O PERFECT LOVE (Barnby)

Composer: Joseph Barnby

Joseph Barnby (b. York, England, 1838; d. London, England, 1896) An accomplished and popular choral director in England, Barby showed his musical genius early: he was an organist and choirmaster at the age of twelve. He became organist at St. Andrews, Wells Street, London, where he developed an outstanding choral program (at times nicknamed "the Sunday Opera"). Barnby introduced annual performances of J. S. Bach's St. John Passion in St. Anne's, Soho, and directed the first performance in an English church of the St. Matthew Passion. He was also active in regional music festivals, conducted the Royal Choral Society, and composed and edited music (mainly for Novello and Company). In 1892 he was knighted by Queen Victoria. His compositions in… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Title: O PERFECT LOVE (Barnby)
Composer: Joseph Barnby (1889)
Meter: 11.10.11.10
Incipit: 13555 55177 62345
Key: E♭ Major
Copyright: Public Domain

Texts

O perfect Love, all human thought transcending

O perfect Love, all human thought transcending,
lowly we kneel in prayer before thy throne,
that theirs may be the love which knows no ending,
whom thou in sacred vow dost join in one.

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Notes

Joseph Barnby (PHH 438) composed O PERFECT LOVE and said it was a "hymn tune in the natural style and idiom … of our own time." Originally an anthem, O PERFECT LOVE was shortened into a hymn tune for publication in The Hymnal Companion (1890) and in the Church Hymnary (1898). The tune is also known as FIFE and SANDRINGHAM.

Erik Routley (PHH 31) calls Barnby's hymn tunes "shamelessly sentimental." O PERFECT LOVE is surely an example of what he means (Barnby's tunes at 438 and 447 are not). Sometimes thought to be the most notorious product of the Victorian composers, this tune is often performed with too much rubato and in a sentimental manner too often associated with weddings. Sing it in unison at a cheerful pace.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988

Arrangements

Harmonizations, Introductions, Descants, Intonations

  • An Organist's Book of Hymns: The Liturgical Year: 3 Part Hymns and Chorale Preludes
    Composer/Editor Noel Jones
    Published By: Frog Music (2014) pp. 132
  • 200 New Last Verses

    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2007) pp. 72
  • Creative Hymn Accompaniments for Organ: Volume 4 A Tribute to Dale Wood
    Composer/Editor Gerhard Krapf
    Published By: The Sacred Music Press (2005) pp. 27
  • The Ultimate Finishing Touch: Last-verse Arrangements of Well-loved Hymn Tunes
    Composer/Editor Harrison Oxley
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (2000) pp. 96
  • More Last Verses: Another Two Hundred Varied Hymn Tune Harmonies
    Composer/Editor Noel Rawsthorne
    Published By: Kevin Mayhew Ltd. (1996) pp. 123
  • Creative Hymn Accompaniments for Organ: Volume 2
    Composer/Editor Gerhard Krapf
    Published By: The Sacred Music Press (1994) pp. 19
  • Music Supplement: The United Methodist Hymnal
    Composer/Editor Gary Alan Smith
    Published By: Abingdon Press (1991) pp. 266
  • Free Harmonizations of Hymn Tunes: By Fifty American Composers
    Composer/Editor D. DeWitt Wasson
    Published By: Hinshaw Music, Inc. (1984) pp. 39
  • Hymns of Grateful Praise: Organ Voluntaries, Interludes, Modulations, and Free Harmonizations of Well-Known Hymns
    Composer/Editor Alice Jordan
    Published By: Broadman Press (1980) pp. 36

Organ Solo

  • Augsburg Organ Library Marriage
    Composer/Editors Norma Aamodt-Nelson; Emma Lou Diemer
    Published By: Augsburg Fortress (2014) pp. 67
  • The Organist's Library Volume 55
    Composer/Editor David Schwoebel
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (2014) pp. 46
  • The Organ Portfolio Volume 76 Number 5 May June 2013: The Service Music Anthology for the Church Organist
    Composer/Editors Douglas E. Wagner; David Schwoebel
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (2013) pp. 12
  • The Organist's Library Volume 51

    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (2012) pp. 13
  • Sunday Morning Organist Volume 5: Best of the Saint Cecilia Series

    Published By: Alfred Music Publishing Company, Inc. (2009) pp. 34
  • The Church Year Volume 3: Ordinary Time through Christ the King
    Composer/Editor Austin Cole Lovelace
    Published By: Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc. (2009) pp. 5
  • The Ultimate Organ Book: For Weddings, Funerals & the Church Year
    Composer/Editor Hal H. Hopson
    Published By: Hope Publishing Company (2007) pp. 55
  • Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ Volume 5: Musica Sacra
    Composer/Editor Benjamin M. Culli
    Published By: Concordia Publishing House (2006) pp. 40
  • The Sacred Organ Journal Volume 40 Number 5 May June 2006: The Organist's Companion for the Church Year
    Composer/Editor Gilbert M. Martin
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (2006) pp. 22
  • The Organist's Companion Volume 27 Number 5 July 2005 General, Weddings, Patriotic, Communion: A Bi-monthly Journal of Quality Organ Music for the Practical Church Musician
    Composer/Editors Wayne Leupold; George Lachenauer
    Published By: McAfee Music Corporation (2005) pp. 8
  • The Organ Portfolio Volume 66 Number 5 May June 2003: A Bi-monthly Anthology for the Church Organist
    Composer/Editors Gilbert M. Martin; Robert W. Thygerson
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (2003) pp. 80
  • The Organist's Library Volume 35
    Composer/Editor Robert W. Thygerson
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (2003) pp. 80
  • Consoliere Classic Volume VI Hymn-based Compositions: A Collection of the Finest Organ Music from Consoliere and Manualiere
    Composer/Editors Alison J. Luedecke; Richard Proulx
    Published By: World Library Publications, Inc. (2002) pp. 5
  • Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ Volume 1: Musica Sacra
    Composer/Editor Carl Flentge Schalk
    Published By: Concordia Publishing House (2002) pp. 38
  • The Complete Wedding Collection: Organ Solos from Prelude to Postlde
    Composer/Editor Joseph Barnby
    Published By: Beckenhorst Press, Inc. (1997) pp. 35
  • Exalted Praise: Hymn Arrangements for Organ
    Composer/Editor Dennis R. Johnson
    Published By: Lillenas Publishing Company (1995) pp. 35
  • The Organist's Companion Volume 17 Number 5 July 1995 General, Weddings: A Bi-monthly Journal of Quality Organ Music for the Practical Church Musician
    Composer/Editors Wayne Leupold; John G. Barr
    Published By: Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc. (1995) pp. 27
  • The Organist's Companion Volume 16 Number 5 July 1994 General, Weddings: A Bi-monthly Journal of Quality Organ Music for the Practical Church Musician
    Composer/Editors Wayne Leupold; Murray C. Bradshaw
    Published By: Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc. (1994) pp. 14
  • Three Preludes on "O Perfect Love": For Organ
    Composer/Editor Janet Linker
    Published By: The H. W. Gray Company (1994) pp. 2, 5, 8
  • The Alice Jordan Collection Volume II: Hymn Tunes for Organ
    Composer/Editor Alice Jordan
    Published By: Belwin Mills Publishing Corporation (1993) pp. 26
  • The Organist's Companion Volume 15 Number 5 July 1993 General, Weddings: A Bi-monthly Journal of Quality Organ Music for the Practical Church Musician
    Composer/Editors Wayne Leupold; Edward W. Beals
    Published By: Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc. (1993) pp. 6
  • PedalPoint Volume 9 Number 3 April May June 1990: Church Music and Study Helps for Pianists and Organists
    Composer/Editors Sharron Lyon; Dennis R. Johnson
    Published By: The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (1990) pp. 23
  • The Organist's Companion Volume 12 Number 5 July 1990 General, Weddings: A Bi-monthly Journal of Quality Organ Music for the Practical Church Musician
    Composer/Editors Wayne Leupold; David P. Ruhl
    Published By: McAfee Music Corporation (1990) pp. 17
  • The Organist's Companion Volume 10 Number 5 August 1988 General, Weddings: A Bi-monthly Journal of Quality Organ Music for the Practical Church Musician
    Composer/Editors Wayne Leupold; Alice Jordan
    Published By: McAfee Music Corporation (1988) pp. 4
  • The Concordia Hymn Prelude Series Volume 35: General: O - Pi
    Composer/Editors Richard Hillert; Carl Flentge Schalk
    Published By: Concordia Publishing House (1985) pp. 8
  • Preludes on Wedding Hymns
    Composer/Editor Gordon Young
    Published By: Harold Flammer Music Publishers Incorporated (1983) pp. 16
  • Reflections on Six Hymn-Tunes: For Organ
    Composer/Editor Kevin Norris
    Published By: Art Masters Studios, Inc. (1983) pp. 4
  • Wedding Music Book III
    Composer/Editor David N. Johnson
    Published By: Augsburg Publishing House (1983) pp. 25
  • Here Comes the Bride: A Collection of Traditional Wedding Music for Organ / Voice / Piano
    Composer/Editors Fred Bock; Joseph Barnby
    Published By: Fred Bock Music Company (1980) pp. 48
  • Hymns of Grateful Praise: Organ Voluntaries, Interludes, Modulations, and Free Harmonizations on well-known hymn tunes
    Composer/Editor Alice Jordan
    Published By: Broadman Press (1980) pp. 36
  • The Organist Volume 84 Number 2 May 1980: A Bi-monthly Magazine for Church Organists
    Composer/Editors Edward Broughton; Joseph Barnby
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (1980) pp. 12
  • The Organist's Companion Volume 2 Number 5 August 1980 General, Weddings: A Bi-monthly Journal of Quality Organ Music for the Practical Church Musician
    Composer/Editors Wayne Leupold; John R. Cowell
    Published By: McAfee Music Corporation (1980) pp. 28
  • O Worship the King: Hymn and Chorale Settings for the Organ
    Composer/Editor Raymond H. Haan
    Published By: Broadman Press (1979) pp. 32
  • The Festive Organ
    Composer/Editor Gilbert M. Martin
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (1978) pp. 30
  • The Collected Works of Don Hustad: An Anthology of Organ Arrangements Collected from the Published Works of Organist, Composer Don Hustad
    Composer/Editor Donald P. Hustad
    Published By: Hope Publishing Company (1976) pp. 76
  • Consoliere Volume 4 Number 3 July August September 1973: Practical and Distinctive Pieces for the Church Organist
    Composer/Editors Charles G. Frischmann; Richard Proulx
    Published By: World Library Publications, Inc. (1973) pp. 9
  • 49 Sacred Melodies: For All Organs
    Composer/Editors Gregory P. Cohn; Joseph Barnby
    Published By: G. Schirmer, Inc. (1970) pp. 53
  • The Chapel Hour Series Volume 3: Wedding Music for the Church Service and At Home Playing
    Composer/Editor Chester Nordman
    Published By: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation (1970) pp. 34
  • Composer/Editor Donald P. Hustad
    Published By: Hope Publishing Company (1970) pp. 7
  • World's Favorite Wedding Music: For All Organs
    Composer/Editors Lawrence Grant; Joseph Barnby
    Published By: Ashley Publications, Inc. (1970) pp. 5
  • The Organ Portfolio Volume 32 Number 5 June 1969: A Bi-Monthly Magazine for Church Organists
    Composer/Editors L. N. Porter; Gilbert M. Martin
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (1969) pp. 24
  • Preludes on Well-Known Hymn Tunes Volume Four: For Organ with Hammond Registration
    Composer/Editor Samuel W. Shanko
    Published By: Broadman Press (1965) pp. 13
  • 21 Preludes on Standard Hymns for the Organ
    Composer/Editor Rob Roy Peery
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (1963) pp. 31
  • 46 Sacred Songs For All Year: For All Organs
    Composer/Editor Anonymous
    Published By: Hansen Publications, Inc. (1961) pp. 60
  • Thirty Short Preludes on Well-Known Hymns for Organ
    Composer/Editor Flor Peeters
    Published By: C. F. Peters Corporation (1960) pp. 34
  • The Organ Portfolio Volume 21 Number 5 June 1958 Number 125: A Bi-Monthly Magazine for Church Organists
    Composer/Editors Ellen Jane Lorenz; Joseph Barnby
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (1958) pp. 59
  • Six Chorale Improvisations on Well Known Hymn Tunes: For the Organ
    Composer/Editor Harry Alexander Matthews
    Published By: G. Schirmer, Inc. (1957) pp. 11
  • The Organist Volume 57 Number 2 May 1953: Voluntaries for the Church Organ
    Composer/Editor Rob Roy Peery
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (1953) pp. 31

Piano Solo

  • A Classic Wedding: A Complete Resource for the Perfect Wedding
    Composer/Editors Bryce Inman; Joseph Barnby
    Published By: Word Music Group, LLC (2010) pp. 22
  • The Contemporary Wedding Pianist
    Composer/Editors Lloyd A. Larson; Joseph Barnby
    Published By: Hope Publishing Company (2009) pp. 48
  • Big Silver Book of Wedding Piano Solos
    Composer/Editors Ken Barker; Carol McMillen Tornquist; Larry Dalton
    Published By: Word Music Group, LLC (2004) pp. 22
  • The Church Pianist Volume 18 Number 5 May June 2002: The Pianist's Companion for the Church Year
    Composer/Editor David Sarandon
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (2002) pp. 27
  • Big Gold Book of Medium Difficult Piano Solos
    Composer/Editors Carol McMillen Tornquist; Ken Barker; Rolin R. Mains
    Published By: Word Music Group, LLC (2000) pp. 78
  • PedalPoint Volume 15 Number 3 April May June 1996: Church Music and Study Helps for Pianists and Organists
    Composer/Editors Sharron Lyon; Michael Cox
    Published By: The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (1996) pp. 7
  • Favorite Hymn Arrangements for Piano
    Composer/Editor Robert W. Thygerson
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (1994) pp. 24
  • Hymn Reflections Level 4: Piano Arrangements of Favorite Hymns
    Composer/Editor Sid Richardson
    Published By: Belwin Mills Publishing Corporation (1990) pp. 12
  • PedalPoint Volume 8 Number 3 April May June 1989: Church Music and Study Helps for Pianists and Organists
    Composer/Editors Sharron Lyon; Richard Kingsmore
    Published By: The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (1989) pp. 10
  • The Church Pianist Volume 4 Number 5 May 1988: The Pianist's Companion for the Church Year
    Composer/Editors Hugh S. Livingston, Jr.; John Scriveyner
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (1988) pp. 26
  • The Church Pianist Volume 3 Number 6 July 1987: The Pianist's Companion for the Church Year
    Composer/Editors Hugh S. Livingston, Jr.; Joseph Barnby
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (1987) pp. 26
  • Sacred Melodies with Variations: Transcribed for the Piano
    Composer/Editor William Stickles
    Published By: Charles H. Hansen Music Corporation (1951) pp. 50

Piano and Organ Duet

  • Easy Wedding Duets: For Organ and Piano
    Composer/Editors Lani Smith; Joseph Barnby
    Published By: Lorenz Publishing Company (1974) pp. 17

Voices: Organ and Voice

  • Cavalcade of Hymns and Sacred Songs: All Organ Deluxe Album Over 100 Selected Titles
    Composer/Editor Anonymous
    Published By: California Music Press (1963) pp. 28
  • It's Wedding Time No. 1: Selections for the Sacred Wedding Service for Organist and Singer
    Composer/Editors Fred Bock; Norman Johnson; Joseph Barnby
    Published By: Singspiration Music, Inc. (1962) pp. 48

Voices: Vocal Solo

  • Whom God Hath Joined Together: Wedding Selections Compiled by Fred Bock
    Composer/Editor Fred Bock
    Published By: Fred Bock Music Company (1977) pp. 18

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Baptist Hymnal 1991 #512
Text: O Perfect Love
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Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #364
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The Cyber Hymnal #5272
Text: O Perfect Love
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Text: O Perfect Love
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Text: O Perfect Love
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Text: O Perfect Love

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