Fast Sinks The Sun To Rest

A new arrangement for an old hymn, created for my mum Janet and her sister Frances.

The song was special to them after they sang it at a choir gathering in Winchester Cathedral in the late 1960s. They requested a recording as they both wanted it played at their funerals. I haven’t found any recordings of the arrangement from the family hymn book, and if anyone has the four-part harmony version sung by the choir at that time (sadly it’s not the same as the one in the book!) I bet mum would be very moved to hear it, it would bring back some lovely memories.

The original hymn is ‘Sol praeceps rapitur’, no. 37 in my grandfather’s 1950 ‘Revised Edition’ of Hymns Ancient and Modern. It appears to be a one-off, missed out of the later edition in favour of a different translation and arrangement, but I like the free rhythm of this version, reminiscent of plainsong, and have tried to retain that flowing feel in my own arrangement.

Page from Hymns Ancient and Modern

Here is my version, using just verses 1 and 4. The arrangement is deliberately short at around 2 minutes long, and finishes with an instrumental – it was prepared with a woodland burial service in mind so that it could easily be cut short if the weather came in. I hope you enjoy listening.