Sheet music

Musical contribution - October 2012

For all the Saints who from their labours rest (Ronald IJmker) – We are celebrating an anniversary this month, as it’s the 50th time we are offering you sheet music via our website. And its worldwide use is evident from the many reactions we receive. This is why this anniversary edition’s choice is an international melody: “Sine Nomine”.

The text was written by Bishop William Walsham How. People refer to him as the greatest hymn writer of Victorian England. The melody is by none other than Ralph Vaughan Williams. Rhythmically every line starts slightly differently. The tension remains until the very last line, which is where we hear the highest note (e”) with “Halleluja”.

The organist Ronald IJmker (1981) produced a fantastic arrangement for this song. He opens up with a chorale in beautiful continuous lines. You can hear this chorale with a dark registration in the recording, thought to be an English organ type. But the use of a cornet would certainly sound good too. The canon which follows demands a beautiful soft reed. You can hear the last note of the melody in the 33rd measure, but this very naturally flows into the free fantasy which follows.

Ronald takes us to the final chorale in measure 84 via a long stretched out crescendo. Along the way the chorale lines are in the spotlight in twos. And measures 78 to 83 add extra colour to the fantasy. The final chorale can be played grander, if so required, by doubling the melody.

… and singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:

Alleluia, Alleluia!