Musical contribution - November 2018

Op U, mijn Heiland, blijf ik hopen - Jan Zwart (1877-1937) (LiVE sample set: Utrecht, Bätz).

For organists, the last two months of the year are all about Christmas. There is still a lot of demand for beautiful choral arrangements. I also regularly receive requests for music that can be played for worship services. I’ve been keeping this in mind already in recent years, and for this month too I have a real Advent song, by the well-known composer, Jan Zwart.

Because this melody is familiar to us under the title “Op U, mijn Heiland, blijf ik hopen”, I have not used the original text. The original work was for violin, vocals and organ. There have been some changes made over the course of time. I recently came into possession of a collection with the inscription: “Jan Zwart Manuscripts, for Bram Bruin”. Bruin was one of Zwart’s pupils. One of the items in this collection was a hand-written arrangement of this song for organ. I can’t say for sure, but this is probably in the handwriting of Zwart himself.

I now offer you this arrangement in original form, apart from a single note (with a strange parallel removed here and there), and at a full tone lower. After the introduction, which is repeated later, we hear the melody (leading) in its entirety. There are a lot of options with respect to registration. For example, if a principal is chosen as the leading stop in the second part, it might be nice to keep the first part based on the 8’. If you choose a cornet, then it works better to also add a 4’ to the 8’ in the first part, or even a 4’ and 3’. When it comes to the intensity between parts 1 and 2, I would personally not make this too large.

Kind regards,

André van Vliet

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