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ProductsSheet Music for GuitarSolo GuitarTwo Hymn Tune Settings

NewTwo Hymn Tune Settings

Two Hymn Tune Settings

Composer: VARIOUS

Arranger: SMALL, Mark

DZ 4297


ISBN: 978-2-89852-214-7

Solo Guitar

8 p.


These two anthems are among my favorites. “Be Still My Soul” originates from the penultimate chorale section of the tone poem, Finlandia, that Jean Sibelius composed in 1899. Perhaps the best known work by him, Finlandia is a series of six scenarios drawn from the history of the composer’s homeland, Finland. The chorale section took on a life of its own as a vocal piece with patriotic lyrics supplied by the Finnish poet V.A. Koskenniemi. Sibelius created a version for choir in 1948. The religious words sung in English today in many Christian churches are from a translation by Jane Borthwick (1813-1957) of a text by German hymn writer Katharina von Schlegel (b. 1697). My setting is fairly straight forward with an intro, verse, interlude, verse, coda, and a recap of the intro.

In contrast to the reflective tone of  “Be Still My Soul,” “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is to be played with more energy in keeping with the tenor of the lyrics that celebrate God’s grace and continually-outstretched hand. The melody is based on the hymn tune Nettleton, published by John Wyeth (1735-1790). In this setting, I present the exposition of this memorable tune over a persistent rhythm in the bass that is established in the intro. What follows is a series of variations of the melody, texture, and mood, being contrapuntal at times, homophonic at others, with forays to other tonal centers. Along with the introduction and coda, there are four sections that state the melody and then fragment it while following the original harmonization, but also departing from it at various points. For the final statement of the melody beginning in measure 81, the performer should feel free to play the recap more slowly and deliberately than the first time through. This is an especially effective approach heard in some choral renditions that bring a feeling of grandness to the final section.

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