|Title:||ST. PETER (Reinagle)|
|Composer:||Alexander Robert Reinagle (1836)|
|Incipit:||51765 54332 14323|
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
in a believer's ear!
It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds,
and drives away our fear.
Composed by Alexander R. Reinagle (b. Brighton, Sussex, England, 1799; d. Kidlington, Oxfordshire, England, 1877), ST. PETER was published as a setting for Psalm 118 in Reinagle's Psalm Tunes for the Voice and Pianoforte (c. 1836). The tune first appeared with Newton's text in Hymns Ancient and Modern(1861); it is now usually associated with this text, for which it is a better match than for Psalm 118. The tune was named after St. Peter-in-the-East, the church in Oxford, England, where Reinagle was organist from 1822-1853.
Little is known of Reinagle's early life. Of Austrian descent, he came from a family of musicians and became a well-known organ teacher. A writer of teaching manuals for string instruments, Reinagle also compiled two books of hymn tunes, the 1836 collection and A Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes(1840). He also composed a piano sonata and some church music.
ST. PETER features descending motion after an initial rise. Sing stanzas 1-2 and 4-5 in parts, but sing the crucial middle stanza in unison. This music needs to express the fervor of the text without any festive fanfares.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988