|Composer:||Arthur Sullivan (1875)|
|Incipit:||33342 56543 32221|
Arthur S. Sullivan (PHH 46) composed CONSTANCE for James G. Small's hymn text "I've Found a Friend, O Such a Friend"; the sentiment of that text explains the tune title. That text and tune were published in the Swedenborgian New Church Hymn Book (1874).
CONSTANCE is a solid Victorian tune with a fine climax in the melody of its final line. Though not specifically designed for the responsorial performance Psalm 136 requires, CONSTANCE can be performed in a dramatic manner that would please its operatically oriented composer. Organists could change registration or let the congregation sing unaccompanied on the refrain phrases. Or have one part of the congregation (or the choir or a good soloist) sing the first half of each line, and have everyone respond with the second half of each line, preferably by singing in parts. Emily R. Brink (PHH 158) composed the alternative harmonization in 1987 for the Psalter Hymnal.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988