Stanford wrote the tune ‘Engelberg’ for the 1904 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, to be sung to these words. His tune was soon eclipsed in some circles by Vaughan Williams’s ‘Sine nomine’ from The English Hymnal (1906), and in others it had difficulty in displacing Barnby’s ‘For all the saints’. Editors were not allowed to use ‘Sine nomine’ to other words, and so they turned to ‘Engelberg’ for a number of fine texts in the metre, and it has become popular in its own right. It is therefore worth hearing with the words for which it was intended. The name is that of a village in Switzerland; it does however mean ‘Angels’ Hill’ and this may be what Stanford had in mind.
from notes by Alan Luff © 2002