Tuesday, April 21, 2015

This Joyful Eastertide!

One of my absolute favorite things about the season!  A fantastic text and a glorious tune; we sang it at the Sequence this past Sunday:

This, from the YouTube page:
The words of this Easter carol was written by George R. Woodward (1848-1934) in 1894. The melody is Dutch and fist showed up in the 1680s.

The arrangement from 1901 is by the Irish composer Charles Wood. He studied with Stanford at the Royal College of Music in London, and he would himself become a Professor of Music there, where his pupils would include Ralph Vaughan Williams and Herbert Howells.

Die deutsche Fassung stammt von Jürgen Henkys (1983). In wunderbarer Weise bringt es die Bilder des Osterevangeliums, den Ruf „denn nun ist er erstanden“ mit unserer eigenen Auferstehung in Beziehung. Die schwungvolle Melodie und die kraftvolle Aufwärtsbewegung beim „erstanden“ machen dieses Lied zu einem mitreißenden Osterjubel.

Happy Easter - Frohe Ostern !

This joyful Eastertide,
Away with sin and sorrow!
My Love, the Crucified,
Hath sprung to life this morrow.
Had Christ, that once was slain,
Ne'er burst his three-day prison,
Our faith had been in vain:
But now hath Christ arisen.

My flesh in hope shall rest,
And for a season slumber:
Till trump from east to west,
Shall wake the dead in number.
Had Christ etc.

Death's flood hath lost its chill,
Since Jesus cross'd the river:
Lover of souls, from ill
My passing soul deliver.
Had Christ etc.

(George Radcliffe Woodward, 1894)

Der schöne Ostertag!
Ihr Menschen, kommt ins Helle!
Christ, der begraben lag,
brach heut aus seiner Zelle.
Wär vorm Gefängnis noch der schwere Stein vorhanden,
so glaubten wir umsonst.
Doch nun ist er erstanden.

Was euch auch niederwirft,
Schuld, Krankheit, Flut und Beben –
er, den ihr lieben dürft, trug euer Kreuz ins Leben.
Läg er noch immer, wo die Frauen ihn nicht fanden,
so kämpften wir umsonst.
Doch nun ist er erstanden.

Muss ich von hier nach dort -
er hat den Weg erlitten.
Der Fluss reißt mich nicht fort, seit Jesus ihn durchschritten.
Wär er geblieben, wo des Todes Wellen branden,
so hofften wir umsonst.
Doch nun ist er erstanden.

(Jürgen Henkys, 1983)

The Cambridge Singers
Conducted by John Rutter

The score was created in Sibelius First (version 6.2), based on the edition in '100 carols for choirs' (Oxford University Press). Please note that Cambridge Singers sings the carol one semitone higher than reflected in the score.

And not only that!  We had this one, too, as the first hymn on the day:

1. He is risen, he is risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice:
he has burst his three days' prison;
let the whole wide earth rejoice:
Death is conquered, we are free,
Christ has won the victory.

2. Come, ye sad and fearful-hearted,
with glad smile and radiant brow!
Death's long shadows have departed;
Jesus' woes are over now,
and the passion that he bore,
sin and pain can vex no more.

*3. Come, with high and holy hymning,
hail our Lord's triumphant day;
not one darksome cloud is dimming
yonder glorious morning ray,
breaking o'ver the purple east,
symbol of our Easter feast.

4. He is risen, he is risen!
He hath opened heaven's gate:
we are free from sin's dark prison,
risen to a holier state;
and a brighter Easter beam
on our longing eyes shall stream.

Words: Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), alt. Music: Unser Herrscher, Joachim Neander (1650-1580)

And this lovely thing, for Communion; people can sing the refrain - just "Alleluia, alleluia!" - as they walk forward, without needing the hymnal.  Beautiful and tuneful:

And this, for the final hymn; sung to the Christmas chant tune, Puer Nobis:

#193 from The Hymnal 1982: Closing Hymn for the Second Sunday of Easter at St. Bartholomew's, an Episcopal church in New York City on May 1, 2011.

This hymn is an English translation of the 5th century Ambrosian hymn "Aurora lucis rutilat". The translation is based on John M. Neale's 19th century text. The tune, "Puer Nobis", is a tune used for different hymns. Its origins lie in the 15th century Trier manuscript, adapted by Michael Praetorius in the 17th century, and harmonized by George Woodward in the 20th.

Really, sometimes I think I could go just for the music.  Lucky us!

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