GELOBT SEI GOTT (Vulpius)

Composer: Melchior Vulpius

Melchior Vulpius; b. about 1560, Wasimgen; d. 1616 in Weimar Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, 1908 Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: Melchior Vulpius (1609)
Meter: 8.8.8 with refrain
Incipit: 17655 67111 25176
Key: C Major

Texts

Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing

Christ is the King! O Friends Upraise

The strife is o'er, the battle done

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The strife is o'er, the battle done;
the victory of life is won;
the song of triumph has begun.
Alleluia!

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Notes

Melchior Vulpius (b. Wasungen, Henneberg, Germany, c. 1570; d. Weimar, Germany, 1615) composed this tune as a setting for Michael Weisse's hymn "Gelobt sei Gott in höchsten Thron." Weisse's text was published with the tune in Vulpius's Ein Schon Geistlich Gesangbuch (1609). Because the text dates from the early sixteenth century, some scholars think the tune may have older roots. Born into a poor family named Fuchs, Vulpius had only limited educational opportunities and did not attend the university. He taught Latin in the school in Schleusingen, where he Latinized his surname, and from 1596 until his death served as a Lutheran cantor and teacher in Weimar. A distinguished composer, Vulpius wrote a St. Matthew Passion (1613), nearly two hundred motets in German and Latin, and over four hundred hymn tunes, many of which became popular in Lutheran churches, and some of which introduced the lively Italian balletto rhythms into the German hymn tunes. His music was published in Cantiones Sacrae (1602, 1604), Kirchengesangund Geistliche Lieder (1604, enlarged as Ein schon geistlich Gesanglmch, 1609), and posthumous¬ly in Cantionale Sacrum (1646). An exuberant tune, GELOBT SEI GOTT (also known as VULPIUS) is in triple meter. It reveals a Baroque playfulness in the syncopations in lines 2 and 3. Although the refrain is barred in triple meter, Germans would have sung it in duple meter with an accent on the second syllable of "alleluia." Sing in unison or in parts. Try an antiphonal performance in which the choir or antiphonal groups sing the stanzas and the congregation sings the refrain. Choir sopranos could sing the descant by Emily R. Brink (PHH 158) on the refrain. Try also to sing one of the middle stanzas unaccompanied. Use strong, rhythmically precise organ accompaniment, especially on the cadences in phrases 2 and 3. On an average Sunday C major is a suitable key, but try D major on Easter Sunday or other festive days because that key is brighter. "Good Christians All" is also a wonderful piece for a brass choir. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988

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