Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr"
Lutheran hymn
Allein-Gott-Spangenberg-1545.png
Print in Johann Spangenberg's Kirchengesenge Deudtsch, Magdeburg 1545
English "Glory to God in the Highest"
Text by Nikolaus Decius
Language German
Based on Gloria
Melody by Decius
Published 1531 (1531)
EG 179, GL 170

"Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr" (Alone to God in the Highest be glory) is an early Lutheran hymn, with text and melody attributed to Nikolaus Decius. It was intended as a German version of the Gloria part of the Latin mass.[not verified in body] Decius wrote three stanzas, probably in 1523, while a fourth was added probably by Joachim Slüter (de). It is included in many German hymnals, including the current Protestant hymnal Evangelisches Gesangbuch and (three stanzas) in the Catholic hymnal Gotteslob. Catherine Winkworth translated the hymn to "All glory be to God on high".

Origin[edit]

From the Easter mass

The oldest prints of the hymn do not mention an author.[1] The melody is adapted from the Gloria of the mass for Easter in Gregorian chant, Lux et origo (GL 114).[2]

Early publications[edit]

"Aleyne God yn der Höge sy eere" is a Low German version of "Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr" published in Joachim Slüter (de)'s Geystlyke leder (Rostock, 1531).[3][2] The first print in High German appeared in a hymnal in Leipzig in 1539.[3] Text and melody of the hymn were published together for the first time in Johann Spangenberg (de)'s Kirchengesenge Deudtsch (Magdeburg 1545),[3] although a slightly different version had already appeared a few years earlier in a Strasbourg hymnal.[citation needed]

Authorship[edit]

In 17th-century Leipzig hymnals the German text of "Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr" was attributed to Nikolaus Selnecker.[4][5] In his church history of Braunschweig, published in five volumes between 1707 and 1720,[6] Philipp Julius Rehtmeyer (de) refers to a Latin document from 1600, which named Decius as the author of text and melody of both "Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr" and "O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig".[3] The creation of hymns by Decius is dated 1522/23,[7] before the first publications of hymns by Martin Luther (1524): thus these hymns belong to the earliest of the Reformation.[7][8]

Text and translation[edit]

The following text follows the Protestant hymnal Evangelisches Gesangbuch, EG 179. The Catholic hymnal Gotteslob (GL 170) has only the first three stanzas, and a slight change in the rhythm of one tone. Both hymnals note 1523 as the year of writing.

Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr
und Dank für seine Gnade,
darum dass nun und nimmermehr
uns rühren kann kein Schade.
Ein Wohlgefalln Gott an uns hat;
nun ist groß Fried ohn Unterlass,
all Fehd hat nun ein Ende.

Wir loben, preisn, anbeten dich;
für deine Ehr wir danken,
dass du, Gott Vater, ewiglich
regierst ohn alles Wanken.
Ganz ungemessn ist deine Macht,
allzeit geschieht, was du bedacht.
Wohl uns solch eines Herren!

O Jesu Christ, Sohn eingeborn
des allerhöchsten Vaters,
Versöhner derer, die verlorn,
du Stiller unsres Haders,
Lamm Gottes, heilger Herr und Gott:
nimm an die Bitt aus unsrer Not,
erbarm dich unser aller.

O Heilger Geist, du höchstes Gut,
du allerheilsamst’ Tröster:
vor Teufels G’walt fortan behüt,
die Jesus Christ erlöset
durch große Mart’r und bittern Tod;
abwend all unsern Jamm’r und Not!
Darauf wir uns verlassen.

Catherine Winkworth translated the hymn to "All glory be to God on high, who hath our race befriended", which appears in 95 hymnals.[9][10]

Hymn tune[edit]

The hymn tune of "Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr" is also used for "Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein" for Ascension, and "Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt", a paraphrase of Psalm 23 by Wolfgang Meuslin, printed in 1530.[2]

As a hymn usually sung every Sunday, it was often the basis for chorale preludes. Among those by Johann Sebastian Bach there are three in Clavier-Übung III (BWV 675–677), and three others in the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes (BWV 662–664). He also set the hymn as a four-part chorale (BWV 260).[11] In his extant cantatas the melody appears in association with the "Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein" (BWV 128) or "Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt" (BWV 85, 104 and 112) text. Other composers from the 18th century, or earlier, setting the hymn tune for organ include Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Georg Böhm, Christian Geist, Johann Peter Kellner, Melchior Schildt.[2]

Felix Mendelssohn included a setting of the hymn in his oratorio Paulus, as No. 3, the first chorale after the overture and a chorus.[12] Max Reger composed two chorale preludes, the first of his 52 chorale preludes, Op. 67 in 1902, and No. 2 of his 30 small chorale preludes, Op. 135a, in 1914. Charles Tomlinson Griffes wrote an organ piece in 1910.[2] Sigfrid Karg-Elert included a setting as No. 23 of his 66 Chorale improvisations for organ, published in 1909.[13] Ernst Pepping used it for the Gloria of his Deutsche Choralmesse, a six-part setting of 1928.[2] Contemporary organ settings were written by Aivars Kalējs, among others.[2]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Ludger Stühlmeyer: Die Kirchenlieder des Hofers Nicolaus Decius. In: Curia sonans. Die Musikgeschichte der Stadt Hof. Eine Studie zur Kultur Oberfrankens. Von der Gründung des Bistums Bamberg bis zur Gegenwart. (dissertation.) Bayerische Verlagsanstalt, Heinrichs-Verlag Bamberg 2010, ISBN 978-3-89889-155-4, pp. 110–112, 135–137, 357–358.

External links[edit]