FOR BRASS QUINTET, TIMP, AND ORGAN
Descant to the hymn tune BLAENWERN. Free score with harmonized descant, choir part, bulletin insert, and optional instrumental passage work. Free score.
BLAENWERN was written by William Penfro Rowlands, and published in Henry H. Jones's 1915 collection, Cân a Moliant. A striking feature of BLAENWERN is its culminating statement comes at the passage between the third and fourth phrases, followed by a more relaxed cadence. The tune is named for a convalescent farm in Pembrokeshire, in the far west of Wales, where Rowlands was resident in his youth. Rowlands was a church musician and school teacher, and among his life's work were several hymn tunes and anthems, and a stint as conductor of the famous Morriston United Choral Society. He was also precentor of the Tabernacle Congregational Church in Morriston, and previously of the Bethania Chapel; in the non-liturgical environment, a precentor directed the practice of a cappella hymnody, such as in Reformed Presbyterian use. BLAENWERN was featured in the Billy Graham crusades, sung to "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Charles Wesley's sublime (and infinitely more substantial) "Love divine, all loves excelling" would hardly be improved by an explanation here. This pairing is a favorite of congregations in the UK.
Updated: December 2018 (descant harmonization only)
Love divine, all loves excelling
–Charles Wesley, 1747
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