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Sebaste

First line:
Hail, gladdening Light
composer
author of text
3rd-century (or earlier) Greek
translator of text

 
This is probably the oldest Christian hymn that survives complete. It was not a congregational hymn as we understand it, but was for the home, for the lighting of the lamps at sunset. It is a hymn of praise to the Holy Trinity, but within that above all to Christ, as the Light of the World. In the original it is not written in verses of repeating metre, and John Keble has kept this freedom in his translation. This however makes it impossible to set to an ordinary hymn tune. John Stainer was one of the leading musicians of his day. As Organist of St Paul’s Cathedral (1872–1888) he brought the singing of the choir to new heights; he moved to be Professor of Music at Oxford (1889–1899). Stainer wrote much church music, both for cathedral and parish use; he wrote and edited hymn tunes and carols, and this is but one of his many tunes still in use. He solved the problem of these words by writing a chant setting, a style that was popular at the time, although this is more elaborate than most. Despite this, it became very popular with congregations from its first appearance in the 1875 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern. The name is a Greek word, meaning ‘revered one’.

from notes by Alan Luff © 2001

Recordings

The English Hymn, Vol. 2 – Jerusalem the Golden
CDP12102

Details

Track 4 on CDP12102 [1'56]

Track-specific metadata for CDP12102 track 4

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-01-10204
Duration
1'56
Recording date
17 May 2000
Recording venue
Wells Cathedral, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. The English Hymn, Vol. 2 Ė Jerusalem the Golden (CDP12102)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: January 2001
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