Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hymn tune BRESLAU: rhythmic variations

I recently posted my music list for Lent I, in which I jokingly mentioned the hymn tune "BRESLAU, almost". My co-conspirator Lyn made a comment asking just what the heck I meant by "almost"; this made me ponder my choice of words…

And I started to wonder: what do most people think of when they read the hymn tune name BRESLAU? What tune comes to your mind, gentle reader?

Most people would probably think of this version found at CCEH #554, also available from the new Calvin Hymnary Project or at TheCyberHymnal*. I say "most people" because it was the only version of the tune I could find online!

This tune is set in 6/4 time.

However, if you're from Canada – and you are lucky – you will know and love the Catholic Book of Worship II. Perhaps some other time I'll rant and rave in detail about the CBWII, but today I will only mention #485: Take Up Your Cross, which is also called BRESLAU, but clearly isn't.

That is because the CBWII version has been converted by some mysterious person into common time, and the last three bars are noticeably different. Why they did this, I don't know. Both versions are pleasant and useful, but the original (if it is the original!) certainly didn't need any modification.

For your viewing pleasure, here is a copy of the CBWII version of the hymn tune BRESLAU:

So, drop us a comment and let us know – which version do you remember?

And if you're the uncredited arranger in the CBWII, may I just ask: "Why?!"

* Please note that TheCyberHymnal has relocated to http://www.hymntime.com/tch/.

1 comment:

Brian Michael Page said...

The first version I learned was the 6/4 version, as found in the 1979 We Celebrate Hymnal (then known as "We Celebrate with Song").
I did find the 4/4 (common time) version shortly after in the 1958 Pilgrim Hymnal at the nearby UCC.