Please turn to number 33 and join with the clarinets in “All Hail to Thee, O Blessed Morn”.

Meter: Irregular
Tempo: With movemement
Music: Phillipp Nicolai, 1556-1608
Text: Johann Olof Wallin, 1779-1839
Based on the German Hymn of 1621
Tr. Ernst William Olson, 1870-1958

Here’s the pdf of my clarinet arrangement:033.ServiceBookAndHymnal

You’ll probably notice, aside from them both having the word “morn” in the title, the music to this hymn is exactly the same as number 32, “Rejoice, Rejoice This Happy Morn“. So when I was approaching it, I wanted to think of something else interesting to do with the music, so I didn’t play the exact same thing all over again. This time, I decided to slow it waaaaay down, and play quietly.

I skipped the bass clarinet and played the “bass part” on soprano clarinet, up an octave.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn to number 32 and join with the clarinets in, “Rejoice, Rejoice This Happy Morn.”

Meter: Irregular.
Tempo: With movement
Music: Phillipp Nicolai, 1556-1608
Text: Birgitte Cathrine Boye, 1742-1824
Tr. Carl Doving, 1867-1937

Like our previous Phillipp Nicolai Hymn, “Wake, Awake“, I find the harmonies in “Rejoice, Rejoice This Happy Morn” very powerful. This is one of several hymns which use this melody, the most famous of which is the original, number 404, “How Brightly Beams the Morning Star”.

Here’s the clarinet arrangement: 032.ServiceBookAndHymnal

I doubled each part and applied the usual tweaked audacity “Church Hall” reverb effect.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Open your hymnals to number 31 and join with the clarinets in “Angels, From the Realms of Glory”.

Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 8 7.
Tempo: Moderately slow, with dignity
Music: Henry Smart, 1813-79
Text: James Montgomery, 1771-1854

This hymn does seem super familiar, even though, for me, it isn’t one of the REALLY well known Christmas Hymns.

From the wikipedia article:

“Angels from the Realms of Glory” is a Christmas carol written by Scottish poet James Montgomery.[1] It was first printed in the Sheffield Iris on Christmas Eve 1816, though it only began to be sung in churches after its 1825 reprinting in the Montgomery collection The Christian Psalmist and in the Religious Tract Society’s The Christmas Box or New Year’s Gift.[1]

Before 1928, the hymn was sung to a variety of tunes, including “Regent Square”, “Lewes” by John Randall, and “Wildersmouth” or “Feniton Court” by Edward Hopkins.[1] In the United States, the hymn is today most commonly sung to the tune of “Regent Square” by Henry Smart.[1] In the United Kingdom, however, the hymn came to be sung to the French carol tune “Iris”[2] (Les anges dans nos campagnes, the tune used for “Angels We Have Heard on High”) after this setting was published in the Oxford Book of Carols.[1] Sometimes the “Gloria in excelsis Deo” refrain is sung in place of Montgomery’s original lyric: “Come and worship Christ the new-born King”. On A Christmas Cornucopia, Annie Lennox sings this song but substitutes “Gloria in excelsis Deo” for the “Come and worship Christ the new-born King” refrain. Paul Poulton recorded a rock version of this song on his Grooves 4 Scrooge album.

Annie Lenox, who knew?

PDF of the clarinet arrangement: 031.ServiceBookAndHymnal

Doubled all the parts and applied the usual tweaked Audacity “church hall” Reverb effect.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn to number 30 and join with the clarinets in, “Angels We Have Heard on High”.

Meter: 7 7, 7 7. With Refrain.
Tempo: Brightly
Music: French Carol
Arr. by Edward Shippen Barnes, 1887-
Text: Traditional French Carol
Alt., Earl Marlatt, 1892-

Whew, another of the warhorses, “Angels We Have Heard on High”.

From the wikipedia article:

The words of the song are based on a traditional French carol known as Les Anges dans nos campagnes (literally, “Angels in our countryside”) composed by an unknown author in Languedoc, France. That song has received many adjustments or alignments including its most common English version that was translated in 1862 by James Chadwick, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, northeast England. The carol quickly became popular in the West Country, where it was described as ‘Cornish’ by R.R. Chope, and featured in Pickard-Cambridge‘s Collection of Dorset Carols.[1]

Took me a while to work up the courage to even try this one. And then another little while to get over the way that I had sung it as a child.

PDF of the Clarinet Arrangement: 030.ServiceBookAndHymnal

I think it turned out pretty well, mostly trying to modulate the clarinet and attempt to be more musical on some of the passages which would be hit pretty hard while caroling.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn to number 29 and join with the clarinets in “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light”.

Name: Schop.
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 8 8, 7 7.
Tempo: Joyously
Music: Johann Schop, cir 1600-65
Harm. J. S. Bach, 1685-1750
Text: Johann Rist, 1607-67
Tr. St. 1, composite
Tr. St. 2, Arthur Tozer Russell, 1806-74

Whew, another barn burner from that joker, J. S. Bach.


Like the last Bach arrangement, I stuck with the Soprano clarinets for this one, though I did multitrack the “Soprano” part several times.

But then I went back and added in the bass clarinet:

Which do you prefer?

These Baroque pieces are pretty challenging, at least compared to most of the hymns. Lots of counterpoint going on in the Tenor and Bass parts, often making those parts harder to play than the melody part.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn to number 28 and join with the clarinets in, “The Happy Christmas”.

Meter: L.M.
Tempo: Joyfully
Music: Carl C.N. Balle, 1806-55
Text: Nikolai F.S. Grudtvig, 1783-1872
Tr. Charles Porterfield Krauth, 1823-83

Not much to say about this one, it’s not one I remember. It’s kind of pretty and a bit folky, but no Sea Chanty. Transposed for clarinet, it did end up having 6 sharps, which is kind of annoying. Tough to remember e sharp is actually just f natural.

Here’s the clarinet arrangement: 028.ServiceBookAndHymnal

4 Soprano Clarinets on the “soprano” part, 1 Soprano Clarinet playing “alto”, 1 Soprano Clarinet playing “tenor”, and 1 bass playing, duh, “bass”. Slightly tweaked audacity “Church Hall” Reverb Effect.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn your hymnals to number 27 (Second Tune) and join with the clarinets in “O Little Town of Bethlehem”.

Name: Christmas Carol.
Meter: 8 6, 8 6, 7 6, 8 6.
Tempo: In moderate time
Music: Henry Walford Davies, 1869-1941
Text: Phillips Brooks, 1835-93

A second version of this hymn. I’d say it’s Baroque-like, except that Baroque, with the tune being written some time between 1869 and 1941, was long past its expiration date when this version was written.

This is what I can find about this version:

Two versions also exist by H. Walford Davies, called “Wengen”, and “Christmas carol”.[7][8] “Wengen” was published in Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1922,[9] meanwhile “Christmas Carol” is usually performed only by choirs rather than as a congregational hymn. This is because the first two verses are for treble voices with organ accompaniment, with only the final verse as a chorale/refrain harmony. This setting includes a recitative from the Gospel of Luke at the beginning, and cuts verses 2 and 4 of the original 5-verse carol. This version is often performed at the service of Nine Lessons and Carols in Kings College, Cambridge.[10]

Here’s the pdf of the clarinet arrangement: 027b.ServiceBookAndHymnal

It was kind of fun challenge to myself to play all the parts of the tunes. Some pretty challenging counterpoint going on in the harmonies, even if it really isn’t an improvement on the original.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn your hymnals to number 27 and join with the clarinets in “O Little Town of Bethlehem (First Tune)”.

Meter: 8 6, 8 6, 7 6, 8 6.
Tempo: Quietly
Music: Lewis Henry Redner, 1831-1908
Text: Phillips Brooks, 1835-93

It is a beautiful hymn.

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep,
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

Here’s the pdf of my arrangement: 027.ServiceBookAndHymnal

I ended up playing the soprano part 4 times, the alto part once, the tenor part once, and the Bass part twice. So, ultimately, 8 clarinets. Again used a tweaked version of the Audacity Reverb effect.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn your hymnals to number 26 and join with the clarinets in, “All My Heart This Night Rejoices”.

Name: Warum Sollt Ich
Meter: 8, 3 3, 6. D.
Tempo: Briskly
Music: Johann Georg Ebeling, 1637-76
Text: Paul Gerhardt, 1607-76
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-78

I feel like I was unfamiliar with this Christmas hymn, but it is actually really nice.

All my heart this night rejoices,
As I hear, far and near,
Sweetest angel voices;
‘Christ is born,’ their choirs are singing,
Till the air everywhere,
Now with joy is ringing.

Hark! A voice from yonder manger,
Soft and sweet, doth entreat,
‘Flee from woe and danger;
Brethern, come; from all that grieves you
You are freed; all you need
I will surely give you.’

Come then, let us hasten yonder;
Here let all, great and small,
Kneel in awe and wonder,
Love him who with love is yearning
Hail the star that from far
Bright with hope is burning.

Here’s the arrangement for 4 clarinets: 26.ServiceBookAndHymnal

The first time I got to playing this, it was really late in the evening. Somehow I ended up playing it through very quickly and was experimenting with a certain attack on the notes. Turned out kind of cool, even though it wasn’t what I was thinking for the actual hymn.

After experimenting with that track for a couple days, I went back and redid it more traditionally.

I dunno, I like both.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal