Wednesday, December 20, 2006

HELMSLEY: my new favorite hymn tune

Wow .... I mean, the end of it isn’t as cool as the rest of it, but geez, the first two lines. I am especially enthralled with the end of the 2nd line, that great 3-2 motion (although, notice the parallel 5th between tenor and soprano?).

Kinda too bad, the time of year for this one (early Advent) has passed. Eh well. Always next year. :)

NB: The MIDI takes it faster than my taste, which could just be my exposure to a slower, broader tempo at our local cathedral (where they typically take these things at a slow tempo because of super-bouncy acoustics). Quarter at about 92 sounds about right to me.


At Wednesday, December 20, 2006 3:03:00 PM, Blogger Gavin said...

I was juuuust about to introduce that one at my church, but I used the same text to ST THOMAS (the tantum ergo tune) instead. The text and tune are both glorious! Maybe next year we'll use Helmsley.

At Wednesday, December 20, 2006 6:33:00 PM, Blogger Northland Al said...

This has been one of my favorite hymns for years. Of course, I am an Episcopal/Anglican musician and this is quite the quintessential Anglican tune. Vaughan Williams did well in remaking a feebly decorated 18th Century tune.

This hymn goes well with big stone churches/cathedrals and lots of incense.

At Saturday, January 20, 2007 12:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way old thread, I hop you take notice -- although this appears in the Advent section of my New English Hymnal (I admit, I didn't know it before, except as a tune used for a voluntary in an organ book,) do you think the words LIMIT it to Advent?
It speaks of so many facets of the Christ-event, it reminds me of Let All Mortal Flesh, and I could see using it for Christ the King, or general use.
Would that be absurd?

At Saturday, January 20, 2007 1:35:00 PM, Blogger Cantor said...

Not at all absurd to use “Lo, He Comes” on Christ the King - it’s an eschatological hymn, and the last (two?) weeks of OT are focused on such matters, as is Advent through December 16th.

General use, I dunno. It seems awfully specific to a certain theme (which is, in turn, tied pretty specifically to a certain time of year).

At Monday, August 03, 2009 10:48:00 PM, Blogger THE CONTRARIAN said...

Musicians might note that Helmsley is the longest hymn tune which contains no accidentals !


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