Sheet music

Musical contribution - April 2017

God be praised (Healy Willan)

This month, the Christian church celebrates another of its most important festivals: the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The seven Sundays in Lent (or the 40-day fast if you prefer) are past, and Resurrection Day dawns. Music is traditionally sober in the weeks before Easter, and in some churches, there’s no music played at all. But at Easter, triumph resounds once more. The English-Canadian organist/composer Healy Willan felt the same way. He wrote a festive arrangement of this beautiful Hymn, with full registration and a leading tuba. If your organ does not have this option, you can use a clear leading stop instead, in octaves if necessary. In bar 30, everything comes together in a mighty fortissimo.

Up until recently, I had always thought that this was originally an English Hymn. However, to my surprise it turns out that the creator of this beautiful song is the German, Melchior Vulpius, who we also know through a number of other songs. The song is Song 619 in the new Songbook. Whether it’s English or German doesn’t detract from the power of the text and the melody.

On behalf of the management and staff at Johannus Orgelbouw,

we wish you a Blessed Easter.

André van Vliet