A pleasantly minor, and old-fashioned hymn, especially considering its relative youth.
Especially unusual, for a Lutheran Hymn, in that it is 5/4, an “uneven” meter more common in folk music. On the other hand, not all that surprising considering the following information about the composer. (The following was translated from the Finnish language wikipedia.)
Already in his studies, Nyberg collected folk tales from Southwest and Central Finland.He composed, in particular, spiritual solo and choir songs, school and children’s songs, singers and beggars in the choir book of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church . The current hymnbook contains Nyberg’s hymn number 631, Oi Lord, if I travel a country .He has also written a script 342, so wonderful is the praise, the original Swedish-language words, spoken by Alpo Noponen in Finnish.In addition, Nyberg has translated some other, original Swedish-language hymns  Nyberg published in 1890 a collection of spiritual folk tales ( The People’s Gift to the Church ) together with Ilmari Krohn.
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.
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
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.
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.
Please turn your hymnals to number 121 and join with the clarinets in, “Come, Holy Ghost”.
First Line: Come, Holy Ghost
Meter: 6 6 4, 6 6 6 4.
Tempo: In moderate time
Music: The Hallelujah, 1849
Arr. by John Roberts, 1822-77
Text: Based on Veni, Sancte Spiritus
Tr. Ray Palmer, 1808-87
Veni Sancte Spiritus is one of only four medieval Sequences which were preserved in the Missale Romanum published in 1570 following the Council of Trent (1545–63). Before Trent many feasts had their own sequences. It is still sung today, having survived the liturgical changes following the Second Vatican Council.
Please turn to number 101 and join with the clarinets in “Our Lord is Risen From the Dead”.
First Line: Our Lord is Risen from the Dead
Name: WIE SCHON LEUCHTET
Tempo: With Movement
Music: Philipp Nicolai, 1556-1608
Text: Brigitte Cathrine Boye, 1742-1842
Tr. Fred C. M. Hansen, 1888-
Interestingly, like “All Hail to Thee This Blessed Morn” this is another setting of a Birgitte Cathrine Boyle text.
I do like this hymn, though I had a hard time with the improvisation on the second verse. Distracted, I think, what with the job situation, and all. That, and, the melody is just so iconic, it’s hard to think of something else which fits.
Please turn to number 100 and join with the clarinets in “Alleluia! Jesus Lives!”.
First Line: Alleluia! Jesus Lives!
Name: EASTER GLORY (FRED TIL BOD).
Meter: 7 7, 7 7, 7 7.
Music: Ludvig Matthias Lindeman, 1812-82
Text: Carl B. Garve, 1763-1841
Tr. Laurence N. Field, 1896-
We’ve covered this hymn’s composer, Ludvig Matthias Lindeman, before. He was well known for recording, documenting, and adapting Norwegian folk and worship tunes into hymns.
The text’s author is new to me. I am puzzled and interested by the section describing his hymns as, “entirely free from typically Moravian features,” and thus more adaptable to church use. Makes me want to read some “typically Moravian” hymns!
Garve, Carl Bernhard, was born Jan. 24, 1763, at Jeinsen, near Hannover, where his father was a farmer. He was educated at the Moravian schools in Zeist, and Neuwied, at their Pädagogium at Niesky, and their Seminary at Barby. In 1784 he was appointed one of the tutors at Niesky, and in 1789 at Barby; but as his philosophical lectures were thought rather unsettling in their tendency, he was sent, in 1797, to arrange the documents of the archive at Zeist. After his ordination as diaconus of the Moravian church, he was appointed, in 1799, preacher at Amsterdam; in 1801 at Ebersdorf (where he was also inspector of the training school); in 1809 at Berlin; and in 1816 at Neusalza on the Oder. Feeling the burden of years and infirmities he resigned the active duties of the ministry in 1836, and retired to Herrnhut, where he died June 21, 1841. (Koch, vii. 334-342; (Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, viii. 392-94, &c.)
