Hyperion Records

Lobe den Herren
Joachim Neander’s famous text Lobe den Herren (published in his Alpha und Omega of 1680) is a paraphrase of Psalm 103. The chorale melody is probably based on a German folk tune, and was used by J S Bach in the cantatas Lobe den Herren, BWV137, and Herr Gott, Beherrscher aller Dinge, BWV120a.

Catherine Winkworth (1827–1878) was a prolific translator of hymns, principally German chorales. Having spent a year in Dresden, she published Lyra Germanica in 1854, a collection of German hymns in her own translation. In 1863 her translation of Lobe den Herren was published in The Chorale Book for England, which Winkworth edited alongside the composers Otto Goldschmidt and William Sterndale Bennett, who is buried in Musicians’ Aisle, Westminster Abbey. The Chorale Book was highly influential in introducing a wide variety of German chorales to England, and Winkworth placed her translation alongside the published melody from Soren’s Praxis Pietatis Melica of 1668. Although many of her translations are masterly, Praise to the Lord has been criticised by some as flattening out the more colourful German text, which summons instruments to assist in sounding the praises of God. The arrangement by James O’Donnell was specially made for the quadrennial service of installation of Knights of the Order of the Bath in Westminster Abbey.

from notes by The Revd Dr James Hawkey 2014

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