Musical contribution – August 2022
All Creatures of Our God and King André van Vliet
This month, we are presenting a hymn tune known around the world that first appeared in a tune book in Cologne in 1623. While the English version of the tune began to gain popularity in the early twentieth century, the original lyrics were written by Saint Francis of Assisi and predate the tune by several centuries.
The Dutch version of the tune is structured slightly differently from versions prevalent in other countries: each line is followed by a single ‘Hallelujah’, whereas in other, international versions ‘Hallelujah’ is sung twice. Whichever version you might prefer, it is undeniably a rousing melody.
This particular rendition was commissioned many years ago by a publishing company which sought to offer musicians accessible, easy-to-play preludes (for example, to help amateur church organists prepare in time if they are given the playlist only 24 hours before the start of the service).
In the first few bars, the melody is progressively increased by one-third, after which two lines are followed with a leading stop. This is then repeated twice.
As far as registration goes, we recommend following the typically Dutch arrangement: 8, 4, 3 tremulant with a Cornet or Sexquialtera as C.F. Of course, a soft reed or combination 16, 8, 4, (3), 2 would be a fine alternative.
André van Vliet