June 28, 2005

Gratuitous Musickal Posting

Here's a nice little article about the history of the German and Austrian National Anthems and their origin at the hand of the great Franz Joseph Haydn. Although many people these days automatically think of Deutchland Uber Alles when they hear it, the fact remains that this is a beautiful little piece of music.

One of the bennies of being an Episcopalian is that Haydn's tune has been incorporated into the hymnal as #522, Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken, which we get to sing from time to time.

Yips! to Lynn S.

Posted by Robert at June 28, 2005 10:14 AM

Commonly known as "'Palies Uber Alles."

Posted by: The Colossus at June 28, 2005 12:46 PM

Another Episcopalian bennie is Sewanee, the University of the South.

The Sewanee Hymn is set to that wonderful tune:

Sewanee Hymn
(Air—“Austrian National Anthem” by Haydn)

God of Light, Whose face beholding,
Israel’s Leader learned Thy Will,—
Fire and storm the Rock enfolding,
When the Voice was calm and still,—
Give Thy children on this Mountain
Grace and power Thy Truth to know;
Open here a living fountain,
Whence thy praise shall ever flow.

On the world now grows the Vision,—
Love of Country—Freedom’s call;
Gauge of Battle,—Life’s decision,—
Faith will see the Christ through all.
Clear, surer, rings the story,—
“Christ our Brother—God Most High!
Through earth’s vapors sweeps the glory,—
Wrong, injustice, sin, must die.”

For the warfare train us, Father,—
God of battles, God of might,—
That no mists of Hell may gather,
Darken nor obscure the right.
Gird our souls with Thy Compassion,
Purge our minds with fire divine;
Light of Light, the Truth Incarnate,
Make our lives and thoughts like Thine.
— Thomas F. Gailor

Posted by: Sarah at June 28, 2005 01:01 PM

That's cool. I was down at Sewanee a year or two ago for some church-related training. Beautiful place.

Posted by: Robert the LB at June 28, 2005 01:11 PM

Although popular folklore attributes the tune to Haydn, most musicologists agree that it was an old Austrian or Austro-Hungarian folk song that "Papa" used (as opposed to composed) for a number of works, the most beautiful being the second movement of the string quartet in C, opus 76 (The Emperor).

Posted by: O.F. at June 28, 2005 02:48 PM

Rats! Sarah beat me to the Sewanee connection. She was my assistant proctor when I was a freshman there. I guess she's just still managing to stay one step ahead of me.

Being a Sewanee grad and a German major, I also used Haydn's music for the processional at my wedding.

Posted by: Jordana at June 28, 2005 03:34 PM

MY personal favorite National Anthem/Hymn combo is Sibelius' Finlandia as the tune for Be Still My Soul.

Posted by: Brian B at June 28, 2005 06:08 PM

Alas, I can't hear Finlandia anymore without visions of Bruce Willis dancing around in the snow coming to my head. It's awful but it's true.

Posted by: Robert the LB at June 28, 2005 06:11 PM

I think I read that the folk song Papa H. used is actually Croatian, which is fun because the Croats are of course an ethnicity that Hitler regarded as untermenschen (Is that spelled right?), i.e. Slavs, like Russians and Poles. So there they were all yodelling away about the 1000 year Reich to a sub-human melody.
But it is indeed beautiful--the Palies know a good thing when they hear it.

Posted by: skeptik at June 28, 2005 09:11 PM

Oh, should have added that Haydn himself was a Croat
--the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time encompassing much of the Balkans and a part of Italy as well--which would, of course, explain his using a folk tune of that ilk.

Posted by: skeptik at June 28, 2005 09:18 PM

what Jordana neglected to mention is that she accomplished in three years at Sewanee what I did in four. . . I'd say she caught up very nicely!

Posted by: Sarah at June 29, 2005 01:44 PM

las, I can't hear Finlandia anymore without visions of Bruce Willis dancing around in the snow coming to my head. It's awful but it's true.

Ummm.... obviously from something in hit repertoir I've never seen. Please enlighten me so I can avoid it.

Posted by: Brian B at June 30, 2005 09:00 AM

Die Hard 2 - the weakest in the series, IMHO.

Posted by: Robert the LB at June 30, 2005 09:40 AM

And happily, I've only seen bits and pieces of it.

Lucky me, I still get to enjoy listening to Finlandia.

Posted by: Brian B at June 30, 2005 01:50 PM
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