Frances Ridley Havergal (14 December 1836 – 3 June 1879) was an English religious poet and hymn writer. Take My Life and Let it Be and Thy Life for Me (also known as I Gave My Life for Thee) are two of her best known hymns. She also wrote hymn melodies, religious tracts, and works for children.
Frances Ridley Havergal died of peritonitis near Caswell Bay on the Gower Peninsula in Wales at age 42. She is buried in the far western corner of the churchyard at St Peter’s parish church, Astley, together with her father and near her sister, Maria Vernon Graham Havergal.
And not only that, but as a teetotaler, the following is quite interesting, to me personally.
Owen, William (‘William Owen of Prysgol,’ 1813-1893), musician; b. 12? Dec. 1813 [in Lônpopty], Bangor, the son of William and Ellen Owen. The father was a quarryman at Cae Braich-y-cafn quarry, Bethesda, and the son began to work in the same quarry when he was ten years old. He learnt music at classes held by Robert Williams (Cae Aseth), at Carneddi, and from William Roberts, Tyn-y-maes, the composer of the hymn-tune ‘Andalusia.’ He wrote his first hymn-tune when he was 18 — it was published in Y Drysorfa for June 1841. After the family had [removed] to [Caesguborwen], Bangor, [sometimes called Cilmelyn] — they had spent some years [at Tŷhen] near the quarry — William Owen formed a temperance choir which sang ‘Cwymp Babilon,’ the work of the conductor, at the Caernarvon temperance festival, 1849. In 1852, with the help of some friends at Bethesda, he published Y Perl Cerddorol yn cynnwys tonau ac anthemau, cysegredig a moesol; of this 3,000 copies were sold, A solfa edition appeared in 1886 of which 4,000 copies were sold. He composed several temperance pieces, some of which were sung in the Eryri temperance festivals held at Caernarvon castle. His anthem, ‘Ffynnon Ddisglair,’ and the hymn-tunes ALMA and DEEMSTER became popular, but it was the hymn-tune called BRYN CALFARIA which made the composer famous; this continues to have a considerable vogue in Wales and in England. He married the daughter of the house called Prysgol and went there to live; he also became precentor at Caeathro C.M. chapel. He died 20 July 1893, and was buried in Caeathro chapel burial ground.
Please turn your hymnals to number 114 (First Tune) and join with the clarinets in, “Look, Ye Saints, The Sight is Glorious”.
Number: 114 (First Tune)
First Line: Look, Ye Saints, The Sight is Glorious
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 4 4 7.
Music: Henry James Gauntlett, 1805-76
Text: Thomas Kelly, 1769-1854
The use of unison parts for the first line and harmony for the response is fairly dramatic, at least for hymn writing.
Some interesting tidbits regarding the author of the text.
Kelly, Thomas, B.A., son of Thomas Kelly, a Judge of the Irish Court of Common Pleas, was born in Dublin, July 13, 1769, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was designed for the Bar, and entered the Temple, London, with that intention; but having undergone a very marked spiritual change he took Holy Orders in 1792. His earnest evangelical preaching in Dublin led Archbishop Fowler to inhibit him and his companion preacher, Rowland Hill, from preaching in the city. For some time he preached in two unconsecrated buildings in Dublin, Plunket Street, and the Bethesda, and then, having seceded from the Established Church, he erected places of worship at Athy, Portarlington, Wexford, &c, in which he conducted divine worship and preached. He died May 14, 1854. Miller, in his Singers & Songs of the Church, 1869, p. 338 (from which some of the foregoing details are taken), says:—
“Mr. Kelly was a man of great and varied learning, skilled in the Oriental tongues, and an excellent Bible critic. He was possessed also of musical talent, and composed and published a work that was received witli favour, consisting of music adapted to every form of metre in his hymn-book. Naturally of an amiable disposition and thorough in his Christian piety, Mr. Kelly became the friend of good men, and the advocate of every worthy, benevolent, and religious cause. He was admired alike for his zeal and his humility; and his liberality found ample scope in Ireland, especially during the year of famine.”
