095a.AtTheLambsHighFeastWeSing

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.

Clarinet Arrangement: 095a-AtTheLambsHighFeastWeSing

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 [231] and The Hymna1 1982 [135] 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.

–Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

094a.ThatEasterDay

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.
Meter: L.M.
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.

Clarinet Arrangement: 094a-ThatEasterDay

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.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

091.ChristTheLordIsRisenToday

Please turn to number 91 and join with the clarinets in “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”.

Number: 91
First Line: Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Name: ST. GEORGE’S, WINDSOR.
Meter: 7 7, 7 7. D.
Tempo: With spirit
Music: George Joe Elvey, 1816-93
Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-88

Clarinet Arrangement: 091-ChristTheLordIsRisenToday

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.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

090.TheStrifeIsOer

Please turn to number 90 and join with the clarinets in “The Strife is O’er”.

Number: 90
First Line: The Strife is O’er
Name: VICTORY.
Meter: 8 8 8. With Alleluias.
Tempo: Broadly, with dignity
Music: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrini, 1525-94
Adapted by William Henry Monk, 1823-89
Alleluias by William Henry Monk, 1823-89
Text: Latin, XVII cent.
Tr. Francis Pott, 1832-1909

Clarinet Arrangement: 090-TheStrifeIsOer

Wow, William Henry Monk gets a special credit just for his “Alleluias” on this tune!

We’ve finished up with the delightfully minor hymns of Good Friday and are now moving on to Easter. Alleluias will abound.

Palestrina, on the other hand, was a very important composer of the Italian Renaissance.

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525 – February 1594)[1] was an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music and the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition.[2] He had a lasting influence on the development of church music, and his work has often been seen as the culmination of Renaissance polyphony.[2]

One of the hallmarks of Palestrina’s music is that dissonances are typically relegated to the “weak” beats in a measure.[9] This produced a smoother and more consonant type of polyphony which is now considered to be definitive of late Renaissance music, given Palestrina’s position as Europe’s leading composer (along with Orlande de Lassus) in the wake of Josquin des Prez (d. 1521). The “Palestrina style” now serves as a basis for college Renaissance counterpoint classes, thanks in large part to the efforts of the 18th-century composer and theorist Johann Joseph Fux, who, in a book called Gradus ad Parnassum (Steps to Parnassus, 1725), set about codifying Palestrina’s techniques as a pedagogical tool for students of composition. Fux applied the term “species counterpoint“, which entails a series of steps whereby students work out progressively more elaborate combinations of voices while adhering to certain strict rules. Fux did make a number of stylistic errors, however, which have been corrected by later authors (notably Knud Jeppesen and Morris). Palestrina’s own music contains ample instances in which his rules have been followed to the letter, as well as many where they are freely broken.

According to Fux, Palestrina had established and followed these basic guidelines:

  • The flow of music is dynamic, not rigid or static.
  • Melody should contain few leaps between notes. (Jeppesen: “The line is the starting point of Palestrina’s style.”)[9]
  • If a leap occurs, it must be small and immediately countered by stepwise motion in the opposite direction.
  • Dissonances are to be confined to passing notes and weak beats. If one falls on a strong beat, it is to be immediately resolved.
Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

088a.OSacredHead

Please turn to number 88 (First Tune) and join with the clarinets in “O Sacred Head”. It is also permissible to sing Paul Simon’s “American Tune”.

Number: 88 (First Tune)
First Line: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
Name: PASSION CHORALE.
Meter: 7 6, 7 6. D.
Tempo: With devotion
Music: Hans Leo Hassler, 1564-1612
Text: Ascribed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 1091-1153
Paul Gerhardt, 1607-76
Tr. James Waddel Alexander, 1804-59 a.

Clarinet Arrangement: 088a.OSacredHead

I was practicing this and my wife said, “Are you learning Paul Simon’s ‘American Tune’ as a Valentine’s Day Surprise?”

I said, “Funny you mention that. I was just reading how Paul Simon used ‘O Sacred Head’s’ tune for his song, ‘American Tune’!”

This hymn is well enough known that it has its very own entry in wikipedia: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

Original Latin

Further information: Membra Jesu Nostri

The hymn is based on a long medieval Latin poem, Salve mundi salutare,[1] with stanzas addressing the various parts of Christ‘s body hanging on the Cross. The last part of the poem, from which the hymn is taken, is addressed to Christ’s head, and begins “Salve caput cruentatum.” The poem is often attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), but is now attributed to the Medieval poet Arnulf of Leuven (died 1250). The seven cantos were used for the text of Dieterich Buxtehude‘s Membra Jesu Nostri addressing the various members of the crucified body.

German translation

The poem was translated into German by the Lutheran hymnist Paul Gerhardt (1607–1676). He reworked the Latin version to suggest a more personal contemplation of the events of Christ’s death on the cross.[2] It first appeared in Johann Crüger‘s hymnal Praxis pietatis melica in 1656. Although Gerhardt translated the whole poem, it is the closing section which has become best known, and is sung as a hymn in its own right. The German hymn begins with “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden”.

English translation

The hymn was first translated into English in 1752 by John Gambold (1711–1771), an Anglican vicar in Oxfordshire. His translation begins, “O Head so full of bruises.” In 1830 a new translation of the hymn was made by an American Presbyterian minister, James Waddel Alexander (1804-1859). Alexander’s translation, beginning “O sacred head, now wounded,” became one of the most widely used in 19th and 20th century hymnals.

The music for the German and English versions of the hymn is by Hans Leo Hassler, written around 1600 for a secular love song, “Mein G’müt ist mir verwirret“, which first appeared in print in the 1601 Lustgarten Neuer Teutscher Gesäng. The tune was appropriated and rhythmically simplified for Gerhardt’s German hymn in 1656 by Johann Crüger. Johann Sebastian Bach arranged the melody and used five stanzas of the hymn in the St Matthew Passion. He also used the hymn’s text and melody in the second movement of the cantataSehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem, BWV 159.[4] Bach used the melody on different words in his Christmas Oratorio, in the first part (no. 5). Franz Liszt included an arrangement of this hymn in the sixth station, Saint Veronica, of his Via Crucis (the Way of the Cross), S. 504a. The Danish composer Rued Langgaard composed a set of variations for string quartet on this tune. It is also employed in the final chorus of “Sinfonia Sacra”, the 9th symphony of the English composer Edmund Rubbra.

The melody of “American Tune” by Paul Simon is based on the hymn.

Peter, Paul & Mary and the Dave Brubeck Trio performed “Because all men are brothers” on their album “Summit Sessions”.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

087.ODarkestWoe

Please turn to number 87 and join with the clarinets in, “O Darkest Woe”.

Number: 87
First Line: O Darkest Woe
Name: O TRAURIGKEIT.
Meter: 4 4, 7 7, 6.
Tempo: Tenderly
Music: Mainz, 1628
Text: St. 1, anonymous
St. 2-4, Johann Rist, 1607-67
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-78

Clarinet Arrangement: 087-ODarkestWoe

Another gloomy, minor hymn. Just the sort of thing I enjoy.

O DARKEST WOE Words: Verse 1 from the Cath­o­lic Würz­burg Ge­sang­buch, 1628; vers­es 2-4, Jo­hann Rist, Himm­lische Lied­er (Lün­e­burg, Ger­ma­ny: 1641) (O Trau­rig­keit, o Herz­e­leid). Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Cath­er­ine Wink­worth, Chor­ale Book for Eng­land, 1863. Rist wrote:

The first verse of this fun­er­al hymn, along with its de­vo­tion­al mel­o­dy, came ac­ci­dent­al­ly in­to my hands. As I was great­ly pleased with it, I add­ed the other sev­en as they stand, since I could not be a par­ty to the use of the other vers­es.

Music: O Trau­rig­keit, com­pos­er un­known (Mainz, Ger­ma­ny: 1628)

O darkest woe! Ye tears, forth flow!
Has earth so sad a wonder?
God the Father’s only Son
Now lies buried yonder.

O sorrow dread!
God’s Son is dead!
But by His expiation
Of our guilt upon the cross
Gained for us salvation.

O sinful man, it was the ban
Of death on thee that brought Him
Down to suffer for thy sins,
And such woe hath wrought Him.

Behold thy Lord, the Lamb of God
Blood sprinkled lies before thee,
Pouring out His life that He
May to life restore thee.

O Ground of faith,
Laid low in death,
Sweet lips, now silent sleeping!
Surely all that live must mourn
Here with bitter weeping.

O blest shall be
Eternally
Who oft in faith will ponder
Why the glorious Prince of Life
Should be buried yonder.

O Jesus blest, my Help and Rest!
With tears I pray, Lord hear me,
Make me love Thee to the last,
And in death be near me.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

086.OComeAndMournWithMe

Please turn to number 86 and join with the clarinets in “O Come and Mourn with Me”.

Number: 86
First Line: O Come and Mourn With Me
Name: ST. CROSS
Meter: L.M.
Tempo: Slowly
Music: John Bacchus Dykes, 1823-76
Text: Frederick William Faber, 1814-63

Clarinet Arrangement: 086-OComeAndMournWithMe

I really like this hymn.

However, regarding Mr Dykes, while popular in Victorian times, his tunes fell out of favor in the 20th Century.

Whereas the proliferation of Dykes’s tunes in hymnals published throughout the nineteenth century, together with some surviving correspondence by hymnal compilers and by clergymen, in the UK and overseas (including the US and Nyasaland (now Malawi)), show that his compositions were highly regarded, the end of his century brought a widespread reaction against much of the Victorian aesthetic, and Dykes’s music did not escape a censure which was often vituperative. In particular, his music was condemned for its alleged over-chromaticism (even though some 92% of his hymn tunes are either entirely, or almost entirely diatonic) [34] and for its imputed sentimentality. (Speaking of Victorian hymn-tunes generally, but evidently with Dykes in his sights [35] Vaughan Williams wrote of ‘the miasma of the languishing and sentimental hymn tunes which so often disfigure our services’ [36]) Whereas it is indeed reasonable to characterise his music as often being sentimental, his critics never paused to explain why nineteenth century church services, which were replete with sentimental imagery, prose and choreography, should not be accompanied by music of a like kind. Nor did they explain why sentimentality per se is a bad thing, nor why music invariably improves in inverse proportion to its sentimental content. As one writer put it, in a wider consideration of the subject: “Something is wrong with sentimentality: the only question is, What is it?” [37] As for Dykes’s harmonies generally (of which the twentieth century writers Erik Routley and Kenneth Long were outspoken in their disparagement), scholars in recent years have questioned the twentieth century orthodoxy which condemned Dykes’s music out of hand, with Professors Arthur Hutchings, Nicholas Temperley and (especially) Jeremy Dibble seeing the importance of Dykes’s pioneering work in moving hymn-tunes from the bland and four-square long metre tunes which had been the staple of Tate and Brady’s New Version of the Psalms.

And regarding the author of this hymn, which is nothing if not sentimental…

Frederick William Faber was born in 1814 at Calverley, then within the Parish of Calverley in the West Riding of Yorkshire,[1] where his grandfather, Thomas Faber, was the vicar. His father served the local bishop of the Church of England as his secretary.[2]

Faber attended grammar school at Bishop Auckland in County Durham for a short time, but a large portion of his boyhood was spent in Westmorland. He afterwards attended the Harrow School for five years, followed by enrollment in 1832 at Balliol College at the University of Oxford. In 1834, he obtained a scholarship at the University College, from which he graduated. In 1836 he won the Newdigate Prize for a poem on “The Knights of St John,” which elicited special praise from John Keble. Among his college friends were Arthur Penrhyn Stanley and Roundell Palmer, 1st Earl of Selborne. After graduation he was elected a fellow of the college.

Faber’s family was of Huguenot descent, and Calvinist beliefs were strongly held by them. When Faber had come to Oxford, he was exposed to the Anglo-Catholic preaching of the Oxford Movement which was beginning to develop in the Church of England. One of its most prominent proponents was the popular preacher John Henry Newman, vicar of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Faber struggled with these divergent forms of Christian beliefs and life. In order to relieve his tension, he would take long vacations in the Lake District, where he would write poetry. There he was befriended by another poet, William Wordsworth. He finally abandoned the Calvinistic views of his youth and became an enthusiastic follower of Newman.[2][3]

O come and mourn with me awhile; O come ye to the Savior’s side; O come, together let us mourn: Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

Have we no tears to shed for him, While soldiers scoff and foes deride? Ah! Look how patiently he hangs: Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

Seven times he spake, seven words of love; And all three hours his silence cried For mercy on the souls of men: Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

O love of God, O sin of man! In this dread act your strength is tried, And victory remains with love: For he, our Love, is crucified!

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

083.BeholdTheLambOfGod

Please turn to number 83 and join with the clarinets in “Behold the Lamb of God”.

Number: 83
First Line: Behold the Lamb of God
Name: WIGAN
Meter: 6 6 6 4, 8 8 4
Tempo: Devotionally
Music: Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1810-76
Text: Matthew Bridges, 1800-94 a.

Clarinet Arrangement: 083.BeholdTheLambOfGod

This is the first hymn in celebration (if that is the appropriate word) of Good Friday. Supposedly the day Jesus Christ was crucified.

The lyrics are not particularly amazing, but the tune is pretty cool. I always like a minor hymn.

This hymn is a bit challenging for Hymprovisation as it’s kind of hard to exactly tell what the keys should be. It starts in G minor, modulates to G major for a bit, then to (maybe) d major, back to d minor, and finishes in d major. All within the space of 15 measures.

However, you can mostly play in G minor for the whole thing, if you are a bit careful.

Samuel Sebastian Wesley (14 August 1810 – 19 April 1876) was an English organist and composer.

Born in London, he was the eldest child in the composer Samuel Wesley‘s second family, which he formed with Sarah Suter having separated from his wife Charlotte.[1] Samuel Sebastian was the grandson of Charles Wesley. His middle name derived from his father’s lifelong admiration for the music of Bach.

Famous in his lifetime as one of his country’s leading organists and choirmasters, he composed almost exclusively for the Church of England, which continues to cherish his memory.

One notable feature of his career is his aversion to equal temperament, an aversion which he kept for decades after this tuning method had been accepted on the Continent and even in most of England. Such distaste did not stop him from substantial use of chromaticism in several of his published compositions.

While at Winchester Cathedral Wesley was largely responsible for the Cathedral’s acquisition in 1854 of the Father Willis organ which had been exhibited at The Great Exhibition, 1851. The success of the Exhibition organ led directly to the award of the contract to Willis for a 100-stop organ for St George’s Hall, Liverpool built in 1855. Wesley was the consultant for this major and important project, but the organ was, arguably, impaired for some years by Wesley’s insistence that it was initially tuned to unequal temperament.

Wesley, with Father Willis, can be credited with the invention of the concave and radiating organ pedalboard, but demurred when Willis proposed that it should be known as the “Wesley-Willis” pedalboard. However, their joint conception has been largely adopted as an international standard for organs throughout the English-speaking world and those exported elsewhere.

080.DeepWereHisWounds

Please turn to number 80 and join with the clarinets in “Deep Were His Wounds”.

Number: 80
First Line: Deep Were His Wounds
Name: MARLEE.
Meter: 66, 66, 88.
Tempo: Unison. Devotionally with movement
Music: Leland B. Sateren, 1913-
Text: William Johnson, 1906-

Clarinet Arrangement: 080.DeepWereHis_Wounds

Well, this is very definitely an American Lutheran Hymn, as its composer just died in 2007.

Sateren, Leland B. 94, Edina, died Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007. Sateren, a renowned composer and conductor, served as chairman of the Augsburg College Department of Music from 1950 to 1973, and as director of the Augsburg Choir from 1950 until his retirement in 1979. Survived by devoted wife, Pauline; sons, Terry, Mark (Judi), Roald (Shelley); daughter, Kirsten Bergherr (Jon); and grandchildren, Stacy Lindholm (Pete), Anne Sateren Burow (Matt), Ben Bergherr, Sara Bergherr, Erik Sateren, and Anders Sateren. Sateren is also survived by sisters, Margaret Trautwein, Norma (Ray) Anderson, Sylvia (Dean) Elness; and brother, Donald Sateren. The family would like to thank the staff at Redeemer Residence in Minneapolis for their concern and care. Memorial service at 11 am Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Augsburg College Foss Chapel. Visitation will be from 9:30-10:30 am. Memorials preferred to the Leland B. Sateren Choral Scholarship Fund at Augsburg.

The hymn itself appears to be popular in Evangelical Lutheran circles, but not much outside of those, even though it is a pretty neat melody and arrangement.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

079.ChristTheLifeOfAllTheLiving

Please turn to number 79 and join with the Clarinets in “Christ, The Life of All the Living.

Number: 79
First Line: Christ, the Life of all the Living
Name: JESU, MEINES LEBENS LEBEN.
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 7 7, 7 7.
Tempo: With dignity and movement
Music: Darmstadt Gesangbuch, 1687
Text: Ernst Christoph Homburg, 1605-81
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-78 a.

Clarinet Arrangement:079.ChristTheLifeOfAllTheLiving

For the last few hymns, I’ve only been playing the melody part twice. On one of them I play the first and third verse but skip the second. The on the second I’ve been playing the first verse, improvise the second, then play the third.

For this hymn I tried something new, playing the first and third verse for two parts and then adding a third part where I only improvise the second verse.

It’s a little more work, but it gives me more control over the levels of the solo section as it relates to the harmony parts.

It also makes it a little easier to get in the right frame of mind for improvising.

I also had been using embedded soundcloud links to post the songs. Turns out there’s a limit to how many songs you can have for free on soundcloud. So I went back and replaced the soundcloud embeds with mp3s and the native worpress player.

Homburg, Ernst Christoph, was born in 1605, at Mihla, near Eisenach. He practised at Nauraburg, in Saxony, as Clerk of the Assizes and Counsellor. In 1648 ho was admitted a member of the Fruitbearing Society, and afterwards became a member of the Elbe Swan Order founded by Rist in 1660. He died at Naumburg, Juno 2, 1681. (Koch, iii. 388, 392; Allegemeine Deutsche Biographie, xiii. 43, 44.)

By his contemporaries Homburg was regarded as a poet of the first rank. His earlier poems, 1638-1653, were secular, including many love and drinking songs. Domestic troubles arising from the illnesses of himself and of his wife, and other afflictions, led him to seek the Lord, and the deliverances he experienced from pestilence and from violence led him to place all his confidence on God. The collected edition of his hymns appeared in two parts at Jena and Naumburg, 1659, pt. i. as his Geistlicher Lieder, Erster Theil, with 100 hymns [engraved title, Naumburg, 1658]; and pt. ii. as the Ander Theil with 50 hymns. In the preface he speaks of them as his “Sunday labours,” and says, “I was specially induced and compelled” to their composition” by the anxious and sore domestic afflictions by which God…..has for some time laid me aside.” They are distinguished for simplicity, firm faith, and liveliness, but often lack poetic vigour and are too sombre.

This is regarded as Homburg’s most popular hymn, but it is still pretty somber.

1) Christ, the Life of all the living,
Christ the Death of death, our foe,
Who thyself for us once giving
To the darkest depths of woe,
Partiently didst yield thy breath
But to save my soul from death;
Praise and glory every be,
Blessed Jesus, unto thee.

2) Thou, O Christ, hast taken on thee
Bitter strokes, a cruel rod;
Pain and scorn were heaped upon thee,
O thou sinless Son of God,
Only thus for me to win
Rescue from the bonds of sin;
Praise and glory ever be,
Blessed Jesus, unto thee.

3) Thou didst bear the smiting only
That it might not fall on me;
Stoodest falsely charged and lonely
That I might be safe and free;
Comfortless that I might know
Comfort from boundless woe.
Praise and glory ever be,
Blessed Jesus, unto thee.

4) Then for all that wrought our pardon,
For thy sorrows deep and sore,
For thine anguish in the garden,
I will thank the evermore;
Thank thee with my latest breath
For thy sad and cruel death,
For that last and bitter cry
Praise thee evermore on high. Amen.