A  Triptych  of     Martin  Luther  Hymns

Settings  for  4-Octave Carillon
of  Three Hymn Tunes  by  Martin  Luther   (1483-1546)
by Ennis Fruhauf

 8 ½ x 11  softbound edition]

Table of Contents

Prelude and Fugue on            Available in December 2021 
Vom Himmel Hoch  ("From Heaven Above")  (4 pages)
Traditional Christmas Hymn Text by Luther
from Kirche Gesang (Nürnberg, 1531), attr. to Luther
[4 pages, duration ca. 4 min.]
click for   PDF Score
       and for 35 MB   .wav Audio      (Auto-playback Garritan Harp)

Three Verses  on             An In Memoriam: February 2022 
        "Aus Tiefer Not"  ("Out of the Depths")  (5 pages)
     Hymn Text by Luther
     Tune from Geystliche Gesangk Buchleyn (1524); attr. to Luther
[5 pages, duration ca. 5 min.]
click for   PDF Score     and for 50 MB   .wav Audio      (Auto-playback Garritan Harp)

.Three Variations on
Ein Feste Burg  ("A Mighty Fortress")
 Hymn Text by Martin Luther
     Tune by Martin Luther  (Kirche Gesang
:  Nürnberg, 1531)
                  [5 pages, duration ca. 4 ½  min.]
click for   PDF Score     and for 30 MB   .wav Audio      (Auto-playback Garritan Harp)


         A Triptych of Martin Luther Hymns presents three extended settings for four-octave carillon.  Each arrangement is based on a tune written by – or otherwise ascribed or attributed to – Martin Luther, as are all three texts.  Luther's hymn tunes display many traits of  a compositional school and tradition that favored use of Christian church modes. All three tunes employ recurring rhythmic motifs within consecutive phrases that impart a unique impetus and serve to unify by means of repetition.         

Prelude and Fugue on Vom Himmel Hoch begins with a slow-moving and introspective presentaton of the hymn melody in lower bells, accompanied by a progression of quasi faux bourdon chords in treble range.  The fugue – more accurately a loosely imitative fugato – features phrase-by-phrase thematic points of imitation in treble bells, with each miniature exposition followed by a cantus firmus statement of the corresponding chorale phrase in lower bells; the final phrase is repeated as a coda in slow-moving arpeggiated chords.

Three Verses
on Aus Tiefer Not offers a somber contrast to the other two settings; the text is one that speaks of  challenges and tribulations, evoking a Lenten spirit that is intensified by use of a melody in Phrygian mode. In all three verses, the hymn tune is sounded in lower and midrange bells. An introduction states the first full phrase, then launches into a rolling triplet harmonization over the first phrase, restated in cantus firmus by pedal-range bells;  the tune's midsection reverts to common time, concluding with the final phrase in lower bells overlaid by treble-range triplets. In the second verse the chorale is presented in tenor bells, played by pedals and accompanied by soprano-range manual tremolando chords. The third verse revisits all the details of the first verse's setting, but with the hymn tune transposed to the parallel major key — in this instance from E-modal minor to E-major; the midsection reverts to its original modal tonalities, returning to E-major for the last phrase. The introduction is similarly transposed to E- major and restated as a codetta.

Three Variations
on Ein Feste Burg  opens with an introductory unison declamation of the chorale's first full phrase, then continues with a cantus firmus pedal statement of the entire tune in lower bells, set against active accompanimental figurations in treble bells.  The second verse presents the hymn in its more contemporary metered version, played in high bells in duet with a second treble voice.  The final variation turns to a vigorous hymn statement at a lively pace, with the final phrase of the first variation emerging anew as a codetta to be capped off by a broadly stated cadential 'Amen.'

             [N.B.  Reference data in the Table of Contents is drawn from:  Hymnal Companion  to The Lutheran Book of Worship, Philadelphia, 1981.]