Choral It is Well ~ Nimrod SATB, with cello, and piano | 5.5 min This piece was commissioned in memoriam by the family of Homero Capetillo, a wonderful gentleman and founding teacher in a Spanish-immersion school for 30 years. After considering several of his musical “favorites” I decided to weave Edward Elgar’s beloved “Nimrod” with Horatio Spafford’s treasured hymn, “It is Well with My Soul.” Spafford’s deep faith in the face of multiple personal losses inspired his poem of calm assurance, set to music by the hymnist Philip Bliss in 1875. Twenty-five years later, Edward Elgar wrote 14 variations on his “Enigma” theme, each one immortalizing a dear friend. “Nimrod” refers to the music editor Augustus J. Jaeger, whose name means “hunter” in German. Elgar playfully chose the biblical name “Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord” for this friend’s variation. This sumptuous adagio movement commemorates an occasion when Elgar had been very depressed and was about to give it all up and write no more music. Jaeger visited him and encouraged him to continue composing. He referred to Ludwig van Beethoven, who had a lot of worries, but wrote more and more beautiful music. “And that is what you must do,” Jaeger said, and he sang the theme of the second movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 Pathétique. Elgar disclosed that the opening bars of “Nimrod” were made to suggest that theme, saying, “Can’t you hear it at the beginning? Only a hint, not a quotation.” I found great pleasure in creating this lilting variation of a variation, born of layers of inspiration and encouragement, all in the service of the expression of a deep faith and appreciation for beauty shared by Homero Capetillo. When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well with my soul. Esta bien con mi alma. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control: That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed his own blood for my soul! It is well, it is well with my soul. Esta bien con mi alma. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trumpet shall sound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well, it is well with my soul. Esta bien con mi alma.