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Did anyody hear R4 Sunday worship today? I wonder if anyone thought, as did I, that Tomorrow Shall Be was taken a litle slowly? I first heard this on the 9 Lessons from Kings a few years back and I swear it was much faster then. Also, what was that rather goegeous last hymn? Anybody know? (I might be daft but is there a part of the BBC website which gives a playlist of the music at these sevices?)

 

BTW John Gardner has had a good outing recently on Sunday Worship: The Holly and the Ivy a few weeks ago and now today's Tomorrow.

 

 

Peter

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Did anyody hear R4 Sunday worship today?

Peter

The Hymn was How can I Sing that Majesty- Tune: Coe Fen by Ken Naylor. I've just emailed Peter Gould to find out what the voluntary was also - even though we only got a matter of seconds of it!

 

AJJ

 

PS The organ there always sounds (especially on broadcasts) better than it looks as if it should - I seem to remember that underneath all the Compton there is some good older pipework and that Ralph Downes was a great fan of the previous incarnation.

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The Hymn was How can I Sing that Majesty- Tune: Coe Fen by Ken Naylor. I've just emailed Peter Gould to find out what the voluntary was also - even though we only got a matter of seconds of it!

 

AJJ

 

PS The organ there always sounds (especially on broadcasts) better than it looks as if it should - I seem to remember that underneath all the Compton there is some good older pipework and that Ralph Downes was a great favourite of the previous incarnation.

 

Tnank Alastair - we seem to have acquired a custom of meeting about half an hour after Sunday Worship! :P

 

Peter

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Tnank Alastair - we seem to have acquired a custom of meeting about half an hour after Sunday Worship! :P

 

Peter

 

Glad to be of help Peter - it's my Sunday off today so I'm afraid it's Sainsburys now - please don't anyone start a thread on that!

 

AJJ

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Guest Patrick Coleman

Coe Fen has gone down well everywhere I've seen it introduced - it's become well-loved here.

 

I thought that Tomorrow sounded rather more charming sung as it was this morning - a reminder perhaps that dances are not always quick!

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I think King's did it fractionally faster, but not a lot. I thought Derby's speed was just fine; as Patrick says, a dance does not need to be fast. Poise, precision and rhythm are what that piece needs. I don't know the layout or the circumstances at Derby, but it sounded as though it might not be practical to take it any faster.

 

I would be interested in knowing what the voluntary was too. The style was very like Mathias.

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The organ voluntary was Recessional, William Mathias (Op96, No 4). In similar vein to his Processional and perhaps a tad more tricky to play.

 

 

When I listened to it I realised that the first five bars were not played this morning.

 

Published by OUP

 

ISBN 0 19 375550 5, containing :

 

Recessional

Processional

Jubilate

Postlude

Canzonetta

Chorale

Toccata Giocosa

 

H

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Coe Fen does seem to be one of the “in” hymns at the moment and I do admit that it has a fine sweep to most of it; but does anyone out there share my puzzlement at the gratuitous extra bar at the end of the third line of music? Very uncongregational, I feel and I am at a loss to understand what musical purpose it serves. Doubtless there are countless contributors who will be kind enough to try to explain to this village organist what he has failed, apparently, to grasp. Ooh-arr.

 

David Harrison

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Coe Fen does seem to be one of the “in” hymns at the moment and I do admit that it has a fine sweep to most of it; but does anyone out there share my puzzlement at the gratuitous extra bar at the end of the third line of music? Very uncongregational, I feel and I am at a loss to understand what musical purpose it serves. Doubtless there are countless contributors who will be kind enough to try to explain to this village organist what he has failed, apparently, to grasp. Ooh-arr.

 

David Harrison

 

 

Well for a start

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Coe Fen does seem to be one of the “in” hymns at the moment and I do admit that it has a fine sweep to most of it; but does anyone out there share my puzzlement at the gratuitous extra bar at the end of the third line of music? Very uncongregational, I feel and I am at a loss to understand what musical purpose it serves. Doubtless there are countless contributors who will be kind enough to try to explain to this village organist what he has failed, apparently, to grasp. Ooh-arr.

 

David Harrison

 

 

Well for a start it just sounds nice!

 

More seriously it seems to provide a "proto-climax" to the tune, heightened by the suspension and resolution into the "extra" bar which demands a slight interruption to the established rythmic pattern. This sense of psychological tension is finally overcome by the conclusion of the tune when it returns to the expected bar-count and home key.

 

Peter

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Did anyody hear R4 Sunday worship today? I wonder if anyone thought, as did I, that Tomorrow Shall Be was taken a litle slowly?

Peter

I had the same reaction. On listening again this morning, it seems we like it, or usually hear it, faster than the composer suggests. I 'clocked' Derby at about crochet 184 - the score says 180 'Fresh and lively'.

 

Of course it would be quite different with the accompanying crochet, quaver, quaver pattern on a side drum and we may just go faster to compensate........

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... PS The organ there always sounds (especially on broadcasts) better than it looks as if it should - I seem to remember that underneath all the Compton there is some good older pipework and that Ralph Downes was a great fan of the previous incarnation.

 

Does anyone have the previous specification, please? The NPOR jumps a few rebuilds, so it does not list the former incarnation.

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Does anyone have the previous specification, please? The NPOR jumps a few rebuilds, so it does not list the former incarnation.

 

I have a feeling it is Ralph Downes' Baroque Tricks - mine is buried at present so I can't check.

 

AJJ

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I have a feeling it is Ralph Downes' Baroque Tricks - mine is buried at present so I can't check.

 

AJJ

Unfortunately not. He mentions the instrument in Saint Alkmund's, Derby (old church now demolished and the organ completely reconstructed and installed in the new building). However, he does not give the previous specification of the cathedral organ.

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Well for a start it just sounds nice!

 

More seriously it seems to provide a "proto-climax" to the tune, heightened by the suspension and resolution into the "extra" bar which demands a slight interruption to the established rythmic pattern. This sense of psychological tension is finally overcome by the conclusion of the tune when it returns to the expected bar-count and home key.

 

Peter

Remarkably, at my school this is the rather in tune, despite it not appearing in the EH. They never sang the hymn to the drearier tune in EH and I think one of my predecessors introuduced Coe Fen. I rather like it too, though its irregular metre and shape of the melody takes some getting used to.

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I rather like it too, though its irregular metre and shape of the melody takes some getting used to.

Im glad someone else finds this. Am I alone in finding that this tune doesn't quite cut the mustard? I'm not denying that it's a good tune - I would certainly use it in preference to some other, more dreary offerings - but I can't quite understand the acclaim heaped upon it. It's just a little too quirky for me.

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Im glad someone else finds this. Am I alone in finding that this tune doesn't quite cut the mustard? I'm not denying that it's a good tune - I would certainly use it in preference to some other, more dreary offerings - but I can't quite understand the acclaim heaped upon it. It's just a little too quirky for me.

I think it's gorgeous!

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I think its a fantastic modern tune, possibly the greatest of the 20th century.

It probably does take a little more getting used to than some others, but thats because of the ways its written, its different and thats what makes it good.

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Guest Patrick Coleman

I would say that Coe Fen scores as a tune because:

  • there is a modal feel to it, that appeals to the traditional and timeless;
  • there is a reasonable amount of dissonance in the accompaniment, that makes it feel modern;
  • there is also a fair amount of movement (if not counterpoint) in the accompaniment, that makes it feel like it's a choral piece and not another 'four square' hymn tune;
  • there is a solidity in the melody that allows a congregation to belt it out when appropriate, and thus feel satisfied.

IM not very HO there are other tunes that would give it a run for its money as the best from the 20th century. Pantyfedwen is one of them, as is Tydi a Roddaist, which, together with Coe Fen, made it to New English Praise.

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I would say that Coe Fen scores as a tune because:
  • there is a modal feel to it, that appeals to the traditional and timeless;
  • there is a reasonable amount of dissonance in the accompaniment, that makes it feel modern;
  • there is also a fair amount of movement (if not counterpoint) in the accompaniment, that makes it feel like it's a choral piece and not another 'four square' hymn tune;
  • there is a solidity in the melody that allows a congregation to belt it out when appropriate, and thus feel satisfied.

IM not very HO there are other tunes that would give it a run for its money as the best from the 20th century. Pantyfedwen is one of them, as is Tydi a Roddaist, which, together with Coe Fen, made it to New English Praise.

 

I think I would count Michael as among such tunes, Patrick. Would you (& others) agree? I know it is probably a bit "overused" these days but it is a splendid tune. BTW Wills did an organ piece based on it.

 

It also has a somewhat bizarre descand and re-harmonised last verse, done, I think, by Howells himself.

 

Peter

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I would say that Coe Fen scores as a tune because:
  • there is a modal feel to it, that appeals to the traditional and timeless;
  • there is a reasonable amount of dissonance in the accompaniment, that makes it feel modern;
  • there is also a fair amount of movement (if not counterpoint) in the accompaniment, that makes it feel like it's a choral piece and not another 'four square' hymn tune;
  • there is a solidity in the melody that allows a congregation to belt it out when appropriate, and thus feel satisfied.

IM not very HO there are other tunes that would give it a run for its money as the best from the 20th century. Pantyfedwen is one of them, as is Tydi a Roddaist, which, together with Coe Fen, made it to New English Praise.

 

If we're having 'best late 20th century tune', I'm afraid there's no competition IMHO; East Acklam by Francis Jackson, by a long way, especially if sung to the 'For the fruits of his creation' words. It made it into the EH supplement as well, and rather surprisingly, given the nature and tone of the rest of the hymn book, is actually in Hymns Old and New.

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