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Thread: in your hymnal

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    Default in your hymnal

    The hymnal in current use at our church has some arrangements using the music of Haydn. Mozart, and Bach.
    Clearly though, nobody knows that "My Jesus, As Thou Will" is the horn quartet from Der Frieschutz
    Found any treasures in your hymn books?

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    There are lots of gorgeous tunes in the school hymnal I grew up with. The two I'm mentioning here I had always thought were written by major composers, but apparently not.

    I love Charles Wesley's words 'Lo, He comes with clouds descending' - oddly for one of the founders of Methodism, they're very 'Catholic'! - and I love the usual tune, 'Helmsley'. It is described as 'an English melody of the 18th century', but it definitely sounds like 'pukka art music'.

    I also love Martin Luther's hymn, Ein' Feste Burg. The older translation always gives me goose-flesh:

    The ancient prince of Hell
    Hath risen with purpose fell;
    Strong mail of craft and power
    He weareth in this hour.
    On earth is not his fellow.


    Taggart & I always thought that the tune was written by Bach, but apparently it was Martin Luther himself, though possibly based on an earlier battle-hymn against the Ottomans.

    I'll always remember, before I became a Catholic, I was a student volunteer at a Cheshire Home (for the disabled & chronically ill) and there were a lot of young White Fathers, a Catholic missionary order, also working as nurses. One young German priest was musical and we student nurses were getting him to sing & play the piano for us one evening, but there was a problem in that he didn't know the same songs as us. I cast around for any German songs that I knew, and remembered Ein' Feste Burg.

    'Do you know Martin Luther's hymn?' I asked brightly.
    He replied, 'Certainly not!'
    Last edited by Ingélou; Sep-24-2013 at 10:24.
    ~ Mollie ~
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    Senior Member Winterreisender's Avatar
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    Once I remember the opening hymn for Wagner's Meistersinger ("Da zu dir der Heiland kam") came up as a hymn with the words "Holy ghost, we offer here."

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    Interesting thread; I have heard several hymns that seemed unexplainably familiar (I'm not a churchgoer), but am notably weak in music identification. So my contribution here is to offer a link to pronunciation. It's a case of the silent 'n' speaking up - I was wondering.

    http://www.forvo.com/word/hymnal/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingenue View Post
    Taggart & I always thought that the tune was written by Bach, but apparently it was Martin Luther himself, though possibly based on an earlier battle-hymn against the Ottomans.
    Bach did a series of variations on a very similar hymn, also by Luther.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Mahlerian, thanks, these variations are fab!

    The obvious 'Classical Music' hymn is 'I vow to thee my country' by Sir Cecil Spring-Rice (oh how we schoolgirls giggled!) to music from Holst's Jupiter. It was popular with us partly for the lovely tune & partly for the words, though even in those days, our RE teacher slated it. It gets panned today even more often, for its words:

    'I vow to thee my country, all earthly things above,
    Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
    The love that asks no questions - the love that stands the test -
    That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best
    .'

    I do think all the flak is a bit unfair. On Star Trek, the captain regularly threatens to let the aliens destroy him & his entire crew, rather than get access to bomb earth or whatever, and 'asking no questions' really only means readily, with military discipline etc. And the second stanza of the hymn talks of the heavenly country which takes precedence over all earthly loyalties and which gains adherents year by year from the human world.

    I still like the tune, but as Jupiter is 'the bringer of jollity' and the rest of Holst's piece is blithe and playful, the hymn somewhat spoils 'Jupiter' for me now - wrong associations.
    Last edited by Ingélou; Sep-24-2013 at 17:37.
    ~ Mollie ~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    Interesting thread; I have heard several hymns that seemed unexplainably familiar (I'm not a churchgoer), but am notably weak in music identification. So my contribution here is to offer a link to pronunciation. It's a case of the silent 'n' speaking up - I was wondering.

    http://www.forvo.com/word/hymnal/
    Good point, Hilltroll. It's also an answer to would-be spelling reformers. Those who'd write 'hym' for hymn would lose the connection with hymnal.
    ~ Mollie ~
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    In addition, I enjoy Vaughan Williams' contributions to the English Hymnal, e.g. "For All the Saints." Although really the whole book is his doing.

    I also find it funny when Haydn's tune for the German national anthem comes up with the text "Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him."

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    Even more interesting is Vaughan William's tune Monk's Gate for "To be a pilgrim". It is name after Monk’s Gate in Sussex where Vaughan Williams heard the folk song whose tune he adapted to fit it. Vaughan Williams’s tune was adopted for the first edition of the English Hymnal in 1906. Three years later he heard the same tune being used by Ellen Powell, near Weobley, Herefordshire.

    Here are versions of To be a Pilgrim and The Blacksmith both sung by Maddy Prior.



    Last edited by Taggart; Sep-16-2014 at 17:13.
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    Senior Member Celloman's Avatar
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    For some years now, I have been fond of the "King's Weston" hymn tune. One of my school assignments was to arrange a hymn tune, and I picked this one and have enjoyed it ever since. It has a unique, folksy flavor all of its own. Unfortunately, we are not familiar with that hymn here in the States, so I have never had the opportunity to sing it in a congregational setting.

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    I adore the "Wondrous Love" tune, and even wrote a composition based on it.
    Here is the manuscript for the "ponderable", or so I named it:
    webcam-toy-photo86.jpg
    The Trinity Hymnal is my church's hymnal, and it has a lot of great ones, like the Gustav Holst "Jupiter" hymn, Fairest Lord Jesus (performing that one at church with my sister sometime), and O Worship the King. I'm too lazy to get my copy from the basement right now, though, so I can't cite these tunes.
    Last edited by Rehydration; Sep-24-2013 at 22:41.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterreisender View Post
    Once I remember the opening hymn for Wagner's Meistersinger ("Da zu dir der Heiland kam") came up as a hymn with the words "Holy ghost, we offer here."
    There's a hymn based on the overture to Weber's Der Freischütz as well, although I don't remember the name.

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    One fairly-recent arrival on the hymn scene (with us, anyway) is the chorus from Handel's Judas Maccabaeus, to which are sung the words 'Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son...'

    At our church, this is usually an exit hymn after an 'important' Mass, say, Easter Sunday. And it really stirs the blood - the soul too, I hope!
    Last edited by Ingélou; Sep-25-2013 at 10:15.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Just been looking at a battered old copy of Sankey's "Sacred Songs and Solos with Standard Hymns" - some gems - I know that my Redeemer lives - Handel; God Moves in a Mysterious Way - Tallis; Am I a Soldier of the Cross - Purcell. Plus there are a number of hymns that have passed (with alternative words) into folk tradition like The Sweet by and By (Pie in the Sky) or My God I have Found (Alleluia I'm a bum).

    Interesting thought. There seems to be a greater divide between hymnals in terms of "standard" hymns and what I think of as "ditties" (not Taize though). Whereas Sankey could have the classic tunes as well as the belters like Amazing Grace, Shall we Gather at the River and so forth, we now seem to have a) dropped the standards (or if they are included the words are mangled) and b) got a lot more odd stuff.

    Another difference is in the use of Latin. We regularly get K. 618 (Ave Verum Corpus) as a choir piece and use a lot of plainchant. Other churches locally don't. I remember being taught the Mozart Gloria at school but this sort of music is now reserved to only a few centres of excellence.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingenue View Post
    Taggart & I always thought that the tune was written by Bach, but apparently it was Martin Luther himself, though possibly based on an earlier battle-hymn against the Ottomans.
    I have heard that "Ein feste Burg" is based on a drinking song. Or maybe that is urban legend...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ingenue View Post
    'I vow to thee my country'
    We have these more Calvinist words in the Presbyterian Hymnal supplement -- so that we can still enjoy that gorgeous tune

    O God beyond all praising,
    we worship you today
    and sing the love amazing
    that songs cannot repay;
    for we can only wonder
    at every gift you send,
    at blessings without number
    and mercies without end:
    we lift our hearts before you
    and wait upon your word,
    we honor and adore you,
    our great and mighty Lord.

    Then hear, O gracious Savior,
    accept the love we bring,
    that we who know your favor
    may serve you as our king;
    and whether our tomorrows
    be filled with good or ill,
    we'll triumph through our sorrows
    and rise to bless you still:
    to marvel at your beauty
    and glory in your ways,
    and make a joyful duty
    our sacrifice of praise.
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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