For the second Sunday after Epiphany, here is a setting of NETTLETON, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” This hymn, written by Robert Robinson in 1758, has long been one of my favorites. In fact, this is the
fourth fifth sixth time I have written a setting of this hymn!
For Epiphany, here is an isorhythmic setting of the great Lutheran chorale WIE SCHÖN LEUCHTET, “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright” (or, “How Brightly Shines the Morning Star”). This free harmonization could be played on either piano or organ, and its extended chords and harmonic progressions are meant to invoke the sparkle of a star! Happy New Year… and Happy Epiphany!
For the second Sunday after Christmas, here is a setting of the Polish carol W ŻŁOBIE LEŻY, “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.” This tune is in rounded bar form (AABA), and I have long admired the beautiful sequences in the ‘B’ section. For a bit of text-painting, I tried to capture a sense of the “swiftly winging” angels at this point in the arrangement. Merry Christmas!
For the first Sunday after Christmas, I’ve written a setting of the joyful English tune SUSSEX CAROL, “On Christmas Night All Christians Sing.” The text, written by Roman Catholic bishop Luke Wadding, includes this great line: “All out of darkness we have light, which made the angels sing this night.” Merry Christmas!
As an added bonus this week before Christmas Eve, here is a simple setting of the 16th century English ballad, GREENSLEEVES, “What Child Is This.” This arrangement can be performed on either piano or organ; and it can also be performed with violin or oboe on the melody (up-stemmed notes when applicable), accompanied by piano or organ playing the remaining notes. Merry Christmas!
For the fourth week of Advent, here is a setting of the popular French carol IL EST NÉ, “Il est né, le divin Enfant” (“He Is Born, the Holy Child”). This could be played on either piano or organ, on which a solo 8′ reed would be appropriate for the refrain (r.h.).
Concordia Publishing House has released volume 6 of the increasingly popular Hymn Prelude Library (based on Lutheran Service Book), containing hymn tunes that begin with ‘J,’ ‘K’ and ‘L.’ My setting of LINSTEAD (“All You Works of God, Bless the Lord”) is included in this volume. Here is a review of the entire collection by Paul Grime, Associate Professor and Dean of the Chapel at Concordia Theological Seminary:
The new Hymn Prelude Library continues a long tradition at CPH of providing organists with well-crafted hymn settings suitable for use in worship. This new series offers substantial settings that are well edited and promises to be a valuable resource for years to come.
For the second Sunday of Advent, here is a short, happy setting of the French carol BESANÇON, most often associated with the text “People, Look East,” by English writer Eleanor Farjeon. This could work well as a hymn introduction or short prelude/interlude and can be played on either piano or organ.
On this week before Thanksgiving, here is another hymn setting: AR HYD Y NOS, “For the Fruit of All Creation” (other common hymn texts include “God, That Made the Earth and Heaven” and “Go, My Children, with My Blessing”). This tune is frequently found in both F and G major, so I’ve included both keys here.