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Your 20 Best Hymns?

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I may have missed it, but no-one seems to have nominated 'Tell out my soul' - surely one of the great 20th century hymns?

As for non-favourites, I have yet to come across anything written by Fred Kaan that doesn't make me wince. And much (though by no means all) of the sort of thing flogged to death by 'Spring Harvest' and the like isn't worth the paper it is printed on. Much of G. Kendrick's stuff is at the worst pleasant, some of it (Shine, Jesus, shine' for example), very uplifting - well, I like it! Others from this background include 'As the deer', 'Father, we love you', 'Majesty', and 'You are the King of Glory'. I know these aren't necessarily the finest music, or the best poetry either, but in context, played and sung carefully and thoughtfully, they have much to offer the worshipping congregation. But I wouldn't want a diet of music chosen exclusively from this sort of thing - a nice variety, as Rev. Newnham has said, suits me just fine. But I'm lucky - I choose the hymns - we don't have a boss at present.

Incidentally, on a different thread the repetition of simple phrases over and again was criticised - rightly. G.K. used to tell a story of a church he visited where it was quickly evident that to get a repeat, all you had to do was to start to sing it again. So he did - 14 times I think - before someone stopped it. Makes you wonder.

 

Regards to all

 

John

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
The Church's One Foundation  (Aurelia)

 

 

It would help if it didn't have so many verses.

 

Few hymns with more than four verses 'do it for me'. The chief exceptions would be Lift high the cross and St.Patricks's Breastplate.

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An interesting topic, I just wonder how everyones lists are influenced more by how much fun it is to play a particular tune and the actual merits of the hymn itself? Guiting Power for example, Michael is another ... a bit different for the organist, interesting to play, sexy if you like ... but add the words and a congregation and does it make a satisfying whole?

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My top 20 (in no particular order)

 

Praise to the Holiest - Richmond

Praise to the Lord - Praxis Pietatis

There's a wideness in God's Mercy - Corvedale

The King of Love - Dominus Regit Me

In our day of thanksgiving - St Catherine Court

O worship the Lord - Was Lebet

Christ Triumphant - Guiting Power

The Royal Banners - Vexilla Regis

Christ whose glory - Ratisbon

O Praise ye the Lord - Laudate Dominum

Forth in the name - Song 34

For Mary, mother of our Lord - St Botolph

Of the Father's Love - Divinum Mysterium

Light's glittering morn - Easter Song

This Joyful Eastertide - Vruechten

Angel Voices - Angel Voices

O come, O Come - Veni Emmanuel

Hark a thrilling Voice - Merton

Come down O Love Divine - Down Ampney

Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem - St Fulbert

 

...and top of the list of tunes I've banned

 

O Jesus I have promised - Hatherop Castle - music for muppets!

 

H

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O Jesus I have promised - Hatherop Castle - music for muppets!

 

'Music for muppets' is surely a suitable subtitle for Beaumont's entire output.....however I have heard a member of the clregy suggest the theme from 'The Muppet Show' as a suitable alternative tune for 'O Jesus, I have promised'. Be very afraid.

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Guest Lee Blick

OMG! <singing the tune to the words> The tune fits!!!

 

I will donate £100 to the first cathedral organist's nominated charity if they include the Muppet Show tune to "O Jesus I have promised" in a service.

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OMG!  <singing the tune to the words> The tune fits!!!

 

I will donate £100 to the first cathedral organist's nominated charity if they include the Muppet Show tune to "O Jesus I have promised" in a service.

 

Has anyone noticed that the tune to "Be still for the presence of the Lord" bears an uncanny resemblence to the theme music from a well-known TV series.

 

Since this was pointed out to me, whenever I accompany it there is an enormous temptation, after the second line of music, to launch into the "Blackadder".

 

So far I've resisted.....

 

JJK

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It's also possible to sing the Gloria to the theme of Eastenders - demonstrated to me by a clergyman who had been on a weekend bash to a Theological College, where they all thought it was huge fun, apparently....is there no hope ?

 

H

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OMG!  <singing the tune to the words> The tune fits!!!

 

I will donate £100 to the first cathedral organist's nominated charity if they include the Muppet Show tune to "O Jesus I have promised" in a service.

 

====================

 

I was hoping that the notes of the Muppet theme would fit under the notes of "Beaumont," but they don't quite.

 

However, as an avid scholar of P D Q Bach, I did write my "Homage to the diseased Bach" which includes real counterpoint; or at least something vaguely resembling it.

 

In a few hours of complete madness, I managed to write out a version of "Nola," which is heard combined, (using great contrapuntal ingenuity, if I say so myself), with the tunes "Polly," "Ain't she sweet" and the bass line of the "Air on the G string," with a curiously unexpected and surprisingly easy cadenza echoing the song "Put me among the girls."

 

In fact, I was going to invert all the themes, but armed with the initial draft, I placed the copy before an eminent theatre organist sat at a Wurlitzer , who stared at the copy with a blank expression before handing it back; declaring it completely unplayable.

 

Knowing that the same thing was said of Dupre's music, I set my mind to learning it, only to discover that he was absolutely correct.

 

MM

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Since this was pointed out to me, whenever I accompany it there is an enormous temptation, after the second line of music, to launch into the "Blackadder".
I've written a last verse harmonisation of "Stand up, stand up for Jesus" that has the end of the Blackadder theme soloed out on the Tuba for the last two lines. The trouble is, the only Tuba I regularly encounter is in a place I want to be invited back to!

