117b-Come, Holy Ghost

Please turn your hymnals to number 117 (Second Tune) and join the clarinets in, “Come, Holy Ghost”.

Number: 117 (Second Tune)
First Line: Come, Holy Ghost
Name: THANKSGIVING.
Tempo: Slowly
Music: John Bacchus Dykes, 1823-76
Text: Based on Veni, Creator Spiritus
Tr. John Cosin, 1594-1672

Clarinet Arrangement: 117b-ComeHolyGhost

At age 12, Dykes be­came as­sist­ant or­gan­ist at St. John’s Church in Hull, where his grand­fa­ther was vicar. He stu­died at Wake­field and St. Cath­er­ine’s Hall in Cam­bridge, where he was a Dikes Scholar, Pre­si­dent of the Cam­bridge Uni­vers­i­ty Mu­sic­al So­ci­e­ty, and earned a BA in Clas­sics. In 1848, he be­came cur­ate at Malton, York­shire. For a short time, he was canon of Dur­ham Ca­thed­ral, then pre­cent­or (1849-1862). In 1862 he be­came Vi­car of St. Os­wald’s, Dur­ham (he named a son John St. Os­wald Dykes, and one of his tunes St. Oswald).

Dykes pub­lished ser­mons and ar­ti­cles on re­li­gion, but is best known for com­pos­ing over 300 hymn tunes. In his mu­sic, as in his ec­cles­i­as­tic­al work, he was less dog­ma­tic than ma­ny of his con­temp­o­rar­ies about the the­o­log­ic­al con­tro­ver­sies of the day—he oft­en ful­filled re­quests for tunes for non-Anglican hymns. In ad­di­tion to his gift for writ­ing mu­sic, he played the or­gan, pi­ano, vi­o­lin, and horn.

As written, this hymn has 4 sharps, which means, when transposed for b flat clarinet, that it ends up with 6 sharps. Ouch. Remembering that “E Sharp” is “F” and “A Sharp” is “B Flat”, taxes my feeble brain, but I tried my best to perform this piece accurately. Other than the mental games required for that, it is not that challenging a hymn, and mercifully short.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

2017-05-11 Big Walnuts Yonder

Big Walnuts Yonder by Big Walnuts Yonder.

Greg Saunier. Mike Watt.

Really, you could put almost anything on top of a rhythm section this solid and it would sound good. Kind of gravy that we get Nels Cline’s nuevo-television squonk and Nick Reinhart’s Coyne-esque yodelling. Propulsive.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #BigWalnutsYonder #NelsCline #NickReinhart #GregSaunier #MikeWatt

2017-05-10 Semper Femina

Semper Femina. Laura Marling.

Lest you think all I listen to is Jazz and Improv. I enjoy Ms Marling’s vocal performance so much, I find the production choices on Semper Femina, (string sections, loud guitars, overdubs, etc.) distract a bit from what I consider her strengths as a performer. But I appreciate a restless spirit.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #LauraMarling #SemperFemina

117a-Come, Holy Ghost

Please turn your hymnals to number 117 (first version) and join with the clarinets in, “Come, Holy Ghost”.

Number: 117 (First Version)
First Line: Come, Holy Ghost
Name: VENI, CREATOR SPIRITUS.
Meter: L.M.
Tempo: Unison, broadly
Music: Plainsong Melody, Mode VIII
Arr. Winfred Douglas, 1867-1944
Text: Based on Veni, Creator Spiritus
Tr. John Cosin, 1594-1672

Clarinet Arrangement: 117a-ComeHolyGhost

“Veni, Creator Spiritus” is a venerable Latin Hymn whose origins date to the first century of the church.

Veni, Creator Spiritus (“Come Creator Spirit”) is a hymn believed to have been written by Rabanus Maurus in the 9th century. When the original Latin text is used, it is normally sung in Gregorian Chant. As an invocation of the Holy Spirit, in the practice of the Roman Catholic Church it is sung during the liturgical celebration of the feast of Pentecost (at both Terce and Vespers). It is also sung at occasions such as the entrance of Cardinals to the Sistine Chapel, when electing a new pope, as well as at the consecration of bishops, the ordination of priests, when celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation, the dedication of churches, the celebration of synods or councils, the coronation of kings, the profession of members of religious institutes and other similar solemn events.

Interestingly, it has been most copiously adapted and used by modern composers by everyone from Mahler to Stockhausen.

A motet for women’s voices to the text was among the last works of Hector Berlioz. Gustav Mahler set the Latin text to music in Part I of his Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major. Maurice Duruflé used the chant tune as the basis for his symphonic organ composition “Prélude, Adagio et Choral varié sur le thème du ‘Veni Creator'” in 1926/1930. Paul Hindemith concludes his Concerto for Organ and Orchestra with a Phantasy on “Veni, Creator Spiritus.” Krzysztof Penderecki wrote a motet for mixed choir, and the text has been set for chorus and orchestra by Cristóbal Halffter. Karlheinz Stockhausen used the text in the second hour of his Klang cycle in a piece for two singing harpists titled Freude (Joy).

