This is an AABA form, with the exact same notes in 3 of the 4 lines.
The Alto, Tenor, and Bass parts were not very exciting, so I thought I would either play it really slow or really fast.
I took the Hymn at 120, which is quite a bit faster than the usual 80 or 90, I use for hymns. Definitely has a bit of a folk music feel.
After playing through the melody a couple times, I played it even faster and some rhythmic improvisation on the bass line let me to an upbeat Sonny Rollins kind of and some rhythms that are a little beyond my ability to write out exactly. And maybe accurately execute accurately. Still kind of fun to take some liberties with the hymns.
Lutheran Service Book and Hymnal Hymn number 10, aka “The King Shall Come” arranged for Soprano and Bass Clarinets.
In moderate time
Richard Farrant, cir. 1530-80
John Brownlie, 1859-1925
Based on the Greek
From Hymns of the Russian Church by permission of the Oxford University Press
Regarding the information above, I believe the first line is the identifier of the hymn. The second line indicates the meter of the text, in the case CM or Common Meter. The third line is the tempo and feeling. The fourth line is the composer of the music. The fifth line is the author of the text.
This is certainly another stately hymn and based on the lifetime of the composer, 1530-80, probably the oldest tune to date.
Since it is such an old tune, I figured a few more voices would be appropriate, so I recorded each part 3 times. After recording, I panned the voices to sequential areas in the stereo mix and applied the Reverb Effect with the “Church Hall” settings.
Lutheran Service Book and Hymnal Hymn number 8, Second Version, aka “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates!” arranged for Soprano and Bass Clarinets.
MACHT HOCH DIE TUR
8 8, 8 8, 8 8, 6 6.
Freylinghausen’s Gesangbuch, 1704
Georg Weissel, 1590-1635
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-78 a.
This is kind of a more interesting arrangement, more 4ths used as intervals. Very fragile harmonies. I really tried to play delicately, yet concentratedly as I could, and be as close in intonation as possible. Tricky on the bass clarinet while playing so quietly! I recorded the Soprano vocal part twice on soprano clarinet, and the rest of the parts once. As usual processed it with the “Large Room” Reverb effect in Audacity.
Hymn No 8 (First Version) from the Lutheran Service Book and Hymnal, aka “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates!”, arranged for Soprano and Bass Clarinets.
Psalmodia Evangelica, 1789
Georg Weissel, 1590-1635
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-78
My clarinet teacher frequently tells me that I need to concentrate my sound and use dynamics in my playing. So, for this one, I tried to concentrate on my playing and sound as much as possible and keep it under control. I also played further from the microphone.
“Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Awake, calls the voice to us), BWV 140, also known as Sleepers Wake, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, regarded as one of his most mature and popular sacred cantatas. He composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig for the 27th Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 25 November 1731.”
My wife was reading the lyrics I had posted with the previous version of the hymn, (007.ServiceBookAndHymnal) and said, “This sounds scary! What is it about?”
I have to say, I hadn’t given it much thought, as I am pretty shallow. To me it was more about the idea that during different parts of our lives we are often “asleep” and it takes some thought, or an event, to “wake” us out of the slumber of everyday events.
Philipp Nicolai lived in Germany during the Plague years. He had seen friends and colleagues fall victim to it. It was a pretty terrible time to be alive. It probably seemed to him like the end of the world wasn’t too far off.
The Hymn references several things, first what is called, “The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins“, which comes from the New Testament of the Christian Bible, (Matthew 25:1–13,) which is usually interpreted to be about being prepared for Christ’s return to earth. It also references some scary bits from the book of Revelation. My favorite line, (“eye hath not seen, nor ear heard”,) comes from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 2:9), which, ostensibly is about the amazing stuff that the true believer will see in Heaven, but to me is more about how art, including music, can transcend our ordinary lives.
For this one, with all of J.S. Bach’s eighth notes and syncopation, I kept the overdubbing down to 2 soprano and 2 bass clarinets. It’s actually a pretty challenging piece, by hymn standards.