As a young child John Bacchus Dykes (b. Kingston-upon-Hull' England, 1823; d. Ticehurst, Sussex, England, 1876) took violin and piano lessons. At the age of ten he became the organist of St. John's in Hull, where his grandfather was vicar. After receiving a classics degree from St. Catherine College, Cambridge, England, he was ordained in the Church of England in 1847. In 1849 he became the precentor and choir director at Durham Cathedral, where he introduced reforms in the choir by insisting on consistent attendance, increasing rehearsals, and initiating music festivals. He served the parish of St. Oswald in Durham from 1862 until the year of his death. To the chagrin of his bishop, Dykes favored the high church practices associated with… Go to person page >
John B. Dykes (PHH 147) composed ST. ANDREW OF CRETE for this text. The hymn was published in the 1868 Appendix to Hymns Ancient and Modern.
ST. ANDREW OF CRETE is one of a few tunes in the Psalter Hymnal that shifts from minor to major tonality (see also CREDO, 127 and NEW HEAVEN, 236). The initial soprano monotone is mercifully balanced by more interesting harmony. Erik Routley (PHH 31) claims that the "prowling" harmony is an example of Dykes's attempt at word painting. Sing in parts throughout. A fine alternate tune for congregational singing in unison is the more inspired KING'S WESTON by Ralph Vaughan Williams (467).
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988