|Title:||ST. HILDA (Knecht)|
|Composer:||Justin Heinrich Knecht (1799)|
|Composer:||Edward Husband (1871)|
|Incipit:||11722 21332 42711|
The original form of ST. EDITH (also known as ST. HILDA) was composed in 1793 by Justin Heinrich Knecht for the text “Der neidern Menschhiet Hülle.” It was published in Vollstandige Sammlung … Choralmelodien (1799), edited by Johann Friedrich Christmann and Knecht, who composed ninety-seven of the tunes in the collection.
Knecht (b. Biberach, Germany, 1752; d. Biberach, 1817) mastered the flute, oboe, trumpet, violin, and organ. He taught literature in Biberach and became the town’s music director in 1792, pioneering the use of program notes in his public concerts. After serving as director of the theater orchestra in Stuttgard (1807-1809), he returned to Biberach for the rest of his life. Knecht was a prolific composer of songs for the stage, church music for the organ and choir, and instrumental pieces. He also wrote several theoretical works on music and method books for organ playing.
Edward Husband (b. Hampshire, England, 1843; d. Folkestone, Kent, England 1908) exchanged two lines of the original tune with two lines of his own in 1871 to produce the current setting. Educated at St. Aidan’s College, Birkenhead, Husband was ordained in the Church of England in 1867. He was a pastor in Atherton from 1866 to 1872, after which he served at St. Michael and All Angels’ Church in Folkestone. In 1885 he compiled an Appendix of hymn tunes for the Folkestone church. An organ teacher as well as a pastor, Husband edited The Mission Hymnal (1874) and Supplemental Tunes to Popular Hymns (1882).
The tune title refers to the tenth-century British virgin Edith of Wilton (near Salisbury, Wiltshire), who refused various important positions and instead served the poor. Sing this tune in four broad phrases with rhythmic precision.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook