29 October 2009

An Irritation

Why, oh, why do LW and LSB alter "For All the Saints" by SWITCHING the last two verses around. It makes NO sense (except to put a Trinitarian doxology at the end). Note that verse 8 describes the ingathering of the saints through death:

From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

This is glorious, this is joyous...BUT!!!!

But, lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day,
The saints triumphant RISE in bright array;
The King of Glory passes on His way!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

That's how the piece was originally composed and I dare say William How knew exactly what he was doing when he put the stanzas in their proper order. Granted, it is a minor irritation, but irritate me it does every All Saints. How did that not get caught and fixed???

***CORRECTION: Terry checked this out and I was DEAD WRONG. I'd been misled by TLH, assuming it reflected the original ordering of the stanzas (and so how they were to be understood), but TLH inverted the last two stanzas (no doubt for the same theological reason I assumed). So as it appears in LSB and LW *is* the correct ordering from the original. As I said in the comments below - that will teach me to mouth off before checking the facts (well, probably not for long, but maybe for a little while?).


Bryce P Wandrey said...

"William How knew exactly what he was doing"

Anglican Bishops typically do...

...I couldn't resist. :D

Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes) said...

Now we just need a less Anglophonic melody. :D

Past Elder said...

Actually, every version of this hymn I have seen other than Lutheran ones has 11, not 8, verses and ends with the Trinitarian one.

The ones about Apostles, Evangelists and Martyrs aren't even there!

Maybe LSB was proceeding in its trademark sorta kinda way and restoring the original ending but not restoring the original.

William Weedon said...

Goodness, Terry. You are RIGHT. I assumed, falsely, that TLH gave the correct ordering, and here I find in TLH's handbook, that TLH altered the ordering (no doubt reading it exactly as *I* had). That will teach me to mouth off and make assumptions without checking facts. Well, probably not for long, for a little while anyway. THANK you for double checking!!!

Past Elder said...

Well this just makes my day! Usually I'M the one with the TLH or be damned approach!

William Weedon said...

Glad to make your day!!!

TLH will, I suppose, always be my touchstone, but how worthwhile to examine the assumptions. I mean this has irritated me FOR YEARS - and I never bothered to check on it. Simply assumed that TLH had it right (and theologically, I DO think TLH has this one right - but hey, who can argue with the original author).

The handbook to the TLH supplies the extra verses too about the Apostles, Evangelists, and Martyrs.

Past Elder said...

The solution is to become Catholic. They never sing more than the first couple three verses of anything then maybe jump to the last.

Hell, we sang For All The Saints at die Abtei all the time!

Now I'm gonna go off on one of my pet peeves, printing only the tune in handouts so nobody sings their respective parts like REAL Lutherans but Catholics who couldn't four-part their way out of a paper bag. Before becoming Lutheran I LOVED non-Catholic weddings because I could crank my my basso grosso and rock out! Now I'm a Lutheran and they sing like Catholics. Judas in the schola cantorum.

William Weedon said...

One of the very good things about LSB was restoring the basic four-part harmony. One of the not so good things was occasionally saving space on some tune with only the melody line. Each time it happens I hear about it at home, for Cindi likes to sing the tenor up an octave on the last stanzas as descant, Lauren and Bekah sing alto, David and his daddy enjoy singing bass.

Past Elder said...

OK now don't ausgefreak but it was two years of four part Bach chorale part-writing at die Abtei and learning to improvise from a figured bass that taught me how to play Jazz.

When Blues On Bach by Modern Jazz Quartet came out I totally lost it! John Lewis and JS Bach, I'll bet those two would have jammed up a storm!

Now we just reproduce what somebody else wrote and call it making music. Jeez, if I wasn't in enough trouble for my preconciliar ways in those days, the putting improvisation on a par with playing somebody else's stuff would have done me in right there.

Past Elder said...

Then Wynton did it and everything was cool, but too late for me, I was boofed!

William Weedon said...

Terry, you must repent of this. Jazz is well nigh unto a mortal sin. Listen to some Josquin des Prez to cleanse it out of your system...

Past Elder said...

Josquin who? Never heard of no Benedictine named Josquin.

Seriously, Machaut and the Ars Nova were bad enough. Everybody knows sacred music started going to hell when instead of chanting like monking monks of the OSB they started jamming secular stuff over words of chant -- motets, yeah -- and went right straight in the handbasket when duple time got equal status with triple time reflecting the perfection of the Trinity.

Oh wait, the Prez? You mean Lester Young! The man, dude.

PS I was gonna write my name on the Sistine Chapel too, but some dude in a striped clown suit or something jumped me.

Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes) said...

To clear up the other irritation, that is, the one that I introduced: the original melody is called "Sarum," and is I think much more suited to church use, and to the sense of the text.