Please turn to number 49 and join with the clarinets in singing, “Thy Little Ones”.
First Line: Thy Little Ones
Music: J. A. P. Shulz, 1747-1800
Text: Hans Adolph Brorson, 1694-1764
Tr. Harriet Reynolds Krauth Spaeth, 1845-1925
A short and “Simple” hymn for Christmas.
Refreshingly, instead of telling children to behave and mind their parents at Christmas, the lyrics of this one say that we best approach enlightenment as little children would, with innocence and wonder.
“Thy little ones, dear Lord, are we,
And come thy lowly bed to see;
Enlighten every soul and mind,
That we the way to thee may find.”
All clarinets this time. Three times through, second time quietly, building towards a triumphant third. Technically, this is the last Christmas hymn in the book. After a single hymn for, of all things, “Circumcision and Name of Jesus”, we are on to Ephiphany and then Lent.
Please turn to number 47 and join with the winds in, “Away in a Manger”.
First Line: Away in a Manger.
Name: AWAY IN A MANGER.
Meter: 11 11, 11 11.
Music: 19th Century, American
Text: St. 1,2, Anonymous
St. 3, John Thomas McFarland, 1851-1913
Another of your Christmas Hymn war horses, I felt I needed to do something a little different. It was also kind of odd in that it only had a unison voice part, so adapting the keyboard part for the harmony instruments was a little odd. Went too low, even for Bass Clarinet.
Please turn to number 46 and join with the clarinets in “Christmas Brings Joy”.
First Line: Christmas Brings Joy
Name: CHRISTMAS BRINGS JOY.
Meter: 8 7, 9 7, 8 7, 8 7.
Music: C. E. F. Weyse, 1774-1842
Text: Bernhardt Severin Ingemann, 1789-1862
Tr. Cecil Cowdrey
Another fine hymn which suggests to small children that they should behave, especially at Christmas.
Christmas brings joy to every heart,
Sets old and young rejoicing,
What angels sang once to all on earth,
Oh, hear the children voicing.
Bright is the tree with lights aglow,
Like birds that perch together.
The child that holdeth Christmas dear
Shall keep these joys forever.
Joy comes to all the world today,
To halls and cottage hasting.
Come, sparrow and dove, from roof tree tall,
And share our Christmas feasting.
Dance, little child, on mother’s knee,
The lovely day is dawning;
The road to paradise is found
This blessed Christmas morning.
Once to this earth our Savior came,
An infant poor and lowly,
To open for us those gardens fair
Where dwell his angels holy.
Christmas joy he bringeth us,
To Christ-child King of heaven,
‘To every little child,’ he saith,
‘Shall angel wings be given.’
I’m joking a bit, there are some really nice, vivid, turns of phrase here. I especially like, “Dance, little child, on mother’s knee, the lovely day is dawning.”
Please turn to number 44 and join with the clarinets in “Long Ago and Far Away”.
First Line: Long Ago and Far Away
Name: RESONET IN LAUDIBUS.
Meter: Irregular. With Refrain.
Tempo: Brightly in unison
Music: German Carol Melody, 14th Century
Harm. by R. Vaughn Williams, 1872-1958
Text: Edward Traill Horn, III, 1909-
Written for this Book
Refrain XV cent., German, Tr. Oxford Book of Carols
Another well known composer providing Harmonization to this hymn. From the Wikipedia:
Ralph Vaughan WilliamsOM (i/ˈreɪfˌvɔːnˈwɪljəmz/[n 1] 12 October 1872– 26 August 1958) was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over nearly fifty years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century.
I wasn’t sure about this hymn when I first listened to the sounds from the arranging software, or, indeed the first couple times I played through. The harmonies are kind of delicate and it is quite a bit more complicated than the usual hymns. Almost a small choral piece, more than a hymn.
Please turn to number 43 and join with the clarinets in “Under Feeble Stable Light”.
Name: HOLY MANGER
Meter: 8 8, 9 9, 8 8.
Tempo: Tenderly, in unison
Music: Arnold F. Keller, 1890-
Music composed for this book
Text:Arnold Frederick Keller, 1890-
Under feeble stable light,
Come and behold the wondrous sight!
Lies here a babe so heavenly sweet,
Mother and angels the Infant Keep.
Angels on wing, What do they sing?
‘Glory to God, the Saviour, King!’
I can’t say I think much of Mr Keller’s skills as a lyricist, but the tune and harmonies of this hymn are pretty cool. One of the more modern settings I’ve run across in the book so far, short of the Holst piece.
Please turn to number 42 and join with the clarinets in “O Come, All Ye Faithful”.
Name: ADESTE FIDELIS
Tempo: In moderate time
Music: John F. Wade’s Cantus diversi, 1751
Text: Latin Hymn, XVIII cent.
Tr. Frederick Oakeley, 1802-80, and others
“Adeste Fidelis“, or “O Come, All Ye Faithful”, is another hymn whose origins are shrouded in mystery. Apparently, the earliest instances are from the notes of John Francis Wade, but others have been given credit for the origin, including a King of Portugal.
I hope you don’t mind me stealing more info from wikipedia articles. Who knew it would be such a great resource for information about old hymns? I guess the Christians are active on the Internet.
“The original text has been from time to time attributed to various groups and individuals, including St. Bonaventure in the 13th century or King John IV of Portugal in the 17th, though it was more commonly believed that the text was written by an order of monks, the Cistercian, German, Portuguese and Spanish orders having, at various times, been given credit.”
The most commonly named Portuguese author is King John IV of Portugal (Portuguese: D. João IV de Portugal, pronounced: [ʒuˈɐ̃w̃]). “The Musician King” (1604–1656, came to the throne in 1640) was a patron of music and the arts and a considerably sophisticated writer on music; in addition, he was a composer, and during his reign he collected one of the largest musical libraries in the world (destroyed in the Lisbon earthquake of 1755). The first part of his musical work was published in 1649. He founded a Music School in Vila Viçosa that ‘exported’ musicians to Spain and Italy and it was at his Vila Viçosa palace that the two 1640 manuscripts of the “Portuguese Hymn” were found. Those manuscripts predate Wade’s eighteenth-century manuscript. Among the King’s writings is a Defense of Modern Music (Lisbon, 1649). In the same year (1649) he had a huge struggle to get instrumental music approved by the Vatican for use in the Catholic Church. His other famous composition is a setting of the Crux fidelis, a work that remains highly popular during Lent amongst church choirs.
Interestingly, the song is also interpreted as a “Jacobite birth ode to Bonnie Prince Charlie”.
The hymn has been interpreted as a Jacobite birth ode to Bonnie Prince Charlie. Professor Bennett Zon, head of music at Durham University, claims that the carol is actually a birth ode to Bonnie Prince Charlie, the secret political code being decipherable by the “faithful” (the Jacobites), with “Bethlehem” a common Jacobite cipher for England and Regem Angelorum a pun on Angelorum (Angels) and Anglorum (English). Wade had fled to France after the Jacobite rising of 1745 was crushed. From the 1740s to 1770s the earliest forms of the carol commonly appeared in English Roman Catholic liturgical books close to prayers for the exiled Old Pretender. In the books by Wade it was often decorated with Jacobite floral imagery, as were other liturgical texts with coded Jacobite meanings.
Transposing it to b flat for the clarinet, does have the unfortunate side effect of changing already 4 sharps to 6 sharps. It’s hard to remember the a and e sharps, since they end up being b and fs: 042-ocomeallyefaithful
Whatever its origin or secret meaning, it is a wonderful hymn, and another of my favorites.
The current usual method, doubling all parts. Mixing across the field of hearing, then applying an Audacity reverb effect, in this case “Large Room”.
First I transcribe the SATB (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) hymn from the hymnal to a program called MuseScore.
Using MuseScore, I transpose the parts from SATB to the 4 clarinet parts.
I count the measures and generate a click track for the hymn in Audacity, so I can keep in sync with myself.
At this point I play through the parts with only Soprano Clarinet, top to bottom, to get a rough idea of the melody and feel of the hymn. Also, if there are any serious technical challenges.
After the initial recording, I usually let myself think about it for a day, or at least a period of hours, letting ideas about phrasing and tempo percolate.
I start with the bass clarinet part and build the hymn from the bottom up, finishing with the Melody/Soprano part. Lately, I’ve been playing through the hymns at least twice.
I mix these parts, panning them to different points in the left sound field.
Then I repeat, starting again from the Bass Part and mix them to percentage pans of the right sound field.
Finally, I tweak the mix, remove the click track, apply an Audacity reverb effect, and export the parts to mp3 and wav.
On to the next hymn!
The whole process probably takes 4 hours per hymn, more or less, depending on the complexity and length.
After finishing the first rough recording of Number 43, “Once in Royal David’s City”, I had an impulse to mess around a bit with Audacity Effects on that track.
I’d been reading about creating distortion effects, using the Leveller and Compression effects, so I started there.
At this point, I was kind of thinking it sounded pretty synth-esque, so I applied some more effects to increase the plasticity.
It was now pretty cool, sounding a bit like the Stranger Things sound track, but there was something that I was thinking. It sort of had the character of the music I associate with Nintendo games, but it needed to be faster.
Change Speed 2x
Ah, yes, now that brings a smile to my face.
Ahem, and now, with “Once in Royal David’s City”, we return you to your regularly scheduled Lutheran Hymns played on clarinets.
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 77.
Tempo: Slowly. May be sung in unison.
Music: Henry J. Gauntlett, 1805-76
Text: Cecil Frances Alexander, 1823-95
The music is a bit folky, but the text of this hymn is not a super-awesome, I especially like how in verse three Alexander slips in some suggestions for how Christian children should behave.
“And through all his wondrous childhood
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms he lay;
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as he.
Perhaps he was going through some tough times at home.
Please turn to number 40 and join with the clarinets in “The First Noel”.
Name: THE FIRST NOWELL.
Meter: Irregular. With Refrain.
Tempo: With Spirit
Music: Traditional English Carol
Text: Traditional English Carol
Another true Christmas Warhorse and another enjoyable song to play.
From the wikipedia:
“The First Noel” (also written “The First Noël” and “The First Nowell“) is a traditional classical EnglishChristmas carol, most likely from the early modern period, although possibly earlier.Noel is an Early Modern Englishsynonym of “Christmas“.
In its current form, it is of Cornish origin, and it was first published in Carols Ancient and Modern (1823) and Gilbert and Sandys Carols (1833), both of which were edited by William Sandys and arranged, edited and with extra lyrics written by Davies Gilbert for Hymns and Carols of God. Today, it is usually performed in a four-part hymn arrangement by the English composer John Stainer, first published in his Carols, New and Old in 1871. Variations of its theme are included in Victor Hely-Hutchinson’s Carol Symphony.
The melody is unusual among English folk melodies in that it consists of one musical phrase repeated twice, followed by a refrain which is a variation on that phrase. All three phrases end on the third of the scale. It is thought to be a version of an earlier melody sung in a church gallery setting; a conjectural reconstruction of this earlier version can be found in the New Oxford Book of Carols.
Doubled all parts and went with the “Medium Room” Audacity Reverb Effect, as I’ve been feeling slightly self conscious, thanks to some facebook comments from alleged friends, about over using the more extreme reverb settings. Which do you prefer? Are the “Church Hall” type reverb effects distracting?