028.TheHappyChristmas

Please turn to number 28 and join with the clarinets in, “The Happy Christmas”.

Name: EMANNUEL
Meter: L.M.
Tempo: Joyfully
Music: Carl C.N. Balle, 1806-55
Text: Nikolai F.S. Grudtvig, 1783-1872
Tr. Charles Porterfield Krauth, 1823-83

Not much to say about this one, it’s not one I remember. It’s kind of pretty and a bit folky, but no Sea Chanty. Transposed for clarinet, it did end up having 6 sharps, which is kind of annoying. Tough to remember e sharp is actually just f natural.

Here’s the clarinet arrangement: 028.ServiceBookAndHymnal

4 Soprano Clarinets on the “soprano” part, 1 Soprano Clarinet playing “alto”, 1 Soprano Clarinet playing “tenor”, and 1 bass playing, duh, “bass”. Slightly tweaked audacity “Church Hall” Reverb Effect.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

027b.OLittleTownofBethlehem

Please turn your hymnals to number 27 (Second Tune) and join with the clarinets in “O Little Town of Bethlehem”.

Name: Christmas Carol.
Meter: 8 6, 8 6, 7 6, 8 6.
Tempo: In moderate time
Music: Henry Walford Davies, 1869-1941
Text: Phillips Brooks, 1835-93

A second version of this hymn. I’d say it’s Baroque-like, except that Baroque, with the tune being written some time between 1869 and 1941, was long past its expiration date when this version was written.

This is what I can find about this version:

Two versions also exist by H. Walford Davies, called “Wengen”, and “Christmas carol”.[7][8] “Wengen” was published in Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1922,[9] meanwhile “Christmas Carol” is usually performed only by choirs rather than as a congregational hymn. This is because the first two verses are for treble voices with organ accompaniment, with only the final verse as a chorale/refrain harmony. This setting includes a recitative from the Gospel of Luke at the beginning, and cuts verses 2 and 4 of the original 5-verse carol. This version is often performed at the service of Nine Lessons and Carols in Kings College, Cambridge.[10]

Here’s the pdf of the clarinet arrangement: 027b.ServiceBookAndHymnal

It was kind of fun challenge to myself to play all the parts of the tunes. Some pretty challenging counterpoint going on in the harmonies, even if it really isn’t an improvement on the original.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

027.OLittleTownofBethlehem

Please turn your hymnals to number 27 and join with the clarinets in “O Little Town of Bethlehem (First Tune)”.

Name: ST. LOUIS (REDNER).
Meter: 8 6, 8 6, 7 6, 8 6.
Tempo: Quietly
Music: Lewis Henry Redner, 1831-1908
Text: Phillips Brooks, 1835-93

It is a beautiful hymn.

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep,
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

Here’s the pdf of my arrangement: 027.ServiceBookAndHymnal

I ended up playing the soprano part 4 times, the alto part once, the tenor part once, and the Bass part twice. So, ultimately, 8 clarinets. Again used a tweaked version of the Audacity Reverb effect.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

026.AllMyHeartThisNightRejoices

Please turn your hymnals to number 26 and join with the clarinets in, “All My Heart This Night Rejoices”.

Name: Warum Sollt Ich
Meter: 8, 3 3, 6. D.
Tempo: Briskly
Music: Johann Georg Ebeling, 1637-76
Text: Paul Gerhardt, 1607-76
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-78

I feel like I was unfamiliar with this Christmas hymn, but it is actually really nice.

All my heart this night rejoices,
As I hear, far and near,
Sweetest angel voices;
‘Christ is born,’ their choirs are singing,
Till the air everywhere,
Now with joy is ringing.

Hark! A voice from yonder manger,
Soft and sweet, doth entreat,
‘Flee from woe and danger;
Brethern, come; from all that grieves you
You are freed; all you need
I will surely give you.’

Come then, let us hasten yonder;
Here let all, great and small,
Kneel in awe and wonder,
Love him who with love is yearning
Hail the star that from far
Bright with hope is burning.

Here’s the arrangement for 4 clarinets: 26.ServiceBookAndHymnal

The first time I got to playing this, it was really late in the evening. Somehow I ended up playing it through very quickly and was experimenting with a certain attack on the notes. Turned out kind of cool, even though it wasn’t what I was thinking for the actual hymn.

After experimenting with that track for a couple days, I went back and redid it more traditionally.

I dunno, I like both.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

025.HarkTheHeraldAngelsSing

Please turn to hymn number 25 and join with the clarinets in “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”.

Name: MENDELSSOHN
Meter: 7 7, 7 7, D.
Tempo: In moderate time
Music: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy 1809-47
Text: Paul Gerhardt, 1607-76
Tr. Catherine Winkworth

Another oldie, but goodie.

First off, famous composer alert!

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (German: [ˈjaːkɔp ˈluːtvɪç ˈfeːlɪks ˈmɛndl̩szoːn baʁˈtɔldi]; 3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847), born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn,[n 1] was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.

From the wikipedia article regarding “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”:

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” is a Christmas carol that first appeared in 1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems, having been written by Charles Wesley. Wesley had requested and received slow and solemn music for his lyrics, not the joyful tune expected today.

In 1855, English musician William H. Cummings adapted Felix Mendelssohn‘s secular music from Festgesang to fit the lyrics of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” written by Charles Wesley.[12] Wesley envisioned the song being sung to the same tune as his Easter song “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today“,[13] and in some hymnals that tune is included for “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” along with the more popular Mendelssohn-Cummings tune.[14]

Also, from the wikipedia article on Mendelssohn:

The hymn tune Mendelssohn – an adaptation by William Hayman Cummings of a melody from Mendelssohn’s cantata Festgesang (Festive Hymn) – is the standard tune forCharles Wesley‘s popular hymn Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. This extract from an originally secular 1840s composition, which Mendelssohn felt unsuited to sacred music,[93]

Funny, so neither the text’s author nor the music’s composer liked what eventually became the most popular version of the song! There’s probably a lesson there about popular taste.

Here’s my arrangement for 5 clarinets: 025.ServiceBookAndHymnal

There were some alternate melodies, so I actually ended up with 1 Clarinet playing the “soprano” part, 2 Clarinets doing the “alto” parts, 1 Clarinet playing the “tenor” part, and 2 Bass clarinets doing the “bass” parts in the final recording. Total of 6 clarinet parts. I’ve been tweaking the Audacity “Church” Reverb effect presets so that it has less effect on the levels of the tune.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal