133a – O Trinity Of Blessed Light

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.
Meter: Irregular
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

Saxophone Arrangement: 133-OTrinityOfBlessedLight

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.

Aurelius Ambrosius (ItalianSant’Ambrogio [ˌsantamˈbrɔːdʒo]), better known in English as Saint Ambrose (/ˈæmbrz/c. 340 – 4 April 397), was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was the Roman governor of Liguria and Emilia, headquartered in Milan, before being made bishop of Milan by popular acclamation in 374. Ambrose was a staunch opponent of Arianism, and has been accused of fostering persecutions of Arians, Jews, and pagans.

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.

Ambrose was one of the four original Doctors of the Church, and is the patron saint of Milan. He is notable for his influence on Augustine of Hippo.

Under Ambrose’s major influence, emperors GratianValentinian II and Theodosius I carried on a persecution of Paganism.[23][24][25][26] Under Ambrose’s influence, Theodosius issued the 391 “Theodosian decrees,” which with increasing intensity outlawed Pagan practises,[24][27] and the Altar of Victory was removed by Gratian. Ambrose prevailed upon Gratian, Valentinian and Theodosius to reject requests to restore the Altar.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

132 – All Glory be to God on High

Please turn your hymnals to number 132 and join with the Saxophones in, “All Glory be to God on High”.

Number: 132
First Line: All Glory be to God on High
Name: ALLEIN GOTT IN DER HÖH.
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 8 8 7.
Tempo: Joyfully, with breadth
Music: Nikolaus Decius, 1541
Text: Ascribed to Nikolaus Decius, 1541
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-78 a.

Saxophone Arrangement: 132-AllGloryBeToGodOnHigh

For being such an old hymn, circa 1541, this is pretty cool.

I like the harmonies and chords!

And, even with 3 sharps, applied some hymprovisation to the second time through.

Nikolaus Decius (also DegiusDeegTech a Curia, and Nickel von Hof;[1] c. 1485 – 21 March 1541[2] (others say 1546[3]) was a German monk, hymn-writer and composer.

He was probably born in Hof in Upper FranconiaBavaria, around 1485. He studied at the University of Leipzig and obtained a master’s degree at Wittenburg Universityin 1523 and became a monk.[4] Although a monk, he was an advocate of the Protestant Reformation and a disciple of Martin Luther.[4] He was Probst of the cloister at Steterburg from 1519 until July 1522 when he was appointed a master in the St. Katherine and Egidien School in Braunschweig.[2][5] He wrote in 1523 “Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr“, a German paraphrase of the Latin Gloria, adapted by Luther in 1525.[6] Decius’s version was first sung on Easter Day at Braunschweig on 5 April 1523.[7]Decius’s Low German version first appeared in print in Gesang Buch by Joachim Sluter, printed in 1525.[7]

In 1526, Decius became preacher at the Church of St. Nicholas in Stettin at the same time as Paulus von Rhode was appointed preacher at St. James’s in Stettin.[2] In 1535 he became pastor of St. Nicholas and died there in March 1541 after a suspected poisoning.[2] Shortly before his death he wrote the hymn “O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig” (O Lamb of God, innocent) sung on a tune from the 13th century. Decius’s version was first published in Anton Cornivus‘s Christliche Kirchen-Ordnung in 1542.[4]Johann Sebastian Bach used it as a cantus firmus in the opening chorus of his St Matthew Passion. It was translated into English by Arthur Tozer Russell in the 19th century.[4]

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

131 – Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty

Please turn your hymnals to number 131 and join with the saxophones in, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty”.

Number: 131
First Line: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty
Name: NICAEA.
Meter: Irregular.
Tempo: Joyfully, with dignity
Music: John Bacchus Dykes, 1823-76
Text: Reginald Heber, 1783-1826

Clarinet Arrangement: 131-HolyHolyHolyLordGodAlmighty

This is another VERY well known and familiar hymn and I quite enjoyed playing it. However, it is slightly annoying that it has 4 sharps for concert, which means it has 6 sharps when transposed for bflat instruments, which is A LOT of sharps. As I’ve mentioned before, it messes b sharp and e sharp sort of mess with my head, since they are C and F, respectively.

This is the first of the hymns in celebration of “Trinity Sunday”.

Holy, Holy, Holy!” is a Christianhymn written by Reginald Heber (1783–1826).[1][2][3] Its lyrics speak specifically of the Holy Trinity,[2][3] having been written for use on Trinity Sunday.[3] It quotes the Sanctus of the Latin Mass, which translated into English begins “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God of Hosts”. The text also paraphrases Revelation 4:1–11John Bacchus Dykes composed the tune Nicaea for this hymn in 1861.[1][2][3] The tune name is a tribute to the First Council of Nicaeawhich formalized the doctrine of the Trinity in 325.[2][3]

This sort of thing:

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity

Holy, holy, holy! all the saints adore thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea,
Cherubin and seraphim falling down before thee,
Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

130 – Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

Please turn your hymnals to number 130 and join with the saxophones in, “Holy Spirit, Truth Divine”.

Number: 130
First Line: Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
Name: SONG 13.
Meter: 7 7, 7 7.
Tempo: Quietly
Music: Orlando Gibbons, 1583-1625
Text: Samuel Longfellow, 1819-92

Clarinet Arrangement: 130b-HolySpiritTruthDivine

Since this is the last hymn for Pentecost, I thought it might be a good idea to explain it a bit.

Pentecost Sunday (June 4) marks the day most Christians believe the Holy Spirit descended on the followers of Jesus after his death, resurrection and ascension. The story comes from the New Testament Book of Acts: “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Jesus’ followers were amazed — they could speak languages they never knew before and they could understand others they had never heard. The Apostle Peter stood up and preached his first sermon — so many Christians think of this holiday as the “birthday” of the church.

I’ve always thought Pentecost was a little “psychedelic”, what with the speaking in tongues and flames over people’s heads.

So, I had an idea to try to make this arrangement a little psychedelic. I don’t think I quite got to psychedelic, it’s a bit more ritualistic or new wave-ish. Sort of a more relaxed version of something Killing Joke would do. Anyway.

I wrote a drum part in the arranging program I use, MuseScore, exported it to a midi file, then imported the midi track into Garageband. Then I did the same with an electric bass part. The nifty thing about midi instruments is a) you don’t have to buy them b) you don’t have to play them c) you don’t have to respect the physical limitations of the instrument or the player. So, yeah, that bass guitar part is about an octave below what a “normal” electric bass guitar can play.

The text for this hymn was written by Samuel Longfellow, who was a Unitarian pastor and hymn writer, and they are quite nice and not particularly specifically religious.

Holy Spirit, truth divine,
Dawn upon this soul of mine;
Word of God, and inward light,
Wake my spirit, clear my sight.

Holy Spirit, love divine,
Glow within this heart of mine;
Kindle every high desire,
Perish self in thy pure fire.

Holy Spirit, power divine,
Fill and nerve this will of mine;
By thee may I strongly live,
Bravely bear, and nobly strive.

Holy Spirit, peace divine,
Still this restless heart of mine;
Speak to calm this tossing sea,
Stayed in thy tranquility.

Holy Spirit, right divine,
King within my conscious reign;
Be my law, and I shall be,
Firmly bound, for ever free. Amen.

A bit more about Samuel Longfellow:

Samuel Longfellow was born June 18, 1819, in Portland, Maine, the last of eight children of Stephen and Zilpah (Wadsworth) Longfellow.[1] His older brother was the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He attended Harvard Collegeand graduated in 1839 ranked eighth in a class of 61.[2] He went on to study at Harvard Divinity School, where his classmates included Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Samuel Johnson, with whom he would later collaborate in his hymn writing.

He is considered part of the second-generation of transcendentalists;[3] after becoming a Unitarian pastor, he adapted the transcendental philosophy he had encountered in divinity school into his hymns and sermons.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

129 – Spirit of God

Please turn your hymnals to number 129 and join with the Saxophones in, “Spirit of God”.

Number: 129
First Line: Spirit of God
Name: MORECAMBE.
Meter: 10 10, 10 10.
Tempo: With reverence
Music: Ascribed to Frederick Cook Atkinson, 1841-97
Text: George Croly, 1780-1860

Saxophone Arrangement: 129-SpiritOfGod

This is a very familiar sounding hymn! Maybe the most familiar sounding of any of the Pentecost hymns.

MORECAMBE was composed in 1870 by Frederick C. Atkinson (b. Norwich, England, 1841; d. East Dereham, England, 1896) as a setting for Henry Lyte’s “Abide with Me” (442). It was first published in G. S. Barrett and E.J. Hopkins’s Congregational Church Hymnal (1887). The tune is named for a coastal town on Morecambe Bay near Lancaster, England, a town not far from Bradford, where Atkinson served as organist.

As a boy Atkinson was a chorister and assistant organist at Norwich Cathedral. In 1867 he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Cambridge and then served as organist and choirmaster in St. Luke’s Church, Manningham, Bradford. He also held that position at Norwich Cathedral and at St. Mary’s Parish Church in Lewisham. Atkinson wrote hymn tunes, anthems, and complete Anglican services, as well as songs and piano pieces.

MORECAMBE has a good melodic contour and a strong rise to its climax but then concludes rather weakly. (See comments on the generic group of tunes that includes MORECAMBE at PHH 276.) Try singing this fervent prayer to MORESTEAD (295), a tune with a very different character that will shed new light on the text.

Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

128 – Lord, Let Thy Spirit

Please turn your hymnals to number 128 and join with the saxophones in,”Lord, Let Thy Spirit”.

Number: 128
First Line: Lord, Let Thy Spirit
Name: BERGGREN (ALT.).
Meter: 12 10, 11 10.
Tempo: Serenely
Music: Andreas Peter Berggren, 1801-80
Text: Valdimar Briem, 1848-1930

Clarinet Arrangement: 128-LordLetThySpirit

After mixing 8 saxes for the last hymn, I decided 4 saxophones was plenty!

Anyway, this is quite a pleasant, if somewhat plain, hymn.

Andreas Peter Berggren (March 2, 1801 – November 8, 1880) was a Danish composer, organist, and pedagogue.

Berggreen was born and died in Copenhagen. He initially studied law before pursuing a career in music, studying under Christopher Ernst Friedrich Weyse. In addition to Weyse, Berggreen was also heavily influenced by the German musician Johann Abraham Peter Schulz.

Berggreen was the organist at Trinitatis Church in Copenhagen from 1838 and taught singing at Metropolitanskolen from 1843. In 1859 he was appointed a song inspector by the Danish government.

Apart from several pieces of incidental music, a cantata, solo piano works, and songs, he published the folk song collections Melodier til Salmebog (1853) and Folk Sange og Melodier (1842–71). The latter comprises eleven large volumes, and includes folk songs in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, German, English, French and Italian (Russian folk songs are also represented but in German translation).

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

127 – Come, Gracious Spirit

Please turn your hymnals to number 127 and join with the saxophones on, “Come, Gracious Spirit”.

Number: 127
First Line: Come, Gracious Spirit
Name: WAREHAM.
Meter: In moderate time
Music: William Knapp, 1698-1768
Text: Simon Browne, 1680-1732

127-ComeGraciousSpirit

Bass clarinet is in the shop for some work, so for a week, or so, it’s going to be Saxophone Hymns! Some arranging and recording challenges, as they are louder and don’t quite have the same range as clarinets, but it will be a good chance to practice more Sax.

The one-hit wonder of ‘Wareham’ – William Knapp

Dorset has its own ‘Shrubsolian composer’ – what the pop music world would call a ‘one-hit wonder’. His name is William Knapp, and his ‘one tune’ is arguably even more memorable than ‘Miles Lane’: it has to this day the reputation of being one of the easiest and most comfortable tunes for a congregation to sing. A remarkable feature of the tune is that, except in one place, it proceeds ‘by step’ (that is, one note up or down), and it is this that makes it so singable. The eminent theologian Dr James Moffatt described it as ‘one of the best congregational tunes ever written’. Knapp called it ‘Wareham’ after the town where he was born. Thanks to him, the town’s name has been perpetuated in hymn-books all over the world for nearly three hundred years.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

076.GloryBeToJesus

Please turn to number 76 and join with the clarinets in “Glory be to Jesus”.

Number: 76
First Line: Glory Be to Jesus
Name: CASWALL.
Meter: 6 5, 6 5.
Tempo: Slowly and reverently
Music: Friedrich Filitz, 1804-76
Text: Italian, XVIII cent.
Tr. Edward Caswall, 1814-78

Clarinet Arrangement:076.GloryBeToJesus

Huh, that’s one of the prettier hymns I’ve done in a while.

The name is from the translator of the text, Edward Caswell, who was an Anglican who converted to Catholicism. So, yeah, a little weird that it’s in a Lutheran Hymnal. But there you go.

Edward Caswall, CO, (15 July 1814 – 2 January 1878) was an Anglican clergyman and hymn writer who converted to Roman Catholicism.

He was born at Yateley, Hampshire on 15 July 1814, the son of Rev. R. C. Caswall, sometime Vicar of Yateley, Hampshire.[1]

Caswall was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1836 with honours and later proceeded to Master of Arts. He was curate of Stratford-sub-Castle, near Salisbury, 1840–1847. In 1850, his wife having died the previous year, he joined the Oratory of St. Philip Neri under future Cardinal Newman, to whose influence his conversion to Roman Catholicism was due.

He wrote original poems that have survived mainly in Catholic hymnals due to a clear adherence to Catholic doctrine. Caswall is best known for his translations from the Roman Breviary and other Latin sources, which are marked by faithfulness to the original and purity of rhythm. They were published in Lyra Catholica, containing all the breviary and missal hymns (London, 1849); The Masque of Mary (1858); and A May Pageant and other poems (1865). Hymns and Poems (1873) are the three books combined, with many of the hymns rewritten or revised. Some of his translations are used in the Hymns Ancient and Modern.[2] His widely used hymn texts and translations include “Alleluia! Alleluia! Let the Holy Anthem Rise”; “Come, Holy Ghost”; “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee”; “When Morning Gilds the Skies”; and “Ye Sons and Daughters of the Lord”.[3]

Of course, if you know anything about me, if something is extremely pretty, I can’t resist messing with it. So I doubled the tempo, swung the quarter notes, and played it on Soprano and Tenor Saxophones.

Sax Quartet Version:

059.HarkTheVoiceOfJesusCrying

Please turn to number 59 and join with the Saxophones in, “Hark! The Voice of Jesus Crying”.

Number: 59
First Line: Hark! The Voice of Jesus Crying
Name: JESU.
Meter: 8 7, 8 7. D.
Tempo: In moderate time
Music: Gustaf Düben, 1671-1730
Text: Daniel March, 1816-1909

You would think, from the first line that Jesus would be sad about something, but actually it is more of a shout or call.

Hark! The voice of Jesus Crying,
‘Who will go to work today?
Fields and harvests waiting,
Who will bear the sheaves away?’
Loud and long the Master calleth,
Rich reward he offers free;
Who will answer gladly saying,
‘Here am I; send me, send me?’

If you cannot speak like angels,
If you cannot preach like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus,
You can say he died for all.
If you cannot rouse the wicked
With the judgement’s dread alarms,
You can lead the little children
To the Savior’s waiting arms.

Let non hear you idly saying,
‘There is nothing I can do,’
While the souls of men are dying,
And the Master calls for you:
Take the task he gives you gladly,
Let his work your pleasure be;
Answer quickly when he calleth,
‘Here am I; send me, send me.’

Kind of a weird, inspirational, aspirational, aphorism of a hymn.

Anyway, for some reason, I felt like this tune was more of a “Saxophone” kind of tune, than a clarinet kind of tune. Something about the harmonies.

Sax arrangement: 059-harkthevoiceofjesuscrying

Doubled each part, two times through. Audacity “Medium Room” Reverb Effect.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal