Treasure No 53: English and German Hymnody, Imports and Exports

Language barriers are very real. It is not simply that different languages have different words for the same objects, but they also have different sounds, different rhythmical stresses, and different grammatical structures. There are thus enormous problems when one wishes to translate sentences from one language to another. It can never be a straight word-for-word substitution, because the two languages …

Treasure No 52: Barratt, His Successors and the Quality of Faith

The first ‘official’ Congregational hymn-book was published in 1836. Its publication had been delayed until agreement was reached on whether or not to include the hymns of Isaac Watts in the same volume. The book was published, in the end, as a supplement to Watts. In 1859 The New Congregational Hymn Book was published, this time including the best of …

Treasure No 51: The Rock Whence we are Hewn

In the Society’s year of golden jubilee the Editor will hardly be censured for inviting a backward look at our origins. What follows here is in effect a review of the first eight Bulletins published between October 1937 and July 1939 (the eve of world war). The Society was born in Central Hall, Westminster, on 5 October 1936, the brainchild …

Treasure No 49: The Hymn Tunes of Elgar and Holst

Fate laid a heavy hand on English music in the year 1934. Within less than four months death claimed three major figures: Delius, Elgar and Holst. Delius had no impact on the world of hymnody—he would no doubt have been surprised if he had—but, fifty years on, the work of the other two in our field may be worth a …