David Welch
Angels from the Realms
Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:06pm

Thanks to Ros, I`ve had a look in our Sheffield books of Village Carols.

There the familiar words of this 1816 carol are set to William Matthews` tune, probably its first. The comment about the tune, by Ian Russell and Sally Drage, says c. 1820 and Matthews was possibly organist or choirmaster of St Mary`s Church, Nottingham. An equally pleasing setting to sing is in A Christmas Celebration, edited by Peter Holman and Sally; there it is called A Christmas Anthem, and a date of c. 1830 is given for this version which again has symphonies. Another detail is that Matthews was a stocking maker and organist.

The OCB has a Cornish version, but doesn`t tell us about William Matthews. The background notes only add that 1819 was the year when Angels from the Realms first appeared in hymn books.

Madrid that Ros mentions was in the Methodist Hymn Book of 1934, the only surviving Matthews tune there.

  • William Matthews
    Ros Clements, Sun Jan 24 10:43am
    I have found the two tunes mentioned in a number of Methodist collections post 1820. Matthews' tune 'Chatsworth' appears in the Centenary Tune Book 1892, with no text suggested apart from 'Hymn 227'. ... more
    • Angels from the Realms
      David Welch, Sun Jan 24 2:06pm
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