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To Know Christ and to Make Him Known

May 10, 2020: “Hymn Tune Prelude on Song 13″ & Hymn 670, “Lord, forever at thy side”

“Hymn Tune Prelude on Song 13″ by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Hymn 670, “Lord, forever at thy side”

(If you do not see the music link icon, you must click on the above Weekly Music Notes title for May 10, 2020.)

This week’s organ piece is by the beloved English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958).  The influence of music from the Tudor era is often evident in Vaughan Williams’s music — for example, in the great orchestral piece “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.”  The piece for this week, “Hymn Tune Prelude on Song 13,” also makes use of an old English tune – in this case a tune written by Orlando Gibbons in the early seventeenth century.

“Hymn Tune Prelude on Song 13″ was originally written in 1930 for the pianist Harriet Cohen, but it has also been arranged for organ and works very nicely on that instrument.   The tune is played in long notes in the left hand against the serene, flowing lines of the outer voices.  Here is my performance of “Hymn Tune Prelude on Song 13″ by Ralph Vaughan Williams, arranged by English organist Stanley Roper:


I also wanted to include a couple of the verses that go with the tune SONG 13 in our hymnal.  Here, then are verses 1 and 2 of hymn 670 “Lord, forever at thy side” along with my organ accompaniment. Thanks very much for listening!

1. Lord, forever at thy side,
let my place and portion be,
strip me of the robe of pride,
clothe me with humility.

2. When I come before thy Word,
quiet my anxiety;
teach me thou alone art Lord,
let my heart find rest in thee.