SATB Choir and Violin. A traditional and enchanting setting of this now famous text and tune.
Although in A-flat, this work may be performed in A, to facilitate performance of the obbligato on the violin (the part in A is included).
Flute, clarinet, or an 8' organ stop of sufficient timbre and presence may be used instead.
From the composer: For almost a century, the hymn remained unknown in mainline Christian worship. It was brought to wide notice by Pete Seeger during the folk revival of the 1960's and came into use in Roman Catholic worhsip through arrangements by Marty Haugen and others. Although Lowry composed the music for the hymn, the authorship fo the words is unclear. Regardless of authorship, the words, while bearing an unmistakably Victorian patina, are remarkably fresh and viable in their original form, and require little editing for use in modern worship.
Performance: In this arrangement, the violin serves as a descant to the melody, and should be played as vocally as possible, in the idiom of folk music or fiddle playing (Jay Unger's Ashokan Farewell was a model for this descant). The violin forms an essential part of the harmony and cannot be omitted. If necessary, it can be played on some other treble instrument or keyboard, or even sung on a neutral syllable by a soloist.
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