Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Four Tenors Singing "Amazing Grace" in an Ancient Coliseum

For your weekend cultural enjoyment, follow this link to listen to The Four Tenors (Il Divo) performing "Amazing Grace" in the Coliseum at Pula, Croatia. This rendition, one of the most stunning performances of all time, will give you a new appreciation for the ancient classic.


Ken Colson said...

Wade, The group has been around for a few years. Look for their CDs by name, "Il Divo". They do a variety of music that is fun and relaxing to listen to.
Ken Colson

Pastor Bob Farmer said...

Thanks Wade for posting this. I began to cry (big baby that I am) when they started the fourth verse. Extremely powerful: Soli Deo Gloria!

Christiane said...

Thank you, WADE

Not only is the hymn a favorite, but it is sung in your video in a holy place: the Roman Arena of Pula.

It is the site of the martyrdom of a Christian.

Here is some information:
"The Arena was built between 27 BC - 68 AD[4], as the city of Pula became a regional centre of Roman rule, called Pietas Julia. The name was derived from the sand that, since antiquity, covered the inner space. It was built outside the town walls along the Via Flavia, the road from Pula to Aquileia and Rome.

The amphitheatre was first built in timber during the reign of Augustus (2-14 AD). It was replaced by a small stone amphitheatre during the reign of emperor Claudius. In 79 AD it was enlarged to accommodate gladiator fights by Vespasian and to be completed in 81 AD under emperor Titus. This was confirmed by the discovery of a Vespasian coin in the malting.

St. Germanus was martyred here in the year 284."

Caritas Christi,

Bob Cleveland said...

Pastor Bob, you're not the only one.

Wade, thanks.

Wanda said...

I have enjoyed listening to Il Divo, a group put together by none other than Simon Cowell, and I highly recommend them!

As the Christmas season approaches, I highly recommend their CD called "The Christmas Collection" if it's still available. It was produced in 2005.

Here's a link for more info on this Christmas CD that brings honor and glory to Jesus Christ through the majority of songs:

I absolutely LOVE the song "When a Child is Born" on this Christmas CD. It's so inspirational!

Wade, thanks for featuring this group in your post. I have gotten out their music which I haven't heard in a while, and I will enjoy listening to them this evening.

Jeff said...

Wade, I posted the link on my church's site, and my family listened to it during our devo time.

Rex Ray said...

I received an email with this about a year ago. Like the two Bobs have said, the song makes you feel like you’re half way to heaven.

On the other hand, I’m sorry you reminded me how much our music has lost its success in bringing us closer to God.

Anything older than 15 years has to be added, divided, multiplied, and subtracted not by a music director but by a music performer with his eyes shut.

Why can’t a song be sung like it’s written? It’s insult to injury when a church paper says we “MUST” change.

Jeff said...

Rex, Why not change? We do not sing the same songs they sung in the N.T.
I like all types of music. I just downloaded il divo and love, but I also like DC Talk. I also love Steve Green.

B Nettles said...

Very good singing and good setting, but why don't they sing the real 4th and 5th verses that John Newton wrote:
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The "ten thousand years" verse is not from Newton but was added by Harriet Beecher Stowe in Uncle Tom's Cabin. It is originally from another hymn.

For a change, get your church to sing the original 5. "I shall possess withing the veil.." Now THAT is grace, that I will be in God's presence.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Amazing Grace is my favorite hymn because it is one of the first hymns that could adequately describe both me and what happened to me when Christ saved me. This was the most moving rendition I have ever heard. Beautiful and sung as it deserves to be sung. With greatness.

B Nettles said...

Oops....there is an original 6th verse penned by Newton(which Wade discussed in an earlier post...I'll let you find it).

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be forever mine.

Kelly Reed said...

OK, I need someone with better ears or speakers to listen to this again. I could swear that when they begin the fourth verse, after the pipes, they begin the line with

"When we've been HERE 10,000 years"

Is that the original and has our version changed it to "There"?

Is this a Mormon singing group singing about the Terrestrial Kingdom?

Am I hearing it wrong? Listen carefully and let me know.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they are post-millennialist< wink >

Ramesh said...

Il Divo sings correctly ...

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Kelly Reed said...

Thy Peace,

So when did the line get changed in the Baptist hymnal? Why did it get changed?

I checked mine before I posted and it definitely says "there"


Ramesh said...

I looked at several places online and most of them list the lyrics with "here", than "there". To be fair, I found a bunch of others that list "there".

