A pleasantly minor, and old-fashioned hymn, especially considering its relative youth.
Especially unusual, for a Lutheran Hymn, in that it is 5/4, an “uneven” meter more common in folk music. On the other hand, not all that surprising considering the following information about the composer. (The following was translated from the Finnish language wikipedia.)
Already in his studies, Nyberg collected folk tales from Southwest and Central Finland.He composed, in particular, spiritual solo and choir songs, school and children’s songs, singers and beggars in the choir book of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church . The current hymnbook contains Nyberg’s hymn number 631, Oi Lord, if I travel a country .He has also written a script 342, so wonderful is the praise, the original Swedish-language words, spoken by Alpo Noponen in Finnish.In addition, Nyberg has translated some other, original Swedish-language hymns  Nyberg published in 1890 a collection of spiritual folk tales ( The People’s Gift to the Church ) together with Ilmari Krohn.
Please turn your hymnals to number 144 (Second Tune) and join with the clarinets in, “For All the Saints Who From Their Labors Rest”.
Number: 144 (Second Tune)
First Line: For All The Saints Who From Their Labors Rest
Name: PRO OMNIBUS SANCTIS (SARUM).
Meter: 10 10 10, 4.
Tempo: Broadly, with spirit
Music: Joseph Barnby, 1838-86
Text: William Walsham How, 1823-97
This is another rather harmonically modern hymn arrangement. Very close, almost dissonant harmonies, with an unusually lingering resolution.
Considering it’s composer seems to have been rather fond of Wagner, I guess this isn’t a surprise.
Short Name: Joseph Barnby
Full Name: Barnby, Joseph, 1838-1896
Birth Year: 1838
Death Year: 1896
Barnby was a composer, conductor and (like his father Thomas Barnby) an organist. He entered the choir of York Minster at age seven, and was an organist and choirmaster at twelve. In 1854 he went to London and entered the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied under Cipriani Potter and Charles Lucas. In 1856, he competed for the first Mendelssohn Scholarship. When the examinations were over, of the nineteen applicants, he was tied for first place with Arthur Sullivan. After a second test, Sullivan won.
Barnby was organist at Mitcham, St. Michael’s, Queenhithe, and St. James’ the Less, Westminster, before he was appointed to St. Andrew’s, Wells Street, where he remained from 1863 to 1871, establishing the musical reputation of the services. From 1871 to 1886 he was organist of St. Anne’s, Soho, where he instituted the annual performances of Bach’s Passion Music according to St. John, with orchestral accompaniment. In 1867, Messrs. Novello, to whom he had been musical adviser since 1861, established Barnby’s Choir, which gave oratorio concerts from 1869 to 1872, when it was amalgamated with the choir formed and conducted by M. Gounod at the Royal Albert Hall, under the title of the Royal Albert Hall Choral Society (now the Royal Choral Society). The same publishing firm also gave daily concerts in the Albert Hall, 1874-75, which Barnby orchestrated.
Barnby conducted the St. Matthew Passion in Westminster Abbey in 1871. He was appointed precentor of Eton in 1875, a post he kept until 1892, when he succeeded Thomas Weist-Hill as principal of the Guildhall School of Music.
In 1878, Barnby married Edith Mary Silverthorne. Also that year, he helped found the London Musical Society, becoming its first director and conductor. Under his baton, the Society produced Dvorak’s Stabat Mater for the first time in England.
In 1884, Barnby conducted the first performance in England of Wagner’s Parsifal as a concert in the Albert Hall. From 1886-8 he conducted rehearsals and concerts of the Royal Academy of Music, of which he was a fellow.
Barnby was knighted in 1892, and in the same year conducted the Cardiff Festival. He conducted the festival again in 1895.
Barnby’s compositions include an oratorio (Rebekah, 1870), a psalm (The Lord Is King, Leeds Festival, 1893), an enormous number of services and anthems, part songs and vocal solo, trios, etc. He also wrote a series of Eton Songs, 246 hymn tunes (published in one volume in 1897), and edited five hymnals, the most important of which was The Hymnary (1872).
Please turn to number 144 (First Tune) and join with the clarinets in, “For All The Saints Who From Their Labors Rest”.
Number: 144 (First Tune)
First Line: For All The Saints Who From Their Labors Rest
Name: SINE NOMINE.
Meter: 10 10 10. With Alleluias.
Music: R. Vaughn Williams, 1872-1958
Text: William Walsham How, 1823-97
From The English Hymnal
This one is written with the congregation singing in unison for the first section, while the organ plays parts, and the second part with the congregation singing parts. So I couldn’t resist doing something similar. I changed the arrangement up a bit to be unison parts with organ, a capella parts, and then a return to unison with organ accompaniment.
I wrote out the organ parts and exported a midi file for them. Imported it into garageband, and then recorded the clarinet parts.
Here’s a short biography of R. Vaughn Williams from the Ralph Vaughn Williams Society Webpage.
Ralph Vaughan Williams is today fully established as a composer of the utmost importance for English music. In a long and extensive career, he composed music notable for its power, nobility and expressiveness, representing the essence of ‘Englishness’.
Vaughan Williams was born on the 12th October, 1872 in the Cotswold village of Down Ampney. He was educated at Charterhouse School, then Trinity College, Cambridge. Later he was a pupil of Stanford and Parry at the Royal College of Music, after which he studied with Max Bruch in Berlin and Maurice Ravel in Paris.
At the turn of the century he was among the very first to travel into the countryside to collect folk-songs and carols from singers, notating them for future generations to enjoy. As musical editor of The English Hymnal he composed several hymns that are now world-wide favourites (For all the Saints, Come down O love Divine). Later he also helped to edit The Oxford Book of Carols, with similar success. Before the war he had met and then sustained a long and deep friendship with the composer Gustav Holst. Vaughan Williams volunteered to serve in the Field Ambulance Service in Flanders for the 1914-1918 war, during which he was deeply affected by the carnage and the loss of close friends such as the composer George Butterworth.
For many years Vaughan Williams conducted and led the Leith Hill Music Festival, conducting Bach’s St Matthew Passion on a regular basis. He also became professor of composition at the Royal College of Music in London. In his lifetime, Vaughan Williams eschewed all honours with the exception of the Order of Merit which was conferred upon him in 1938.
He died on the 26th August 1958; his ashes are interred in Westminster Abbey, near Purcell. In a long and productive life, music flowed from his creative pen in profusion. Hardly a musical genre was untouched or failed to be enriched by his work, which included nine symphonies, five operas, film music, ballet and stage music, several song cycles, church music and works for chorus and orchestra.
The harmony on the third stanza of this one is so close for a hymn, I had to go back and double check my work several times. But, yes, that is the way it is written in the hymnal. Don’t know what to tell you. I guess James Langran was a little odd for his time. Either that or it’s typos.
Born: November 10, 1835, St. Pancras, London, England.
Died: June 8, 1909, Tottenham, London, England.
A pupil of John Calkin, Langran was tutored as organist at St. James’s Church, Edmonton (London). He then served as organist at St. Michael’s, Wood Green (June 1856); Holy Trinity, Tottenham (1859); Parish Church, All Hallows, Tottenham (1870); and St. Paul’s, Tottenham (1870-1909). He was also Instructor to the Training College for Schoolmistresses, Tottenham, from its foundation around 1880, and received a Bachelor of Music degree from Oxford in 1884.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the presentation of Jesus at the temple is celebrated as is one of the twelve Great Feasts, and is sometimes called Hypapante (Ὑπαπαντή, lit., “Meeting” in Greek). In Western Christianity, the traditional name for the day is Candlemas, which is also known as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, and the Meeting of the Lord. In some liturgical churches, Vespers (or Compline) on the Feast of the Presentation marks the end of the Epiphany season. In the Church of England, the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion, the Presentation of Christ in the Temple is a Principal Feast celebrated either on 2 February or on the Sunday between 28 January and 3 February. In the Catholic Church, the Presentation is the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.
In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church, the episode was also reflected in the once-prevalent custom of churching new mothers forty days after the birth of a child.
I guess this is more of a “Minor Festival” sort of hymn.
Louis Bourgeois is the one most responsible for the tunes in the Genevan Psalter, the source for the hymns of both the Reformed Church in England and the Pilgrims in America. In the original versions by Bourgeois, the music is monophonic, in accordance with the dictates of John Calvin, who disapproved not only of counterpoint but of any multiple parts; Bourgeois though did also provide four-part harmonizations, but they were reserved for singing and playing at home. Many of the four-part settings are syllabic and chordal, a style which has survived in many Protestant church services to the present day.
Of the tunes in the Genevan Psalter, some are reminiscent of secular chansons, others are directly borrowed from the Strasbourg Psalter; The remainder were composed by successively Guillaume Franc, Louis Bourgeois and Pierre Davantès. By far the most famous of Bourgeois’ compositions is the tune known as the Old 100th.
This one definitely seems like a “Saints” sort of hymn.
Like Old 100th, this tune is pretty great and lends itself to rhythmic and harmonic re-interpretation. I’d dedicate this version below to one of my “Saints”, Saint Sonny Rollins, for his tune, “St Thomas”.
Woo, finished with Trinity Sunday hymns! Though, uh, oops, Trinity Sunday was June 11, so I am almost a month late.
Well, as they say, better late than never.
In the early Church, no special Office or day was assigned for the Holy Trinity. When the Arian heresy was spreading, the Fathers prepared an Office with canticles, responses, a Preface, and hymns, to be recited on Sundays. In the Sacramentary of St. Gregory the Great (P.L., LXXVIII, 116) there are prayers and the Preface of the Trinity. The Micrologies (P.L., CLI, 1020), written during the pontificate of Gregory VII (Nilles, II, 460), call the Sunday after Pentecost a Dominica vacans, with no special Office, but add that in some places they recited the Office of the Holy Trinity composed by Bishop Stephen of Liège (903-20). By others the Office was said on the Sunday before Advent. Alexander II (1061–1073), refused a petition for a special feast on the plea, that such a feast was not customary in the Roman Church which daily honoured the Holy Trinity by the Gloria Patri, etc., but he did not forbid the celebration where it already existed. John XXII (1316–1334) ordered the feast for the entire Church on the first Sunday after Pentecost. A new Office had been made by the Franciscan John Peckham, Canon of Lyons, later Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1292). The feast ranked as a double of the second class but was raised to the dignity of a primary of the first class, 24 July 1911, by Pius X (Acta Ap. Sedis, III, 351). Since it was after the first great Pentecost that the doctrine of the Trinity was proclaimed to the world, the feast becomingly follows that of Pentecost.
In my opinion, there is nothing that sounds better on a bunch of clarinets than a good minor dirge.
Beautiful, just beautiful.
Both Bonar and Cruger had more than their share of beauty, tragedy, and hardship to capture in song.
Horatius Bonar [pronunciation?] (19 December 1808 – 31 July 1889), a contemporary and acquaintance of Robert Murray M’cheyne was a Scottish churchman and poet. He is principally remembered as a prodigious hymn-writer.
The son of James Bonar, Solicitor of Excise for Scotland, he was born and educated in Edinburgh. He came from a long line of ministers who have served a total of 364 years in the Church of Scotland. One of eleven children, his brothers John James and Andrew Alexander were also ministers of the Free Church of Scotland. He had married Jane Catherine Lundie in 1843 and five of their young children died in succession. Towards the end of their lives, one of their surviving daughters was left a widow with five small children and she returned to live with her parents.
In 1853 Bonar earned the Doctor of Divinity degree at the University of Aberdeen.
Bonar’s wife, Jane Catherine Bonar, died in 1876. He died 31 July 1889. They are buried together in the Canongate Kirkyard in the lair of Alexander Bonar, near the bottom of the eastern extension.
Johann Crüger (9 April 1598 – 23 February 1662) was a German composer of well-known hymns. He was also the editor of the most widely used Lutheran hymnal of the 17th century, Praxis pietatis melica.
In 1628, he married the widow of a city councilman. During the Thirty Years’ War, Crüger and his family endured many hardships including hunger. He fell ill with plague, and almost died of that disease, losing five children and his wife in 1636. In 1637, having recovered from the disease, he got married a second time, to the 17-year-old daughter of an innkeeper, with whom he had fourteen children, most of whom died at a young age. One of his daughters married the court painter Michael Conrad Hirt, who made a portrait of Crüger in 1663. Crüger died in Berlin.
Please turn your hymnals to number 137 and join with the clarinets in, “Ancient of Days”.
First Line: Ancient of Days
Name: ANCIENT OF DAYS. (ALBANY)
Meter: 11 10, 11 10.
Tempo: In unison, with dignity
Music: John Albert Jeffrey, 1855-1929
Text: William Croswell Doane, 1832-1913
Fairly rhythmically and harmonically interesting, this one gave me something to chew on and develop over its short course. Not often you see dotted eighth notes and 16th notes in hymns!
Jeffery (sometimes misspelled as Jeffrey) began playing the organ at St. Anne’s Cathedral in Plymouth at age 14, taking over his father’s position. He emigrated to America in 1876 and settled in Albany, New York. He developed a chorus and directed the music at St. Agnes School, and played the organ at the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral. He left for Yonkers, New York, in 1893, and served at the First Presbyterian Church. Later, he taught music at the New England Conservatory.