134 – Father Most Holy

Please turn your hymnals to number 134 and join with the clarinets in, “Father Most Holy”.

Number: 134
First Line: Father Most Holy
Name: CHRISTE SANCTORUM.
Meter: 11 11, 11 5.
Tempo: Unison, in moderate time
Music: XVIII cent. French Church Melody
Harm. by R. Vaughn Williams, 1872-1958
Text: Latin Hymn, cir. X cent.
Tr. Percy Dearmer, 1867-1936
Text and harmony from THE ENGLISH HYMNAL, Oxford University Press

Clarinet Arrangement: 134-FatherMostHoly

Fortunately, the Bass Clarinet is back at home, as this would have been a tough one to tackle on the Sax. Far too many notes below Bb. In addition, it’s a complex organ arrangement meant to accompany a unison choir or congregation, so in many places there are 6 notes sounding at once. A six part sax choir might sound good in theory, but in practice, it’s tough.

Anyway, this is a lovely arrangement by the famous English composer, R. Vaughn Williams.

Ralph Vaughan Williams OM (Listeni/ˈreɪf ˌvɔːn ˈwɪljəmz/[n 1] 12 October 1872 – 26 August 1958) was an English composer and folk song collector. 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.

Vaughan Williams was born to a well-to-do family with strong moral views and a progressive social outlook. Throughout his life he sought to be of service to his fellow citizens, and believed in making music as available as possible to everybody. He wrote many works for amateur and student performance. He was musically a late developer, not finding his true voice until his late thirties; his studies in 1907–08 with the French composer Maurice Ravel helped him clarify the textures of his music.

Vaughan Williams is among the best-known British symphonists, noted for his very wide range of moods, from stormy and impassioned to tranquil, from mysterious to exuberant. Among the most familiar of his other concert works are Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) and The Lark Ascending (1914). His vocal works include hymns, folk-song arrangements and large-scale choral pieces. He wrote eight works for stage performance between 1919 and 1951. Although none of his operas became popular repertoire pieces, his ballet Job: A Masque for Dancing (1930) was successful and has been frequently staged.

Two episodes made notably deep impressions in Vaughan Williams’s personal life. The First World War, in which he served in the army, had a lasting emotional effect. Twenty years later, though in his sixties and devotedly married, he was reinvigorated by a love affair with a much younger woman, who later became his second wife. He went on composing through his seventies and eighties, producing his last symphony months before his death at the age of eighty-five. His works have continued to be a staple of the British concert repertoire, and all his major compositions and many of the minor ones have been recorded.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

133c – O Trinity of Blessed Light

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

Number: 133 (Third Tune)
First Line: O Trinity of Blessed Light
Name: ILLSLEY.
Meter: L.M.
Tempo: Slowly
Music: John Bishop, 1665-1737
Text: Ascribed to St. Ambrose, 340-397
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1816-66

Saxophone Arrangement: 133c-OTrinityOfBlessedLight

Final setting of St. Ambrose’s Poem, “O Trinity of Blessed Light”.

I mean, when else do you get to use “Paraclete” in a poem, other than on Trinity Sunday?

Paraclete (Gr. παράκλητος, Lat. paracletus) means advocate or helper. In Christianity, the term “paraclete” most commonly refers to the Holy Spirit.

O Trinity of Blessed Light,
O Unity of princely might,
The fiery sun now goes his way;
Shed thou within our hearts thy ray.

To thee our morning song of praise,
To thee our evening prayer we raise;
Thy glory suppliant we adore
For ever and forever more.

All laud to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
lAll glory, as is ever meet,
To God the holy Paraclete. Amen.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

133b – O Trinity of Blessed Light

Please turn your hymnals to number 133 (Second Tune) and join with the Saxophones in, “O Trinity Of Blessed Light”.

Number: 133 (Second Tune)
First Line: O Trinity of Blessed Light
Name: AETERNA CHRISTI MUNERA.
Meter: L.M.
Tempo: With movement
Music: Rouen Church Melody
Text: Ascribed to St. Ambrose, 340-97
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66

Saxophone Arrangement: 133b-OTrinityBlessedLight

Rouen, apparently, is an city in France, and the capital of Normandy.

Rouen (French pronunciation: ​[ʁwɑ̃]; Frankish: Rodomo; Latin: Rotomagus) is a city on the River Seine in the north of France. It is the capital of the region of Normandy. Formerly one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy during the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries.

The population of the metropolitan area (in French: agglomération) at the 2007 census was 532,559, with the city proper having an estimated population of 110,276. People from Rouen are known as Rouennais.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

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