|Title:||LES COMANDEMENS DE DIEU|
|Composer (attributed to):||Louis Bourgeois|
|Harmonizer:||Claude Goudimel (1564)|
|Incipit:||11233 44323 43217|
|Notes:||Tune also known as: BOURGEOIS, COMMANDMENTS, GOUDIMEL, LES COMMANDEMENS DE DIEU, HOUR OF NEED, WHEN IN THE HOUR OF UTMOST NEED, BAVA|
|Source:||Genevan Psalter, 1547;Geneva Psalter, 1547; Setting, 1573;Genevan 141;German Psalter, 1562|
LES COMMANDEMENS (French for "the commandments"), a rich and graceful tune in the Hypo-Ionian mode (major), was used in the Genevan Psalter (1547) for the Decalogue and for Psalm 140, and later in British psalters and in the Lutheran tradition. The first setting in the Psalter Hymnal derives from Claude Goudimel's (PHH 6) 1564 harmonization; his original harmonization with the melody in the tenor (on facing page in the hymnal) may be used for unison or choral stanzas.
Here are two performance suggestions: (a) the congregation or choir can sing stanzas 1 and 9 as a frame around the solo reading of stanzas 2 through 8 or of the corresponding verses from Scripture; (b) all can sing stanzas 1 and 9 (with the choir singing in harmony from the second setting), and the congregation can sing stanzas 2 through 8 antiphonally in unison. Organists can find preludes by Lutheran composers under the German title for this chorale tune: WENN WIR IN HÖCHSTEN NÖTEN SEIN.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987