I do not know when this change occurred or why.

Wiki > Amazing Grace.

Christiane said...


I found this on a site called 'History of Hymns" by Wm. Reynolds. I am not certain about the accuracy of this information:

"The final stanza found in many hymnals today beginning, "When we've been there ten thousand years," is not by John Newton. It seems to be the final stanza of one version of the anonymous English folk hymn "Jerusalem, My Happy Home."

The anonymous stanza first appeared with Newton's hymn in E.O. Excell's "Coronation Hymns" (Chicago, 1910), with the tune arranged by Excell. Excell's subsequent hymnals and the hymnals of Robert H. Coleman of Dallas exposed this hymn and tune in a remarkable way.
___In the 1940s and 1950s, folk singers emerged, singing in community groups, on campuses, on radio and in concert halls, and sacred folk songs were added to their repertoire. One of these sacred tunes was "Amazing Grace."
___In 1970, the hymn was included in Judy Collins' album "Whales and Nightingales," and in the CD of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, recorded with bagpipes and drums at Redford Barracks, Edinburgh, Scotland. Here was great exposure."

Ramesh said...

Library of Congress timeline of notable Amazing Grace sheet music and recordings, with audio samples.

Cyberhymnal > Amazing Grace.

Ramesh said...

Off Topic:

Not dreaming and No longer Quivering:

Adventures In Mercy [Molleth] > No Longer Quivering: Carnival Nov. 1-4th.
A blog (and forum) I’ve taken great interest in, since it’s inception, is No Longer Quivering. Here is what can happen when complementarianism goes “hard,” what can happen when you peek behind the pretty pictures of the “Biblical Patriarchy” movement.
Consider this your invitation to go enjoy the Carnival at No Longer Quivering. The blog will be full of little (true) stories from wives and daughters who lived through the patriarchy movement, and the forums (where discussion takes place) promise to be hopping, if you are a forum sort of person
Quivering Duaghters > A Different Perpective: She is No Longer Quivering.
Over a few short months, a mother of seven from Nebraska has made headlines as she abandoned her Quiverfull life, launched a website and message board, inspired a play, and started writing a book based upon her experience. Scheduled to appear on an upcoming episode of the Joy Behar Show, Vyckie Garrison of No Longer Quivering is hosting a fun event November 1-4 designed to foster community and garner awareness of some of the painful aspects of fundamentalism. Featuring around-the-clock, live NLQ chat, this would be an excellent opportunity for any of you with questions or thoughts regarding Vyckie's experience as a Quiverfull mom, or to share your own! Stay for fun activities, games, and lots of cool prizes.

DC said...


Yes Bob...

Soli Deo Gloria!

Bob Cleveland said...

Personally, the history and the original words and what the composer had in mind when the hymn was written, all of that doesn't mean much to me when I'm singing. It's what the words say and what's going on in my soul when I'm doing the singing. Or just standing speechless.

We're singing for an audience of One, anyway, and He's the only one who knows what's going on in there. Except us.

"Here" vs "there"? We sing songs about being in Heaven all the time, so what's wrong with either?

We're not reciting history. We're worshiping the Living God.

Christiane said...


I was thinking along a different perspective, but not a 'contrary one' to yours.
The Living God is being praised by the tenors. And so beautifully, that our spirits and souls also participate in an act of profound adoration of the Eternal One.

But it is here that I see another scene: the Eternal One, present in all time, in all locations, is also simultaneously present at the martyrdom of St. Germanus, in that arena at Pula.

In eternity, the Living God is seeing the death of this martyr as He is receiving the singing of the tenors: for Him there is no past, present, or future to separate the two events.
WE are the ones who cannot 'see' what is past, but because it is written that 'when one suffers, all suffer' in the Body of Christ, we are there with Germanus in the communion of saints, as members of the Body of Christ. So we may see 'with the eyes of faith', the death of our Christian brother Germanus, in that arena in Pula, in a special way. As we have been blessed to see and hear the singing of the tenors in that arena at Pula, 'with the eyes and ears of faith' in a special way.
The Living Eternal God: It is in Him, and with Him, and through Him, that we are in communion with one another: past, present, and future. The tenors sing on holy ground, and in the Presence of the Eternal One.

As to the words, the melody, the history of the song itself?
What comes through this hymn is more powerful than the sum of its parts. For us, that is the blessing.

Caritas Christi,