For the last several years I've always sat up a little straighter when I hear the opening hymn at the annual Meditation on the Passion of Christ from St. John's, Cambridge. (link to 2016 service webcast).
The organ is blaring, the voices are full, the sound is thrilling. And no small part of it is the harmonization from the English Hymnal which is by J. S. Bach.
The hymn is "All glory, laud, and honor", which we all know well. Probably too well, even though we only get around to it once a year. Probably part of my reaction to this sound from St. John's is that the character is somewhat different from the Teschner/Monk harmonization in the Hymnal 1982.
The harmony is, well... it's more Bach, of course. There's more drama in the bass line; there are more leading tones. It's more visceral. There's more soul. Or something.
So, this year we're trying the English Hymnal harmony. I finally buckled down to edit the Hymnal 1982 words and melody (note that it is slightly different than the way the tune appears in the English Hymnal) to
utilize utilise the English Hymnal harmonies.
And, as a small offering to the Church, it's available to you just in time for Wednesday or Thursday night choir rehearsal to try it out. Enjoy.
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