Please turn to number 83 and join with the clarinets in “Behold the Lamb of God”.
First Line: Behold the Lamb of God
Meter: 6 6 6 4, 8 8 4
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.
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. 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.