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It's also possible to sing the Gloria to the theme of Eastenders - demonstrated to me by a clergyman who had been on a weekend bash to a Theological College, where they all thought it was huge fun, apparently....is there no hope ?

 

H

 

Those who know of Howells' Dallas Service might be surprised to know that it doesn't go to the theme of the once popular TV show, but it's quite uncanny how "My soul doth mag-ni-fy the_ Lord" fits to the theme tune...

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Has anyone else noticed that the opening to the Ireland in F Te Deum is nearly identical to Hey Jude?  ;)

 

====================

 

I think there is a dark side to the character of many organists!

 

Our priest is off to America after Easter Mass, so I think I shall improvise on the well known chorale "I want to be in America" from West Side Story, but in the style of Alain's "Litanies" of course.

 

:rolleyes:

 

MM

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====================

 

I think there is a dark side to the character of many organists!

 

Our priest is off to America after Easter Mass, so I think I shall improvise on the well known chorale "I want to be in America" from West Side Story, but in the style of Alain's "Litanies" of course.

 

:blink:

 

MM

 

===================

 

I did it!

 

No-one noticed.

 

:(

 

MM

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Try Lou Reed next time, there are interesting melodies there...

30 years ago we succeeded with Serge Gainsbourg's tunes,

the kind not-that-approved by the Vatican -nobody noticed,

as well-.

Pierre

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Can I also put in a personal request since we're on the subject for a mortorium on all descants to Christmas Hymns - Hark the Herald, O Come etc - that are arranged by anyone whose name isn't David Willcocks? Subsequent King's Directors of Music have made their own valiant attempts at arrangements, and all are to be congratulated on their endeavours. But DW is the daddy. Nuff said.

 

I would agree - save in one case.

 

Personally, I find DW's descant to Once in Royal David's City tedious and four-square. However, the Cleobury descant I find to be inspired, with a good sense of shape and a fine climax to the hymn.

 

On the subject of good hymns, My 'highly esteemed twenty' (in no particular order) are:

 

We sing the praise (Bow Brickhill)

Christ triumphant (Guiting Power)

Father most holy (Iste Confessor [EH 188])

All praise to Thee (Engelberg)

How shall I sing that majesty (Coe Fen)

For Mary, mother of our Lord (St. Botolph)

All my hope (Michael)

When I survey (Rockingham)

Ride on, ride on in majesty (Winchester New)

Love's redeeming work (Savannah)

Christ the Lord is risen again (Orientis Partibus)

Alleluia! Alleluia! (Lux Eoi)

O sons and daughters (o filii et filiae)

Praise to the Lord (Lobe den Herren)

I bind unto myself today (St. Patrick's Breastplate)

For the fruits of His creation (East Acklam)

Hail thee, festival day (Salve, festa dies [NEH 109ii])

Of the Father's heart begotten (Divinum Mysterium)

The duteous day now closeth (Innsbruck)

Our Lord, His Passion ended (Naphill)

 

I am also quite fond of the hymn which commences with the word 'Jerusalem' and has at least twenty-four verses, one of which runs thus:

 

"Our Lady sings 'Magnificat'

With tones surpassing sweet

And all the virgins bear their parts

Seated about her feet."

 

Hmmm....

 

:blink:

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I would agree - save in one case.

 

Personally, I find DW's descant to Once in Royal David's City tedious and four-square. However, the Cleobury descant I find to be inspired, with a good sense of shape and a fine climax to the hymn.

 

 

Here here - its one of my favourites too. Richard Lloyd has done some good ones to as have Ledger and Carter. Its just a pity that descants by other composers are so hard to get hold of cheaply (in terms of sets for a 40 strong choir)

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Here here - its one of my favourites too. Richard Lloyd has done some good ones to as have Ledger and Carter. Its just a pity that descants by other composers are so hard to get hold of cheaply (in terms of sets for a 40 strong choir)

 

Aha! Is the Cleobury descant published, then? I would very much like our choir to sing it next Christmas, instead of the Willcocks descant - and possibly nothing by Rutter, either....

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Aha! Is the Cleobury descant published, then? I would very much like our choir to sing it next Christmas, instead of the Willcocks descant - and possibly nothing by Rutter, either....

 

Encore publications if I recall. Not easy to get hold of but ring Allegro music in Birmingham and I'm sure Richard Priest will do his best for you. He's never let me down yet. Pity there are'nt more music shops run by people like him..............

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Encore publications if I recall. Not easy to get hold of but ring Allegro music in Birmingham and I'm sure Richard Priest will do his best for you. He's never let me down yet. Pity there are'nt more music shops run by people like him..............

 

Thank you, Charles. I shall indeed do this in the next couple of days.

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I’ve heard a great descant to “Love Divine” (Welsh tune, can’t remember it’s name) on a cd from Wells. I don’t know who wrote it, but Anthony Crossland was Master of music at the time.

 

I’d love to get hold of a copy. :D

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Guest Andrew Butler
I’ve heard a great descant to “Love Divine” (Welsh tune, can’t remember it’s name) on a cd from Wells.  I don’t know who wrote it, but Anthony Crossland was Master of music at the time.

 

I’d love to get hold of a copy. :D

 

Blaenwern in all probability. Sorry, don't know about Wells' descant, but John Scott

did a good one to Blaenwern when he was at St Paul's. (Don't know where to get that either, so this is a bit of a wasted post!!)

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My twenty top hymns? Well that depends what mood I’m in. Some nights I drink red wine, other nights bitter, but every now and then, lager it is.

 

Shine Jesus, shine - by all rights I should hate you, but every now and then……….

 

:)

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