reminder that there can be no remission of sins without the shedding of blood-and the climactic amen, with its skyrocketing sweep up the chromatic scale, never fails to bring down the house.”

Terry TeachoutMr. Teachout is the drama critic of the Wall Street Journal and the critic-at-large of Commentary. Satchmo at the Waldorf, his 2011 play about Louis Armstrong, has been produced off Broadway and throughout America.

Most Popular

Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More