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.

078.GoToDarkGethsemane

Please turn to number 78 and join with the clarinets in “Go to Dark Gethsemane”.

Number: 78
First Line: Go to Dark Gethsemane
Name: PETRA (REDHEAD NO. 76).
Meter: 7 7, 7 7, 7 7.
Tempo: Moderately slow
Music: Richard Redhead, 1820-1901
Text: James Montgomery, 1771-1854

Clarinet Arrangement: 078.GoToDarkGethsemane

Interestingly, the music to this hymn is better known as one of the tunes to which “Rock of Ages” is sung.

REDHEAD 76 is named for its composer, who published it as number 76 in his influential Church Hymn Tunes, Ancient and Modern (1853) as a setting for the hymn text “Rock of Ages.” It has been associated with Psalm 51 since the 1912 Psalter, where the tune was named AJALON. The tune is also known as PETRA from its association with “Rock of Ages,” and GETHSEMANE, which derives from the text “Go to Dark Gethsemane” (381).

Of the three long lines constituting REDHEAD 76, the last is almost identical to the first, and the middle line has an internal repeat. Well-suited to singing in parts, this music is also appropriate for unaccompanied singing.

The author of the text, James Montgomery, had some interesting years early in his life, but then settled in to an uneventful life of devotion.

Montgomery, James, son of John Montgomery, a Moravian minister, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Nov. 4, 1771. In 1776 he removed with his parents to the Moravian Settlement at Gracehill, near Ballymena, county of Antrim. Two years after he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary, Yorkshire. He left Fulneck in 1787, and entered a retail shop at Mirfield, near Wakefield. Soon tiring of that he entered upon a similar situation at Wath, near Rotherham, only to find it quite as unsuitable to his taste as the former. A journey to London, with the hope of finding a publisher for his youthful poems ended in failure; and in 1792 he was glad to leave Wath for Shefield to join Mr. Gales, an auctioneer, bookseller, and printer of the Sheffield Register newspaper, as his assistant. In 1794 Mr. Gales left England to avoid a political prosecution. Montgomery took the Sheffield Register in hand, changed its name to The Sheffield Iris, and continued to edit it for thirty-one years. During the next two years he was imprisoned twice, first for reprinting therein a song in commemoration of “The Fall of the Bastille,” and the second for giving an account of a riot in Sheffield. The editing of his paper, the composition and publication of his poems and hynms, the delivery of lectures on poetry in Sheffield and at the Royal Institution, London, and the earnest advocacy of Foreign Missions and the Bible Society in many parts of the country, gave great variety but very little of stirring incident to his life. In 1833 he received a Royal pension of £200 a year. He died in his sleep, at the Mount, Sheffield, April 30, 1854, and was honoured with a public funeral. A statue was erected to his memory in the Sheffield General Cemetery, and a stained glass window in the Parish Church. A Wesleyan chapel and a public hall are also named in his honour.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

Imbibe 75: People, places, and flavors

There was a lot of good stuff in 2016, but a lot of tough things to get over as well.

Pros:

Joined a band.
Started Reluctant-Teetotaler Website.
Traveled to Baja, Mexico.
Attended the 2016 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville.
Started Lutheran Hymnal Project.
Remained Happily Married.
Remained Happily Sober.

Cons:

Got kicked out of the band.
A lot of people died.
That whole Trump thing.

So when Paul Clarke, editor of Imbibe Magazine called to tell me he had “some space” in the Jan/Feb issue and thought he might be able to fit something in about the reluctant-teetotaler, I was in a bit of a dark place. Not sleeping too well. I didn’t really think the mention in Imbibe would be anything too special. A side bar, maybe, or mention in another article.

While we were out of town for the holidays, I was puzzled when a friend texted me to say, “Hey! Congratulations on the Imbibe article! You’re first!”

First in what? Least likely to succeed? I know I’m not the first middle aged ex-bartender to give up drinking.

When we got back to California I resolved to track down this pesky new issue of Imbibe Magazine and find out what was going on.

Happily, when Mrs. Flannestad looked through the mail we’d gotten over the holiday, she discovered we had been sent the issue!

Huh. Paul didn’t mention anything about this being a special issue. That’s odd.

Page through the first few features, don’t see anything about my website. Get to the feature article, “Imbibe 75: People, places, and flavors that will shape the way you drink in 2017” and see my friend Humuhumu across from Paul’s summary. Well, that’s cool! Some San Franciscans made the Imbibe 75!

Turn the page to the first section, “People to WATCH: Drink innovators poised to make an impact in 2017”.

Oh. I see what my friend meant by, “You’re first!”

Wow! This went a long way towards making a pretty dark end of 2016 a lot better. It gave me hope that there might be some light in the new year. Nice Holiday Gift, Paul!

Though, ahem, I guess I have a lot of work to do this year to earn my place among Imbibe’s illustrious cast of characters!

077.ThereIsAGreenHillFarAway

Please turn to number 77 and join with the clarinets in “There is a Green Hill Far Away”.

Number: 77 (First Tune)
First Line: There is a Green Hill
Name: MEDITATION (GOWER).
Meter: C.M.
Tempo: Simply
Music: John Henry Gower, 1855-1922
Text: Cecil Frances Alexander, 1823-95

Number: 77 (Second Tune)
First Line: There is a Green Hill
Name: HORSLEY.
Meter: C.M.
Tempo: Slowly, with movement
Music: William Horseley, 1774-1858
Text: Cecil Frances Alexander, 1823-95

Clarinet Arrangement, First Tune:077.ThereIsAGreenHill

Clarinet Arrangement, Second Tune:077b.ThereIsAGreenHill

These are some seriously Anglican hymns. They just sound “Anglican”, especially the second tune.

There have been a few translations by women, but I think this is the first Hymn written by a woman I’ve come across.

There is a Green Hill Far Away
Words: Ce­cil F. Al­ex­an­der, 1847. Al­ex­an­der wrote this hymn as she sat up one night with her ser­i­ous­ly sick daugh­ter. Ma­ny times, tra­vel­ing to town to shop, she had passed a small grassy mound, just out­side the old ci­ty wall of Der­ry, Ire­land. It al­ways made her think of Cal­va­ry, and it came to mind as she wrote this hymn. She pub­lished it in her Hymns for Lit­tle Child­ren in 1848.

Apparently, she was rather well known in her time, specifically for her hymns intended for children.

Alexander, Cecil Frances, née Humphreys, second daughter of the late Major John Humphreys, Miltown House, co. Tyrone, Ireland, b. 1823, and married in 1850 to the Rt. Rev. W. Alexander, D.D., Bishop of Derry and Raphoe. Mrs. Alexander’s hymns and poems number nearly 400. They are mostly for children, and were published in her Verses for Holy Seasons, with Preface by Dr. Hook, 1846; Poems on Subjects in the Old Testament, pt. i. 1854, pt. ii. 1857; Narrative Hymns for Village Schools, 1853; Hymns for Little Children, 1848; Hymns Descriptive and Devotional, 1858; The Legend of the Golden Prayers 1859; Moral Songs, N.B.; The Lord of the Forest and his Vassals, an Allegory, &c.; or contributed to the Lyra Anglicana, the S.P.C.K. Psalms and Hymns, Hymns Ancient & Modern, and other collections. Some of the narrative hymns are rather heavy, and not a few of the descriptive are dull, but a large number remain which have won their way to the hearts of the young, and found a home there. Such hymns as “In Nazareth in olden time,” “All things bright and beautiful,” “Once in Royal David’s city,” “There is a green hill far away,” “Jesus calls us o’er the tumult,” “The roseate hues of early dawn,” and others that might be named, are deservedly popular and are in most extensive use. Mrs. Alexander has also written hymns of a more elaborate character; but it is as a writer for children that she has excelled.

This Hymn was so short, only 8 bars, that I elected to play both versions as part of the same piece. Though, the first setting ends up in the key of F#, aka 6 sharps, or “All Your Sharps Are Belong To Us!”. The second setting is the more well known melody for this hymn. Twice through the first tune, each part doubled, then moving to the next setting.

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:

075b.TheRoyalBannersForwardGo

Please turn to number 75 (Second Tune) and join with the clarinets in “The Royal Banners Forward Go”.

Number: 75 (Second Tune)
First Line: The Royal Banners Forward Go
Name: PARKER.
Meter: L.M.
Music: Horatio Parker, 1863-1919
Text: Sts. 1-4, Venatius Fortunatus, 530-609
Sts. 5,6, Anonymous
Tr. Episcopal Hymnal, 1940

Clarinet Arrangement: 075b.TheRoyalBannersForwardGo

The same text set to very different music.

While this arrangement was easy to transcribe and record, I had a much harder time finding room for my second verse solo “Hymnprovisation”. There’s a lot of freedom in the simple harmonies of chant. When you start getting more chord changes in there, it becomes more complicated for improvisation.

I always think of improvisation sort of like navigating an obstacle course. With Chant, you basically have a straight track with maybe one obstacle in the middle. With modern arrangements (and jazz), it becomes a steeple chase.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

075a.TheRoyalBannersForwardGo

Please turn to number 75 (First Tune) and join with the woodwinds in “The Royal Banners Forward Go”.

Number: 75 (First Tune)
First Line: The Royal Banners Forward Go
Name: VEXILLA REGIS PRODEUNT.
Meter: Irregular.
Tempo: Unision
Music: Plainsong Melody, Mode I
Arr. Ernest White, 1899-
Text: Sts. 1-4, Venatius Fortunatus, 530-609
Sts. 5,6, Anonymous
Tr. Episcopal Hymnal, 1940

Clarinet Arrangement: 075.TheRoyalBannersForwardGo

I have come to almost dread these Edmund White arrangements of Medieval chant.

First, they’re a pain to transcribe. There is inevitably some mis-match between the beats in the different parts, which forces me to use my own judgement.

Second, the hymns, as written, have no measures. So, the “meter” such that it exists I can only divine based upon the length of the musical phrases, rather than actual written measures. In this case, it means I have to divy it up several different meters. It starts in 6/8. Moves to 5/8 for a measure. Then goes to 7/8 for a few. Has a measure of 8/8. Then two of 6/8. One measure of 5/8. And it finishes in 7/8. It’s almost as bad as a Rush song.

Anyway, all that counting is tough, especially at the relatively slow pace of a medieval chant. It’s one thing to mis half a beat when you’re cruising along with a ton of little notes, but when your travelling at 72bpm, it just sounds sloppy. It’s kind of a zen mode where you have to count very slowly and carefully.

Anyway, usually what happens is there is usually a short motif which all the parts perform in unison, which sort of provides the framework upon which these pieces hang. In this case, it is two quarter notes at the end of each phrase.

So, they take a lot of work, compared to more modern (Ha!) hymns in the book, and several days to get myself into the proper frame of mind to be able to perform all 4 parts accurately 3 times through.

But, I do really enjoy them, once I get in the mind set.

I did a bit of “Hymnprovisation” on the second time through, and am pretty pleased with how it turned out.

This is the first hymn of the section in celebration of Holy Week, the days between Palm Sunday and Good Friday.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

New Years’ Eve, 12.31.2016

Pearls Before Swine cartoon for 12.31.2016 by Stephan Pastis.
Pearls Before Swine cartoon for 12.31.2016 by Stephan Pastis.

Getting over major events and holidays where you previously drank heavily are always a bit tough while sober, especially the first few times.

The anxieties leading up to these events or holidays are the worst part, at least for me.

Finding out whether or not you can get through a New Years’ Eve without drinking, for example, is a big one.

Sure, for every New Years’ Eve from, say, 1983-2013, I would either work, get plastered, or some combination thereof.

That doesn’t mean I can’t do something else today.

That’s all I have to say to myself.

That, and, not drink.

I recently came across this article on NPR, by Sarah Hepola, which was pretty good.

Eat, Don’t Drink And Still Be Merry: Staying Sober Through The Holidays

She takes a while to get there, but I like her closing sentiments a lot:

But in time, I got used to this new world, and more accepting of myself. I still go to holiday parties, although I tend to arrive early and leave when everyone starts talking really loudly, but I don’t struggle with that sense of radioactive weirdness anymore. I feel at home in my body, and in the world, in a way I did not for many years.

So if you’re struggling to stay sober, hang in there. Because that feeling of comfort — of no longer being wracked by shame for who you are or what you did — is a gift the bottle can never give you. But it is a gift you can give yourself.

With only two years of New Years’ Sober Eves under my belt, I’m still working on it, but I feel like I’m getting there.

But, back to today, 12.31.2016.

The best things about New Years’ Eve are surrounding yourself with good friends and family, hanging out, talking, eating, and agreeing to work together towards a better next year.

We just have to try.

074.AllGloryLaudAndHonor

Please turn to number 74 and join with the clarinets in “All Glory, Laud, and Honor”.

Number: 074
First Line: All Glory, Laud, and Honor
Name: ST. THEODULPH (VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN).
Meter: 7 6, 7 6. D.
Tempo: Vigorously
Music: Melchior Teschner, 1585-1635
Text: Theodulph of Orleans, cir 760-821
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66

74.AllGloryLaudAndHonor

All parts doubled, three times through, Hymnprovisation on the second chorus, refrain at the end.

Theodulph of Orleans seems like an OK guy.

Theodulf of Orléans (c. 750(/60) – 18 December 821) was a writer, poet and the Bishop of Orléans (c. 798 to 818) during the reign of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious. He was a key member of the Carolingian Renaissance and an important figure during the many reforms of the church under Charlemagne, as well as almost certainly the author of the Libri Carolini, “much the fullest statement of the Western attitude to representational art that has been left to us by the Middle Ages”.[1] He is mainly remembered for this and the survival of the private oratory or chapel made for his villa at Germigny-des-Prés, with a mosaic probably from about 806.[2]

Theodulf brought fresh ideas and an open mind to the period known as the Carolingian Renaissance. He believed in always keeping the door open and never refusing pilgrims, travelers or the poor if they needed a meal or a place to stay for the night. He believed that you had to offer the less fortunate a seat at your dinner table if you one day wished to have a seat at the banquet of God. These ideas were highly influenced by his readings of Augustine.[17] He often referred to himself as the poor traveler or stranger, being born in Spain and of Visigothic descent, and being accepted with open arms by the royal court of Charlemagne.[4]

Though, as usual, he fell afoul of Monarchs, in this case the French variety, was exiled to a monastery at Angers, and died attempting to return to Orleans.

Interestingly, the tune, “Valet will ich dir geben“, written by Melchior Teschner, is a “Hymn for the Dying”.

“”Valet will ich dir geben” (“I want to bid you farewell”[1] or I shall say farewell to thee[2]) is a Lutheran hymn, written by Valerius Herberger in 1613 with a melody by Melchior Teschner. A Sterbelied (hymn for the dying), it is part of the current German hymnal.”

By the way, at Hymn 74, this is the last of the three tunes for Palm Sunday, but, more importantly, about the half way point for the hymns specifically dedicated to occasions of the Church Year. Woo!

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

Nut Nog

The other night Mrs. Flannestad and I were visiting Old Bus Tavern and bartender Rachel Leiderman was excited to have us try something she was working on, a spiced nut milk.

We tried it and were blown away. Both Mrs. Flannestad and I were of the opinion, “Why would you drink gross, gloppy, egg nog, when you could instead drink delicious spicy nut milk?”

So I sent Rachel a note a couple days later and asked her to let me come in and watch her make it. Rachel got her starting place from a recipe on Bon Appetit: Basic Nut Milk and added some tweaks inspired by local Nut Milk Purveyors Living Apothecary.

Rachel is still working on the process and deciding whether she will make it for the bar menu, but stop by and ask her for it. If she doesn’t have Nut Milk made, she can always make something else tasty, alcoholic or not.

NUT NOG
(Since “Spiced Nut Milk” sounds like something you squeeze out of a grumpy old walnut tree, so I am making an executive decision to call this beverage “Nut Nog”. Get it?)

INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup Nuts (Rachel used a blend of almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds)

4 tsp Agave Nectar
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 TBSP Rolled Oats
3 dates, chopped
2 TBSP Fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped
2 TBSP Fresh Tumeric, peeled and chopped (wear rubber gloves when cleaning and chopping, will stain your hands.)
1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1 tsp Cloves, ground
1 tsp Allspice, ground
4 Cups Hot Water

Equipment: Blender (preferably Vitamix or similar), Fine Strainer, Nut Bag.

METHOD:
Step 1. Soak Your Nuts.
Cover the nuts with water by 2 inches and leave to soak overnight. Drain nuts and rinse.
Step 2. Grind Your Nuts.
Add nuts and remaining dry ingredients to bowl of blender (preferably high powered, as in VitaMix or similar). Begin grinding ingredients and pour in hot water as you go. When you can no longer see nut pieces, stop grinding.
Step 3. Squeeze Your Nuts.
Pour mixture through fine strainer, and press to extract as much liquid as possible. Remove nut and spice solids and compost or feed to your livestock (Mmmm, tasty, spiced ham!). If you don’t mind it a bit gritty, you can stop here. Otherwise, line strainer with nut milk bag and strain liquid again. Allow to drain, this will take a while. Squeeze solids nut milk bag to extract as much liquid as possible.
Step 4. Enjoy Your Nut Nog.
Serve warm or cold, garnished with freshly grated nutmeg. Makes about 3 cups. Refrigerated, it will keep for several days.