As a hymn-writer Kelly was most successful. As a rule his strength appears in hymns of Praise and in metres not generally adopted by the older hymn writers. His “Come, see the place where Jesus lay” (from “He’s gone, see where His body lay”),”From Egypt lately come”; “Look, ye saints, the sight is glorious”; “On the mountain’s top appearing”; “The Head that once was crowned with thorns”; “Through the day Thy love has spared us”; and “We sing the praise of Him Who died,” rank with the first hymns in the English language. Several of his hymns of great merit still remain unknown through so many modern editors being apparently adverse to original investigation.
Please turn to number 113 and join with the clarinets in “Let All the Multitudes of Light”.
First Line: Let All the Multitudes of Light
Name: NUN FREUT EUCH.
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 8 8 7.
Tempo: With dignity
Music: Geistliche Lieder, Wittenberg, 1535
Text: Frederick Brodie Macnutt, 1873-1949
By permission of Mrs. F. B. Macnutt
Unfortunately, the rest of the hymn, and the rest of the verses, are just not that interesting, at least if you are a humanist, like myself.
Let all the multitudes of light,
Their songs in concert raising,
With earth’s triumphal hymns unite,
The risen Saviour praising..
Ye heavens, his festival proclaim!
Our King returneth whence he came,
With victory amazing.
For us he bore the bitter Tree,
To death’s dark realm descending;
Our foe he slew, and set us free,
Man’s ancient bondage ending.
No more the tyrant’s chains oppress;
O conquering Love, thy name we bless,
With thee to heaven ascending.
Jesus, to thee be endless praise,
For this thy great salvation;
O holy Father, thine always
Be thanks and adoration;
Spirit of life and light, to thee
Eternal praise and glory be:
One God of all creation!
Some information regarding Mr MacNutt from wikipedia.
Macnutt married twice, firstly to Hettie Sina Bullock (1973-1945) and shortly after her death to Evelyn May Oliver (1898-1981). He had two children by Hettie: Derrick Somerset (1902-1971) and Margaret Hester (1906-1939).
Though highly rated as a composer by his English contemporaries, Smart is now largely forgotten, save for his hymn tuneRegent Square, which retains considerable popularity, and which is commonly performed with the words “Christ is Made the Sure Foundation”, “Light’s Abode, Celestial Salem”, or “Angels from the Realms of Glory“. His many compositions for the organ (some of which have been occasionally revived in recent years) were described as “effective and melodious, if not strikingly original” by the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, which also praised his part songs. A cantata by him, The Bride of Dunkerron was written for the Birmingham Festival of 1864; another cantata was a version of the play King René’s Daughter (1871). The oratorioJacob was created for Glasgow in 1873; and his opera Bertha was produced with some success at the Haymarket in 1855.
Many of the Hymns we’ve covered, especially the older ones, come from a volume called “Hymns Ancient and Modern”, which was edited by the composer of this hymn’s music, William Henry Monk.
In 1852, he [William Henry Monk] became organist and choirmaster at St Matthias’ Church, Stoke Newington, where he made many changes: plainchant was used in singing psalms, and the music performed was more appropriate to the church calendar. By now, Monk was also arranging hymns, as well as writing his own hymn melodies. In 1857, his talents as composer, arranger, and editor were recognized when he was appointed the musical editor of Hymns Ancient and Modern, a volume first published in 1861, containing 273 hymns. After supplements were added (second edition—1875; later additions or supplements—1889, 1904, and 1916) it became one of the best-selling hymn books ever produced. It was for this publication that Monk supplied his famous “Eventide” tune which is mostly used for the hymn “Abide with Me“, as well as several others, including “Gethsemane”, “Ascension”, and “St. Denys”.
Please turn your hymnals to number 110 and join with the clarinets in “A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing”.
First Line: A Hymn of Glory Let us Sing
Name: PARK STREET.
Tempo: Slowly, with movement
Music: Frederick M. A. Venua, 1788-1872
Text: The Venerable Bede, 673-735
Tr. St. 1-3, Elizabeth Rundle Charles, 1820-96
Tr. St. 4, Benjamin Webb, 1820-85
Please turn to number 109 and join with the clarinets in “Good Christian Men Rejoice and Sing”.
First Line: Good Christian Men Rejoice and Sing
Name: VULPIUS (GELOBT SEI GOTT).
Meter: 8 8 8. With Alleluias.
Tempo: With excitation
Music: Melchior Vulpius, cir. 1560
Harm. by Ernest MacMillan, 1893-
Text: Cyril A. Allington, 1872-1955
Huh! The gentleman who harmonized this hymn was Canadian!
Sir Ernest Alexander Campbell MacMillan, CC (August 18, 1893 – May 6, 1973) was a Canadian orchestral conductor and composer, and Canada’s only “Musical Knight”. He is widely regarded as being Canada’s pre-eminent musician, from the 1920s through the 1950s. His has contributed to the development of music in Canada as conductor, performer, composer, administrator, lecturer, adjudicator, writer, humourist, and statesman.
He wrote and published church music, the best known being the setting of the hymnAch, bleib mit deiner Gnade (Ah, stay with your grace) on a text by Josua Stegmann. This setting was often performed in Protestant churches on New Year’s Day and at the end of the service. Important compilations were Cantiones sacrae (1602, 1604), Kirchengesänge und geistliche Lieder Dr. Luthers (1604), Canticum beatissimae (1605) and Ein schön geistlich Gesangbuch (1609). The Cantional (a collection of songs) was published posthumously in 1646 in Gotha.
Please turn to number 106 (Second Tune) and join with the clarinets in “Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain”.
Number: 106 (Second Tune)
First Line: Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain
Name: SPRING OF SOULS.
Meter: 7 6, 7 6. D. Trochaic.
Music: Ludvig M. Lindeman, 1812-87
Text: St. John of Damascus, VIII cent.
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66 a.
Born at Damascus, about 676; died some time between 754 and 787. The only extant life of the saint is that by John, Patriarch of Jerusalem, which dates from the tenth century (P.G. XCIV, 429-90). This life is the single source from which have been drawn the materials of all his biographical notices. It is extremely unsatisfactory from the standpoint of historical criticism. An exasperating lack of detail, a pronounced legendary tendency, and a turgid style are its chief characteristics. Mansur was probably the name of John’s father. What little is known of him indicates that he was a sterling Christian whose infidel environment made no impression on his religious fervour. Apparently his adhesion to Christian truth constituted no offence in the eyes of his Saracen countrymen, for he seems to have enjoyed their esteem in an eminent degree, and discharged the duties of chief financial officer for the caliph, Abdul Malek. The author of the life records the names of but two of his children, John and his half-brother Cosmas. When the future apologist had reached the age of twenty-three his father cast about for a Christian tutor capable of giving his sons the best education the age afforded. In this he was singularly fortunate. Standing one day in the market-place he discovered among the captives taken in a recent raid on the shores of Italy a Sicilian monk named Cosmas. Investigation proved him to be a man of deep and broad erudition. Through the influence of the caliph, Mansur secured the captive’s liberty and appointed him tutor to his sons. Under the tutelage of Cosmas, John made such rapid progress that, in the enthusiastic language of his biographer, he soon equalled Diophantus in algebra and Euclid in geometry. Equal progress was made in music, astronomy, and theology.
Please turn to number 105 and join with the clarinets in “The Day of Resurrection”.
First Line: The Day of Resurrection
Meter: 7 6, 7 6. D.
Tempo: With movement
Music: Berthold Tours, 1838-97
Text: St. John of Damascus, VIII cent.
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66 a.
This is, frankly, not a very interesting hymn, either Lyrically or musically.
The only real challenge is counting how many times the “Alto” part has to play the same note in a row.
It is, fortunately, brief.
Berthold Tours (Rotterdam, Dec 17, 1838 – London, Mar 11, 1897) was a Dutch-born English violinist, composer and music editor. His first music teacher was his father, Barthelemy Tours (1797-1864), who was organist of the Groote or St Laurens Kerk in Rotterdam for thirty years, a conductor, and a violinist of European wide reputation, while he studied composition with Johannes Verhulst. Later, he studied composition with François-Joseph Fétis at the conservatory in Brussels and then continued his studies in Leipzig.
In Leipzig, Tours received an invitation from Prince George Galitzin, a fellow student, to go to Russia as second violinist in a string quartet that would be engaged by the tsar. The quartet performed in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg and in neighbouring palaces. Tours then became the assistant director of the chorus in the Imperial Opera and then went with Galitzin to Covent Garden, London in 1861, as a score-reader. He was organist at St Helen’s, Bishopsgate from 1864–65, at St Peter’s, Stepney from 1865–67, and finally at the Swiss Church, Holborn from 1867–79.