Garve ranks as the most important of recent Moravian hymnwriters, Albertini being perhaps his superior in poetical gifts, but certainly not in adaptability to church use. His better productions are almost entirely free from typically Moravian features; and in them Holy Scripture is used in a sound and healthful spirit. They are distinguished by force and at the same time elegance of style, and are full of deep love and devotion to the Saviour. Many of them have passed into the German Evangelical hymnbooks, no less than 36 being included in the Berlin Gesange-Buch 1829; and of those noted below No. i. is to be found in almost all recent German collections. They appeared mostly in the two following collections, both of which are to be found in the Town Library, Hamburg: (1) Christliche Gesänge, Görlitz, 1825, with 303 hymns, a few being recasts from other authors. (2) Brüdergesange, Gnadau, 1827, with 65 hymns intended principally for use in the Moravian Communion.
I had a really hard time the hymnprovisation on this hymn, I guess in no small part because it ends up mostly in the key of E (aka 4 sharps). Eventually, I went back and tried to keep my improvisations closer to the notes of the actual melody and came up with some rhythmic changes I liked.
There isn’t much information about either the composer or author of this hymn, aside from the fact that the tune is called “HAWARDEN” an was composed by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, who was the son of composer Samuel Wesley, and grandson of Methodist hymnwriter Charles Wesley.
Please turn to number 95 (Second Tune) and join with the clarinets in “At The Lamb’s High Feast We Sing”.
First Line: At The Lamb’s High Feast We Sing
Meter: 7 7, 7 7, D.
Tempo: In moderate time
Music: John Richardson, 1816-79
Text: Based on the Latin
Tr. Robert Campbell, 1814-68 a.
If you’ve been following the blog since last October, you may remember I recorded “Tichfield” under the name “Songs of Thankfulness“. Same tune used here for “At the Lamb’s High Feast we Sing”. In any case, this version is all clarinets, has a different feel, and includes a verse of “Hymnprovisation”.
Please turn to number 95 (First Tune), and join with the clarinets in “At The Lamb’s High Feast We Sing”.
Number: 95 (First Tune)
First Line: At The Lamb’s High Feast We Sing
Name: SALZBURG (ALLE MENSCHEN).
Meter: 7 7, 7 7. D.
Tempo: With Vigor
Music: Jakob Hintze, 1622-1702
Harm. by J. S. Bach, 1685-1750
Text: Based on the Latin
Tr. Robert Campbell, 1814-68 a.
It’s always a pleasure, and a bit of a challenge, to negotiate a J.S. Bach arrangement.
This one was particularly challenging, as the program I had been using to record audio, Audacity, started to act up inexplicably. Try as I might, I have not yet got it back to behaving normally.
So I had to learn a new “Digital Audio Workstation” program. The next step up from Audacity seems to be Apple’s limited version of Logic Pro X, which it calls “Garageband”.
However, moving from what is a very advanced audio editor to a full fledged DAW is a bit of a change of work flow. So it took me a while to get the hang of how to do things in Garageband.
Regarding the text of the hymn:
Campbell, Robert. Advocate, of Sherrington, Scotland, was born at Trochmig, Ayrshire, Dec. 19, 1814. When quite a boy he attended the University of Glasgow. Though showing from his earliest years a strong predilection for Theological studies, eventually he fixed upon the Scottish law as a profession. To this end he entered the Law Classes of the University of Edinburgh, and in due course entered upon the duties of an advocate. Originally a Presbyterian, at an early age he joined the Episcopal Church of Scotland. He became a zealous and devoted Churchman, directing his special attention to the education of the children of the poor. His classical attainments were good, and his general reading extensive. In 1848 he began a series of translations of Latin hymns. These he submitted to Dr. Neale, Dr. Mills of Ely, and other competent judges. In 1850, a selection therefrom, together with a few of his original hymns, and a limited number from other writers, was published as Hymns and Anthems for Use in the Holy Services of the Church within the United Diocese of St. Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane. Edinburgh, R. Lendrum & Co.
This collection, known as the St. Andrews Hymnal, received the special sanction of Bishop Torry, and was used throughout the Diocese for some years. Two years after its publication he joined the Roman Catholic Church. During the next sixteen years he devoted much time to the young and poor. He died at Edinburgh, Dec. 29, 1868.
From his collection of 1850, four translations were given in Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861, “At the Lamb’s high feast we sing;” “Come, pure hearts, in sweetest measures;” “Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem;” ” Ye servants of a martyr’d God” (altered). Attention was thereby directed to his translations. They are smooth, musical, and well sustained. A large number, not included in his 1850 collection, were left by him in manuscript. From these Mr. O.Shipley has printed several in his Annus Sanctus, 1884. (C. MSS.)
And the tune:
The tune SALZBURG, named after the Austrian city made famous by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was first published anonymously in the nineteenth edition of Praxis Pietatis Melica (1678); in that hymnbook’s twenty-fourth edition (1690) the tune was attributed to Jakob Hintze (b. Bernau, Germany, 1622; d. Berlin, Germany, 1702). Partly as a result of the Thirty Years’ War and partly to further his musical education, Hintze traveled widely as a youth, including trips to Sweden and Lithuania. In 1659 he settled in Berlin, where he served as court musician to the Elector of Brandenburg from 1666 to 1695. Hintze is known mainly for his editing of the later editions of Johann Crüger’s (PHH 42) Praxis Pietatis Melica, to which he contributed some sixty-five of his original tunes.
The harmonization by Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) is simplified from his setting in his Choralgesänge (Rejoice in the Lord  and The Hymna1 1982  both contain Bach’s full harmonization). The tune is a rounded bar form (AABA) easily sung in harmony. But sing the refrain line in unison with full organ registration.
Please turn to number 94 (First Tune) and join with the clarinets on “That Easter Day”.
Number: 94 (First Tune)
First Line: That Easter Day
Name: PUER NOBILIS.
Tempo: In unison. Brightly
Music: Plainsong Melody
Adapted by Michael Praetorius, 1571-1621
Harm. by George R. Woodward, 1848-1939
Text: Latin hymn, IV or V cent.
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66 a.
I found this hymn to be very pleasant and powerful to play.
The tune for this one is very old:
PUER NOBIS is a melody from a fifteenth-century manuscript from Trier. However, the tune probably dates from an earlier time and may even have folk roots. PUER NOBIS was altered in Spangenberg’s Christliches GesangbUchlein (1568), in Petri’s famous Piae Cantiones (1582), and again in Praetorius’s (PHH 351) Musae Sioniae (Part VI, 1609), which is the basis for the triple-meter version used in the 1987 Psalter Hymnal. Another form of the tune in duple meter is usually called PUER NOBIS NASCITUR. The tune name is taken from the incipit of the original Latin Christmas text, which was translated into German by the mid-sixteenth century as “Uns ist geborn ein Kindelein,” and later in English as “Unto Us a Boy Is Born.” The harmonization is from the 1902 edition of George R. Woodward’s (PHH 403) Cowley Carol Book.
–Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988
But the harmonies are relatively modern:
George Ratcliffe Woodward (27 December 1848 – 3 March 1934) was an English Anglican priest who wrote mostly religious verse, both original and translated from ancient authors. The best-known of these were written to fit traditional melodies, mainly of the Renaissance. He sometimes harmonised these melodies himself, but usually left this to his frequent collaborator, composer Charles Wood.
I had a hard time with the “hymnprovisation” section on this one. It’s a pretty long hymn, as they go, and it took me a while to find an entry. Eventually, I settled on using a piece of the rhythm as a way to tie it together.
Another Easter hymn, no “Alleluias” this time.
As a hymn-writer Charles Wesley was unique. He is said to have written no less than 6500 hymns, and though, of course, in so vast a number some are of unequal merit, it is perfectly marvellous how many there are which rise to the highest degree of excellence. His feelings on every occasion of importance, whether private or public, found their best expression in a hymn. His own conversion, his own marriage, the earthquake panic, the rumours of an invasion from France, the defeat of Prince Charles Edward at Culloden, the Gordon riots, every Festival of the Christian Church, every doctrine of the Christian Faith, striking scenes in Scripture history, striking scenes which came within his own view, the deaths of friends as they passed away, one by one, before him, all furnished occasions for the exercise of his divine gift. Nor must we forget his hymns for little children, a branch of sacred poetry in which the mantle of Dr. Watts seems to have fallen upon him. It would be simply impossible within our space to enumerate even those of the hymns which have become really classical. The saying that a really good hymn is as rare an appearance as that of a comet is falsified by the work of Charles Wesley; for hymns, which are really good in every respect, flowed from his pen in quick succession, and death alone stopped the course of the perennial stream.