ST. ANNE

Composer: William Croft

William Croft, Mus. Doc. was born in the year 1677 and received his musical education in the Chapel Royal, under Dr. Blow. In 1700 he was admitted a Gentleman Extraordinary of the Chapel Boyd; and in 1707, upon the decease of Jeremiah Clarke, he was appointed joint organist with his mentor, Dr. Blow. In 1709 he was elected organist of Westminster Abbey. This amiable man and excellent musician died in 1727, in the fiftieth year of his age. A very large number of Dr. Croft's compositions remain still in manuscript. Cathedral chants of the XVI, XVII & XVIII centuries, ed. by Edward F. Rimbault, London: D. Almaine & Co., 1844 Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: William Croft (1708)
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Incipit: 53651 17151 5645
Key: C Major
Source: A Supplement to the New Version 1708

Notes

Though no firm documentation exists, ST. ANNE was probably composed by William Croft (PHH 149), possibly when he was organist from 1700-1711 at St. Anne's Church in Soho, London, England. (According to tradition, St. Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary.) The tune was first published in A Supplement to the New Version (6th ed., 1708) as a setting for Psalm 42. ST. ANNE became a setting for "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861), and the two have been inseparable ever since. ST. ANNE shares its first melodic motif with a number of other tunes from the early eighteenth century; one example is Bach's great fugue in E-flat, nicknamed "St. Anne," though it uses only the first motif of ST. ANNE. The original "gathering notes" (where the first note of each phrase is doubled in length) have been changed to equal the tune's prevailing quarter-note rhythms. ST. ANNE is a strong tune that must not be sung too rapidly. On the final stanza, sing in a stately manner and try unison singing on the alternative accompaniment by David Johnson (PHH 433), which was first published in Free Organ Accompaniments to Festival Hymns, Vol. 1 (1963). --Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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