133a – O Trinity Of Blessed Light

Please turn your hymnals to number 133 (First Tune) and join with the clarinets in, “O Trinity of Blessed Light”.

Number: 133 (First Tune)
First Line: O Trinity, O Blessed Light
Name: O LUX BEATA TRINITAS.
Meter: Irregular
Tempo: With movement
Music: Plainsong Melody, Mode VIII
Arr. by Ernest White, 1899-
Text: Ascribed to St. Ambrose, 340-97
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66

Saxophone Arrangement: 133-OTrinityOfBlessedLight

There were a lot of challenging thing with this hymn. In the Tenor Sax parts, the lower of the two spends pretty much the whole song on the lowest few notes of the saxophone. It is very difficult to play those quietly and accurately. And when it isn’t on the bottom few notes, it inexplicably jumps up to G sharp from those notes. The whole thing was basically a pinky nightmare. The lower Soprano Sax part is challenging, well, because all you are doing is basically holding one note for l0-12 beats, over the whole of the phrase. The melody part isn’t bad, it proceeds mostly stepwise up and down, but it is in 4 sharps.

Aurelius Ambrosius (ItalianSant’Ambrogio [ˌsantamˈbrɔːdʒo]), better known in English as Saint Ambrose (/ˈæmbrz/c. 340 – 4 April 397), was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was the Roman governor of Liguria and Emilia, headquartered in Milan, before being made bishop of Milan by popular acclamation in 374. Ambrose was a staunch opponent of Arianism, and has been accused of fostering persecutions of Arians, Jews, and pagans.

Traditionally, Ambrose is credited with promoting “antiphonal chant”, a style of chanting in which one side of the choir responds alternately to the other, as well as with composing Veni redemptor gentium, an Advent hymn.

Ambrose was one of the four original Doctors of the Church, and is the patron saint of Milan. He is notable for his influence on Augustine of Hippo.

Under Ambrose’s major influence, emperors GratianValentinian II and Theodosius I carried on a persecution of Paganism.[23][24][25][26] Under Ambrose’s influence, Theodosius issued the 391 “Theodosian decrees,” which with increasing intensity outlawed Pagan practises,[24][27] and the Altar of Victory was removed by Gratian. Ambrose prevailed upon Gratian, Valentinian and Theodosius to reject requests to restore the Altar.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

132 – All Glory be to God on High

Please turn your hymnals to number 132 and join with the Saxophones in, “All Glory be to God on High”.

Number: 132
First Line: All Glory be to God on High
Name: ALLEIN GOTT IN DER HÖH.
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 8 8 7.
Tempo: Joyfully, with breadth
Music: Nikolaus Decius, 1541
Text: Ascribed to Nikolaus Decius, 1541
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-78 a.

Saxophone Arrangement: 132-AllGloryBeToGodOnHigh

For being such an old hymn, circa 1541, this is pretty cool.

I like the harmonies and chords!

And, even with 3 sharps, applied some hymprovisation to the second time through.

Nikolaus Decius (also DegiusDeegTech a Curia, and Nickel von Hof;[1] c. 1485 – 21 March 1541[2] (others say 1546[3]) was a German monk, hymn-writer and composer.

He was probably born in Hof in Upper FranconiaBavaria, around 1485. He studied at the University of Leipzig and obtained a master’s degree at Wittenburg Universityin 1523 and became a monk.[4] Although a monk, he was an advocate of the Protestant Reformation and a disciple of Martin Luther.[4] He was Probst of the cloister at Steterburg from 1519 until July 1522 when he was appointed a master in the St. Katherine and Egidien School in Braunschweig.[2][5] He wrote in 1523 “Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr“, a German paraphrase of the Latin Gloria, adapted by Luther in 1525.[6] Decius’s version was first sung on Easter Day at Braunschweig on 5 April 1523.[7]Decius’s Low German version first appeared in print in Gesang Buch by Joachim Sluter, printed in 1525.[7]

In 1526, Decius became preacher at the Church of St. Nicholas in Stettin at the same time as Paulus von Rhode was appointed preacher at St. James’s in Stettin.[2] In 1535 he became pastor of St. Nicholas and died there in March 1541 after a suspected poisoning.[2] Shortly before his death he wrote the hymn “O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig” (O Lamb of God, innocent) sung on a tune from the 13th century. Decius’s version was first published in Anton Cornivus‘s Christliche Kirchen-Ordnung in 1542.[4]Johann Sebastian Bach used it as a cantus firmus in the opening chorus of his St Matthew Passion. It was translated into English by Arthur Tozer Russell in the 19th century.[4]

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

131 – Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty

Please turn your hymnals to number 131 and join with the saxophones in, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty”.