For me, some of these early hymns are the hardest, not only because they are difficult to transcribe, but also because the harmonies are more asymetrical and complex than more modern hymns. There is a lot of unusual counting involved.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

116-To The Realms Of Glory

Please turn your hymnals to number 116 and join with the clarinets in “To The Realms of Glory”.

Number: 116
First Line: To the Realms of Glory
Name: MACH’S MIT MIR, GOTT. (EISENBACH)
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 8 8.
Tempo: Joyfully
Music: Johann Hermann Schein
Text: Johan Olaf Wallin, 1779-1839
Tr. Claude William Foss, 1855-1935

Clarinet Arrangement: 116-ToRealmsOfGlory

It’s kind of odd that this tune, “Mach’s Mir, Gott (nach deiner Güt)”, Schein’s Hymn for the “sick and dying” is used here as a setting for a text that is celebrating Ascension, or the return of Jesus Christ to Heaven after his resurrection.

The tune itself is an odd affair that I struggled to find phrasing for. Maybe it is that disconnect between intention of the tune and the text that I was sensing, before I even looked up its history.

The text does have some nice turns of phrase that will echo through many other hymns, gospel and otherwise. I especially like the first verse.

1. To realms of glory in the skies
I see my Lord returning,
While I, a stranger in the earth,
For heaven am ever yearning.
’Mid toil and sorrow here I roam,
Far from my heavenly Father’s home.

2. Yet visions of the promised land
By faith my soul obtaineth;
There shall I dwell forevermore
Where Christ in glory reigneth;
In mansions of that bright abode,
The city of the living God.

3. In that blest city is no night,
Nor any pain or weeping;
There is my treasure, there my heart,
Safe in the Savior’s keeping;
In Heaven, my risen Lord, with Thee
May all my thought and living be.

4. How blessèd shall those servants be,
O Lord, at Thy returning,
Whose hearts are waiting still for Thee,
Whose lamps are trimmed and burning;
Them wilt Thou take to dwell with Thee
In joy and peace eternally.

Anyway, regarding Ascension itself, there’s some deep and very old tradition related to this holiday, that probably goes back to pre-Christian traditions in celebration of Spring.

The Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,[1] also known as Ascension Thursday, Holy Thursday, or Ascension Day,[2][3] commemorates the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. It is one of the ecumenical feasts (i.e., universally celebrated) of Christian churches, ranking with the feasts of the Passion, of Easter, and Pentecost. Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter (following the count given in Acts 1:3), although some Christian denominations have moved the observance to the following Sunday.

The observance of this feast is of great antiquity. Eusebius seems to hint at the celebration of it in the 4th century.[4] At the beginning of the 5th century, St. Augustine says that it is of Apostolic origin, and he speaks of it in a way that shows it was the universal observance of the Church long before his time. Frequent mention of it is made in the writings of St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and in the Constitution of the Apostles. The Pilgrimage of Aetheria speaks of the vigil of this feast and of the feast itself, as they were kept in the church built over the grotto in Bethlehem in which Christ is traditionally regarded as having been born.[5] It may be that prior to the 5th century the fact narrated in the Gospels was commemorated in conjunction with the feast of Easter or Pentecost. Some believe that the much-disputed forty-third decree of the Synod of Elvira (c. 300) condemning the practice of observing a feast on the fortieth day after Easter and neglecting to keep Pentecost on the fiftieth day, implies that the proper usage of the time was to commemorate the Ascension along with Pentecost. Representations of the mystery[clarification needed] are found in diptychs and frescoes dating as early as the 5th century.[citation needed]

Certain customs or rituals were connected with the liturgy of this feast, such as the blessing of beans and grapes after the Commemoration of the Dead in the Canon of the Mass, the blessing of first fruits, afterwards done on Rogation Days, the blessing of a candle, the wearing of mitres by deacon and subdeacon, the extinguishing of the paschal candle, and triumphal processions with torches and banners outside the churches to commemorate the entry of Christ into heaven.

The antiquarian Daniel Rock records the English custom of carrying at the head of the procession the banner bearing the device of the lion and at the foot the banner of the dragon, to symbolize the triumph of Christ in his ascension over the evil one (and can also be interpreted by analogy as the triumph of England over Wales). In some churches the scene of the Ascension was vividly reproduced by elevating the figure of Christ above the altar through an opening in the roof of the church. In others, whilst the figure of Christ was made to ascend, that of the devil was made to descend.

In England it was once common for churches to “beat the bounds” on this day, and some continue the custom (e.g. the church of St Michael at the North Gate in Oxford). Members of the parish walk round the parish boundaries, marking boundary stones (e.g. by writing on them in chalk) and hitting them with sticks. According to some, it was once the young boys of the parish that were hit with sticks instead of the stones. Knowledge of the parish boundaries was once important, since churches had certain duties such as the care of children born out of wedlock in the parish.

In some countries (at least in Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany (since the 1930s), Haiti, Iceland, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Namibia, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Vanuatu) it is a public holiday; Germany also holds its Fathers’ Day on the same date.

Coinciding with the liturgical feast is the annual commemoration by the Christian labour movement (especially syndical, in Belgium) of the encyclical Rerum novarum issued by the Roman Catholic Pope Leo XIII on May 15, 1891.

In Venice the ceremony of the Wedding with the Sea was traditionally celebrated on the Feast of the Ascension, while in Florence the Feast was observed by having a dove slide down a string from the high altar of the cathedral to ignite a large decorative container filled with fireworks in front of the main entrance of the cathedral.

In Portugal on “Wheatstalk Thursday”, small bundles of poppies and wheatstalks are picked in the fields and placed at home until next year, for good fortune.

 

*Schein, Johann Hermann, son of Hieronymus Schein, pastor at Griinhain, near Annaberg, in Saxony, was born at Grünhain, Jan. 20,1586. He matriculated at the University of Leipzig in 1607, and studied there for four years. Thereafter he acted for some time as a private tutor, including two years with a family at Weissenfels. On May 21, 1615, he was appointed Capellmeister, at the court of Duke Johann Ernst, of Sachse-Weimar; and in 1616 he became cantor of I3t. Thomas’s Church, and music director at Leipzig, in succession to Seth Calvisius (d. Nov. 24, 1615). This post he held till his death, at Leipzig, Nov. 19, 1630.

Schein was one of the most distinguished musicians of his time, both as an original composer, and as a harmoniser of the works of others. As a hymnwriter he was not so prolific, or so noteworthy. Most of his hymns were written on the deaths of his children or friends, e.g. on seven of his children, and on his first wife. They appeared mostly in broadsheet form, and were included, along with his original melodies, in his Cantional oder Gesang-Buch Augspurgischer Confession, Leipzig, 1627; 2nd ed., 1645. [Both in Wernigerode Library.]

Those of Schein’s hymns which have passed into English are:—
i. Machs mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Güt. For the Dying. First published, as a broadsheet, at Leipzig, 1628, as a Trost-Liedlein á 5 (i.e. for 5 voices), &c. [Berlin Library.] The words, the melody, and the five-part setting, are all by Schein. It was written for, and first used at, the funeral, on Dec. 15, 1628, of Margarita, wife of Caspar Werner, a builder and town councillor at Leipzig, and a churchwarden of St. Thomas’s. It is in 6 stanzas of 6 lines; the initial letters of 11. 1, 3, in st. i.-iv., forming the name Margarita; and the W of st. v. 1. 1 standing for Werner. In Schein’s Cantional, 1645, No. 303 (marked as Trost-Liedlein, Joh. Herm. Scheins, á 5), and later hymn-books, as e.g. the Unverfäschter Liedersegen, 1851, No. 830, st. vi. was omitted. It is Schein’s finest production, and one of the best German hymns for the sick and dying. Translated as:—
Deal with me, God, in mercy now. This is a good and full translation by Miss Winkworth, in her Chorale Book for England, 1863, No. 191, set to Schein’s melody of 1628.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

2017-05-04 Førage

Førage. Matt Mitchell.

Grace and beauty aren’t characteristics I normally associate with Tim Berne’s harmonically restless and radically syncopated pieces. However, on this solo piano recording of his works by Matt Mitchell, there are some astoundingly beautiful and graceful passages.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #MattMitchell #TimBerne #ScrewgunRecords #Screwgub

115-GoldenHarpsAreSounding

Please turn your hymnals to number 115 and join with the clarinets in, “Golden Harps are Sounding”.

Number: 115
First Line: Golden Harps are Sounding
Name: HERMAS.
Meter: 6 5, 6 5. With Refrain.
Tempo: Brightly
Music: Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-79
Text: Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-79

Clarinet Arrangement: 115-GoldenHarpsAreSounding

More Anglicans and children’s poets.

Frances Ridley Havergal (14 December 1836 – 3 June 1879) was an English religious poet and hymn writer. Take My Life and Let it Be and Thy Life for Me (also known as I Gave My Life for Thee) are two of her best known hymns. She also wrote hymn melodies, religious tracts, and works for children.

Havergal was born into an Anglican family, at Astley in Worcestershire. Her father, William Henry Havergal (1793–1870), was a clergyman, writer, composer, and hymnwriter. Her brother, Henry East Havergal, was a priest in the Church of England and an organist.

In 1852/3 she studied in the Louisenschule, Düsseldorf, and at Oberkassel. Otherwise she led a quiet life, not enjoying consistent good health; she travelled, in particular to Switzerland. She supported the Church Missionary Society.

Frances Ridley Havergal died of peritonitis near Caswell Bay on the Gower Peninsula in Wales at age 42. She is buried in the far western corner of the churchyard at St Peter’s parish church, Astley, together with her father and near her sister, Maria Vernon Graham Havergal.[1]

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal