A very short hymn, only 8 lines, I waffled on how to treat it. Should I play it really slowly?
Many times, very quickly? I took a middle route, at 80bpm, and played it 4 times. Repetition is interesting.
“FILITZ, Friedrich. b. Arnstadt, Thuringia, 16 Mar 1804; d. Bonn, 8 Dec 1876. Filitz graduated in philosophy and worked as a music critic and historian in Berlin (1843-47) before moving to Munich where he wrote Über einige Interessen der älteren Kirchenmusik (1853). The hymn tunes associated with Filitz were originally published in two books. Together with Ludwig Erk, he published Vierstimmige Choralsätze der vornehmsten Meister des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts (Essen, 1845). He also compiled Vierstimmiges Choralbuch zu Kirchen- und Hausgebrauch (Berlin, 1847).”
Romantic classically inspired Jazz, I guess you would call this. But, Romantic, as in Chopin, Scumann, Liszt, Tchaikovsky; not Romance, as in “Without Finance”. Though, I’m sure playing this music isn’t particularly remunerative, as they do a fair bit of “egg scrambling”.
Rebecca Foon’s second album as Saltland for Constellation Records, featuring Australian Violinist Warren Ellis on a number of tracks, is a Dream/Drone masterwork. Lovely. Hat-tip to the wonderful Michele K-Tel for bringing this one home.
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.
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.
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.
“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.