Number: 131
First Line: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty
Name: NICAEA.
Meter: Irregular.
Tempo: Joyfully, with dignity
Music: John Bacchus Dykes, 1823-76
Text: Reginald Heber, 1783-1826

Clarinet Arrangement: 131-HolyHolyHolyLordGodAlmighty

This is another VERY well known and familiar hymn and I quite enjoyed playing it. However, it is slightly annoying that it has 4 sharps for concert, which means it has 6 sharps when transposed for bflat instruments, which is A LOT of sharps. As I’ve mentioned before, it messes b sharp and e sharp sort of mess with my head, since they are C and F, respectively.

This is the first of the hymns in celebration of “Trinity Sunday”.

Holy, Holy, Holy!” is a Christianhymn written by Reginald Heber (1783–1826).[1][2][3] Its lyrics speak specifically of the Holy Trinity,[2][3] having been written for use on Trinity Sunday.[3] It quotes the Sanctus of the Latin Mass, which translated into English begins “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God of Hosts”. The text also paraphrases Revelation 4:1–11John Bacchus Dykes composed the tune Nicaea for this hymn in 1861.[1][2][3] The tune name is a tribute to the First Council of Nicaeawhich formalized the doctrine of the Trinity in 325.[2][3]

This sort of thing:

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity

Holy, holy, holy! all the saints adore thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea,
Cherubin and seraphim falling down before thee,
Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

130 – Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

Please turn your hymnals to number 130 and join with the saxophones in, “Holy Spirit, Truth Divine”.

Number: 130
First Line: Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
Name: SONG 13.
Meter: 7 7, 7 7.
Tempo: Quietly
Music: Orlando Gibbons, 1583-1625
Text: Samuel Longfellow, 1819-92

Clarinet Arrangement: 130b-HolySpiritTruthDivine

Since this is the last hymn for Pentecost, I thought it might be a good idea to explain it a bit.

Pentecost Sunday (June 4) marks the day most Christians believe the Holy Spirit descended on the followers of Jesus after his death, resurrection and ascension. The story comes from the New Testament Book of Acts: “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Jesus’ followers were amazed — they could speak languages they never knew before and they could understand others they had never heard. The Apostle Peter stood up and preached his first sermon — so many Christians think of this holiday as the “birthday” of the church.

I’ve always thought Pentecost was a little “psychedelic”, what with the speaking in tongues and flames over people’s heads.

So, I had an idea to try to make this arrangement a little psychedelic. I don’t think I quite got to psychedelic, it’s a bit more ritualistic or new wave-ish. Sort of a more relaxed version of something Killing Joke would do. Anyway.

I wrote a drum part in the arranging program I use, MuseScore, exported it to a midi file, then imported the midi track into Garageband. Then I did the same with an electric bass part. The nifty thing about midi instruments is a) you don’t have to buy them b) you don’t have to play them c) you don’t have to respect the physical limitations of the instrument or the player. So, yeah, that bass guitar part is about an octave below what a “normal” electric bass guitar can play.

The text for this hymn was written by Samuel Longfellow, who was a Unitarian pastor and hymn writer, and they are quite nice and not particularly specifically religious.

Holy Spirit, truth divine,
Dawn upon this soul of mine;
Word of God, and inward light,
Wake my spirit, clear my sight.

Holy Spirit, love divine,
Glow within this heart of mine;
Kindle every high desire,
Perish self in thy pure fire.

Holy Spirit, power divine,
Fill and nerve this will of mine;
By thee may I strongly live,
Bravely bear, and nobly strive.

Holy Spirit, peace divine,
Still this restless heart of mine;
Speak to calm this tossing sea,
Stayed in thy tranquility.

Holy Spirit, right divine,
King within my conscious reign;
Be my law, and I shall be,
Firmly bound, for ever free. Amen.

A bit more about Samuel Longfellow:

Samuel Longfellow was born June 18, 1819, in Portland, Maine, the last of eight children of Stephen and Zilpah (Wadsworth) Longfellow.[1] His older brother was the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He attended Harvard Collegeand graduated in 1839 ranked eighth in a class of 61.[2] He went on to study at Harvard Divinity School, where his classmates included Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Samuel Johnson, with whom he would later collaborate in his hymn writing.

He is considered part of the second-generation of transcendentalists;[3] after becoming a Unitarian pastor, he adapted the transcendental philosophy he had encountered in divinity school into his hymns and sermons.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

129 – Spirit of God

Please turn your hymnals to number 129 and join with the Saxophones in, “Spirit of God”.

Number: 129
First Line: Spirit of God
Name: MORECAMBE.
Meter: 10 10, 10 10.
Tempo: With reverence
Music: Ascribed to Frederick Cook Atkinson, 1841-97
Text: George Croly, 1780-1860

Saxophone Arrangement: 129-SpiritOfGod

This is a very familiar sounding hymn! Maybe the most familiar sounding of any of the Pentecost hymns.

MORECAMBE was composed in 1870 by Frederick C. Atkinson (b. Norwich, England, 1841; d. East Dereham, England, 1896) as a setting for Henry Lyte’s “Abide with Me” (442). It was first published in G. S. Barrett and E.J. Hopkins’s Congregational Church Hymnal (1887). The tune is named for a coastal town on Morecambe Bay near Lancaster, England, a town not far from Bradford, where Atkinson served as organist.

As a boy Atkinson was a chorister and assistant organist at Norwich Cathedral. In 1867 he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Cambridge and then served as organist and choirmaster in St. Luke’s Church, Manningham, Bradford. He also held that position at Norwich Cathedral and at St. Mary’s Parish Church in Lewisham. Atkinson wrote hymn tunes, anthems, and complete Anglican services, as well as songs and piano pieces.

MORECAMBE has a good melodic contour and a strong rise to its climax but then concludes rather weakly. (See comments on the generic group of tunes that includes MORECAMBE at PHH 276.) Try singing this fervent prayer to MORESTEAD (295), a tune with a very different character that will shed new light on the text.

Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

128 – Lord, Let Thy Spirit

Please turn your hymnals to number 128 and join with the saxophones in,”Lord, Let Thy Spirit”.

Number: 128
First Line: Lord, Let Thy Spirit
Name: BERGGREN (ALT.).
Meter: 12 10, 11 10.
Tempo: Serenely
Music: Andreas Peter Berggren, 1801-80
Text: Valdimar Briem, 1848-1930

Clarinet Arrangement: 128-LordLetThySpirit

After mixing 8 saxes for the last hymn, I decided 4 saxophones was plenty!

Anyway, this is quite a pleasant, if somewhat plain, hymn.

Andreas Peter Berggren (March 2, 1801 – November 8, 1880) was a Danish composer, organist, and pedagogue.

Berggreen was born and died in Copenhagen. He initially studied law before pursuing a career in music, studying under Christopher Ernst Friedrich Weyse. In addition to Weyse, Berggreen was also heavily influenced by the German musician Johann Abraham Peter Schulz.

Berggreen was the organist at Trinitatis Church in Copenhagen from 1838 and taught singing at Metropolitanskolen from 1843. In 1859 he was appointed a song inspector by the Danish government.

Apart from several pieces of incidental music, a cantata, solo piano works, and songs, he published the folk song collections Melodier til Salmebog (1853) and Folk Sange og Melodier (1842–71). The latter comprises eleven large volumes, and includes folk songs in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, German, English, French and Italian (Russian folk songs are also represented but in German translation).

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

127 – Come, Gracious Spirit

Please turn your hymnals to number 127 and join with the saxophones on, “Come, Gracious Spirit”.

Number: 127
First Line: Come, Gracious Spirit
Name: WAREHAM.
Meter: In moderate time
Music: William Knapp, 1698-1768
Text: Simon Browne, 1680-1732

127-ComeGraciousSpirit

Bass clarinet is in the shop for some work, so for a week, or so, it’s going to be Saxophone Hymns! Some arranging and recording challenges, as they are louder and don’t quite have the same range as clarinets, but it will be a good chance to practice more Sax.

The one-hit wonder of ‘Wareham’ – William Knapp

Dorset has its own ‘Shrubsolian composer’ – what the pop music world would call a ‘one-hit wonder’. His name is William Knapp, and his ‘one tune’ is arguably even more memorable than ‘Miles Lane’: it has to this day the reputation of being one of the easiest and most comfortable tunes for a congregation to sing. A remarkable feature of the tune is that, except in one place, it proceeds ‘by step’ (that is, one note up or down), and it is this that makes it so singable. The eminent theologian Dr James Moffatt described it as ‘one of the best congregational tunes ever written’. Knapp called it ‘Wareham’ after the town where he was born. Thanks to him, the town’s name has been perpetuated in hymn-books all over the world for nearly three hundred years.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

126 – Come, O Come, Thou Quickening Spirit

Please turn your hymnals to number 126 and join with the clarinets in, “Come, O Come, Thou Quickening Spirit”.

Number: 126
First Line: Come, O Come, Thou Quickening Spirit
Name: KOMM, O KOMM, DU GEIST DES LEBENS.
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 7 7.
Tempo: With movement
Music: Meiningen Gesangbuch, 1693
Text: Heinrich Held, cir. 1659
Tr. Edward Traill Horn III, 1909-

Clarinet Arrangement: 126-ComeOComeThouQuickeningSpirit

It appears that this book was harmonized by J. S. Bach’s son, Johann.

KOMM, O KOMM, DU GEIST DES LEBENS
Harmonizer: Johann Christoph Bach; Composer: G. Joseph Breslau

Johann Bach was known as “The London Bach” or “John Bach”!

Johann Christian Bach was born to Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena Bach in Leipzig, Germany. His distinguished father was already 50 at the time of his birth, which would perhaps contribute to the sharp differences between his music and that of his father. Even so, his father first instructed him in music and that instruction continued until his death in 1750. After his father’s death, he worked (and lived) with his second-oldest half brother Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, who was twenty-one years his senior and considered at the time to be the most musically gifted of Bach’s sons.

He enjoyed a promising career, first as a composer then as a performer playing alongside Carl Friedrich Abel, the notable player of the viola da gamba. He composed cantatas, chamber music, keyboard and orchestral works, operas and symphonies.

Bach lived in Italy for many years starting in 1756, studying with Padre Martini in Bologna. He became organist at the Milan cathedral in 1760. During his time in Italy, he converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism and devoted much time to the composition of church music, including two Masses, a Requiem and a Te Deum.[2] His first major work was a Mass, which received an excellent performance and acclaim in 1757.[2] In 1762, Bach travelled to London to première three operas at the King’s Theatre, including Orione on 19 February 1763. That established his reputation in England, and he became music master to Queen Charlotte. He met soprano Cecilia Grassi in 1766 and married her shortly thereafter. She was his junior by eleven years. They had no children.

By the late 1770s, his music was no longer popular and his fortunes declined. His steward had embezzled almost all his wealth and Bach died in considerable debt in London on New Year’s Day, 1782.[3] Queen Charlotte covered the expenses of the estate and provided a life pension for Bach’s widow. He was buried in the graveyard of St. Pancras Old Church, London.

Regarding the text, the author was “Silesian” which is an often disputed area on the borders of Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

Held, Heinrich, was son of Valentin Held of Guhrau, Silesia. He studied at the Universities of Königsberg (c. 1637-40), Frankfurt a. Oder (1643), and Leyden. He was also in residence at Rostock in 1647. He became a licentiate of law, and settled as a lawyer in his native place, where he died about 1659, or at least before Michaelmas, 1661 (Koch, iii. 55-56; Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie., xi. 680; Bode, p. 87, &c).

One of the best Silesian hymnwriters, he was taught in the school of affliction, having many trials to suffer in those times of war. His only extant poetical work is his Deutscher Gedichte Vortrab, Frankfurt a. Oder, 1643. Only one hymn from that volume came into German use. Much more important are his other hymns, which are known to us through Crüger’s Praxis, and other hymnbooks of the period. Mützell, 1858, includes Nos. 254-272 under his name.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

125 – Love of the Father

Please turn your hymnals to number 125 and join with the clarinets in “Love of the Father”.

Number: 125
First Line: Love of the Father
Name: SONG 22.
Meter: 10 10, 10 10.
Tempo: With movement
Music: Orlando Gibbons, 1583-1625
Text: Latin Hymn, XII cent.
Paraphrase, Robert Bridges, 1844-1930
From The Yattendon Hymnal, edited by Robert Bridges

Clarinet Arrangement: 125-LoveOfTheFather

Apparently, Orlando Gibbons was a well enough known composer of his time that his reputation lingered even up until relatively modern times, when he was championed by pianist and performer Glenn Gould.

Orlando Gibbons (baptised 25 December 1583 – 5 June 1625) was an English composer, virginalist and organist of the late Tudor and early Jacobean periods.[1] He was a leading composer in England in the early 17th century.

Gibbons was born in 1583 (most likely in December) and baptised on Christmas Day at Oxford,[2] where his father William Gibbons was working as a wait.[3] Between 1596 and 1598 he sang in the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, where his brother Edward Gibbons (1568–1650), eldest of the four sons of William Gibbons, was master of the choristers. The second brother Ellis Gibbons (1573–1603) was also a promising composer, but died young. Orlando entered the university as a sizar in 1598 and achieved the degree of Bachelor of Music in 1606.[4] That same year he married Elizabeth Patten, daughter of a Yeoman of the Vestry, and they went on to have seven children (Gibbons himself was the seventh of 10 children).

King James I appointed him a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, where he served as an organist from at least 1615 until his death. In 1623 he became senior organist at the Chapel Royal, with Thomas Tomkins as junior organist. He also held positions as keyboard player in the privy chamber of the court of Prince Charles (later King Charles I), and organist at Westminster Abbey. He died at age 41 in Canterbury of apoplexy, and was buried in Canterbury Cathedral.[3][5][6] His death was a shock to his peers and brought about a post-mortem, though the cause of death aroused less comment than the haste of his burial and his body not being returned to London. His wife, Elizabeth, died a little over a year later, in her mid-30s, leaving Orlando’s eldest brother, Edward, to care for the orphaned children. Of these children only the eldest son, Christopher Gibbons, was to become a musician.

In the 20th century, the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould championed Gibbons’s music, and named him as his favourite composer.[9] Gould wrote of Gibbons’s hymns and anthems: “ever since my teen-age years this music … has moved me more deeply than any other sound experience I can think of.”[10] In one interview, Gould compared Gibbons to Beethoven and Webern:

“…despite the requisite quota of scales and shakes in such half-hearted virtuoso vehicles as the Salisbury Galliard, one is never quite able to counter the impression of music of supreme beauty that lacks its ideal means of reproduction. Like Beethoven in his last quartets, or Webern at almost any time, Gibbons is an artist of such intractable commitment that, in the keyboard field, at least, his works work better in one’s memory, or on paper, than they ever can through the intercession of a sounding-board.”[11]

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

124b – Creator Spirit

Please turn your hymnals to number 124 (Second Tune) and join with the clarinets in “Creator Spirit”.

Number: 124 (Second Tune)
First Line: Creator Spirit
Name: MELITA.
Meter: 8 8, 8 8, 8 8.
Tempo: With dignity
Music: John Bacchus Dykes, 1823-76
Text: John Dryden, 1631-1700
Based on Veni, Creator Spiritus

Clarinet Arrangement: 124b-CreatorSpirit

I’m not a huge fan of Dykes’ tunes, but MELITA is pretty good, at least in a triumphant, Anglican, kind of way.

The setting here is by John B. Dykes (PHH 147), originally composed as a setting for William Whiting’s “Eternal Father, Strong to Save.” Published in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861) with that text, MELITA is often referred to as the “navy hymn.” The tune is named after the island of Malta where Paul was shipwrecked.

A fine tune, MELITA is marked by good use of melodic sequences and a harmony that features several dominant sevenths (both are Dykes’s trademarks). Sing in harmony; because the lines flow into each other in almost breathless fashion, use a stately tempo.

Some more details regarding Bacchus Dykes from wikipedia:

Dykes’s defeat [He was of the “Anglo-Catholic-Ritualist” persuasion and at the time Protestantism and “Anti-Papism” was on the rise in the UK. ed.] was followed by a gradual deterioration in his physical and mental health, necessitating absence (which was to prove permanent) from St. Oswald’s from March 1875. Rest and the bracing Swiss air proving unavailing, Dykes eventually went to recover on the south coast of England where, on 22 January 1876, he died aged 52.[20] However, Fowler’s assertion [21] that he died at St. Leonard’s on Sea is false: he died in the asylum at Ticehurst, some 18 miles distant.[22] More significantly, his assertion that Dykes’s ill-health was a consequence of overwork, exacerbated by his clash with Bishop Baring, has recently been questioned; one scholar suggests that the medical evidence points to his having succumbed to tertiary syphilis, and speculates that Dykes may have contracted the disease during his undergraduate years.[23] He is buried in the ‘overflow’ churchyard of St. Oswald’s, a piece of land for whose acquisition and consecration he had been responsible a few years earlier.[24] Touchingly, he shares a grave with his youngest daughter, Mabel, who died, aged 10, of scarlet fever in 1870. Dykes’s grave is now the only marked grave in what, in recent years, has been transformed into a children’s playground.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal