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Lo! He comes with clouds descending – Helmsley

First line:
Lo! He comes with clouds descending
descant to last verse
author of text
author of text

Charles Wesley’s inspiring words for Lo! He comes with clouds descending were based on verses by John Cennick. Thomas Olivers derived the tune from a country dance, itself possibly by Thomas Arne, which he heard whistled in the street. This appeared in John Wesley’s Select Hymns with Tunes Annext under the name ‘Olivers’ in 1765, and four years later Martin Madan in his Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes produced a revised version called ‘Helmsley’. Vaughan Williams reharmonized it for the first edition of The English Hymnal, and the descant is by Christopher Robinson, Director of Music at St John’s from 1991 to 2002.

from notes by Andrew Burn © 2006

Pour les exaltantes paroles de Lo! He comes with clouds descending, Charles Wesley s’inspira de vers de John Cennick. Quant à l’air, Thomas Olivers le tira d’une country dance, peut-être de Thomas Arne, qu’il entendit siffler dans la rue. L’œuvre parut en 1765, sous le nom de «Olivers», dans les Select Hymns with Tunes Annext de John Wesley; quatre ans plus tard, le Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes de Martin Madan en proposa une version révisée dite «Helmsley», que Vaughan Williams réharmonisa pour la première édition de The English Hymnal—le déchant est de Christopher Robinson, qui dirigea St John’s de 1991 à 2002.

extrait des notes rédigées par Andrew Burn © 2006
Français: Hypérion

Charles Wesleys inspirierende Worte zu Lo! He comes with clouds descending („Seht! Er kommt mit sinkenden Wolken“) beruhen auf Strophen von John Cennick. Thomas Olivers leitete die Melodie von einer Volkstanzweise ab, die selbst womöglich von Thomas Arne stammt, der sie auf den Straßen pfeifen gehört hatte. Olivers’ Melodie erschien 1765 in John Wesleys Select Hymns with Tunes Annext unter dem Titel „Olivers“. Vier Jahre später lieferte Martin Madan in seiner Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes eine überarbeitete Fassung namens „Helmsley“. Vaughan Williams harmonisierte erneut die Melodie für die erste Ausgabe des English Hymnal. Die Oberstimme stammt von Christopher Robinson, dem Director of Music des St John’s College Choir von 1991 bis 2002.

aus dem Begleittext von Andrew Burn © 2006
Deutsch: Elke Hockings


Advent Live, Vol. 2
Studio Master: SIGCD661Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Christmas at St John's Cambridge
Sing, ye Heavens - Hymns for all time
COLCD126Download only


Track 7 on CDA67576 [4'44]
Track 5 on COLCD126 [4'11] Download only
Track 21 on SIGCD661 [5'09] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD661 track 21

Recording date
1 December 2019
Recording venue
St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Recording engineer
Dave Rowell
Hyperion usage
  1. Advent Live, Vol. 2 (SIGCD661)
    Disc 1 Track 21
    Release date: November 2020
    Download only
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