Musical contribution – October 2022
Geprezen zij de Heer / Rule Britannia Bert Kruis (b. 1967)
The original title of this world-renowned song is ‘Rule, Britannia!’. The lyrics of this British patriotic anthem, which was written on the occasion of the coronation of King William IV, were written by James Thomson, with music by the celebrated British composer Thomas Arne.
Set to new lyrics by Jan van Ingen van Schenau, the song was introduced in Dutch churches many years ago under the name Geprezen zij de Heer (‘Praise the Lord’). In other countries, too, this famous melody appeared in hymnbooks, with new lyrics.
Dutch composer Bert Kruis produced his own arrangement of the composition, opening with a ‘festive prelude’ with strong reverberation. Bert favours a 3-manual organ for this composition; if you don’t have access to one, it can also be played perfectly well on a 2-manual instrument. There are two options:
-You stick to II and I. As soon as III appears, we play on II – but slightly softer.
- You play II on I, (III on II); as soon as I appears, we then add 1 or 2 registers.
This continues until the bottom of page 1 and is then followed by the melody with a triplet movement in the accompaniment. Start on the third manual and then, after 8 bars, continue on the first manual, followed by 4 bars on the pedalboard.
The Gigue is fast, lively dance. Registration instructions are provided by the composer. They conclude with the chorale, which is played with four stops. But as Bert reassured me, it is perfectly OK to double this number if desired.