Academic journal article The Hymn

Savior of the Nations, Come

Academic journal article The Hymn

Savior of the Nations, Come

Article excerpt

Savior of the nations, come

nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, arr. Robert Benson [SATB and organ]. Augsburg Fortress (978-8066-9829-8)

This sturdy hymn of Advent was translated by the Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnal team and published by Augsburg Fortress in 2006. The poetry is vivid and evocative, with phrases such as "the mystic Breath of God was the Word of God made flesh, fruit of woman, blossom fresh," or "Wondrous birth - oh wondrous child - from his throne, a virgin mild!" It called for expression as a vivid and evocative anthem, which is now available from the inspired pen of Robert Benson.

The organ is clearly taking the lead with "stately" foundations on the Great and Swell. The pedal also carries prominence with 16' and 8' stops. The choir is thus led into a powerful SATB a cappella rendition of stanza 1 in 4/4 phrases, alternating with the firm organ responses in 6/4. This mixture of meters is used throughout the anthem, alternating between stanzas.

The second, softer stanza, sung by sopranos and altos in concerted flow, is accompanied by the Swell alone. Even softer dynamics and slower tempi dominate the third stanza, sung a cappella. The fourth stanza allows tenors and basses to combine their voices over the soft organ Swell. …

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