GCPO hymn setting for today, the great Welsh tune, HYFRYDOL
This tune was written when Rowland Huw Pritchard was only 19! The descant was arranged for performance in the Landaff Cathedral in Cardiff, the archcathedral of the Church of Wales...so you can imagine that the acoustic realization here is what one might expect a listener would have experienced. It was accompanied by a brand new instrument by Nicholson, the largest pipe organ built in Europe for 40 years. For today, I've added an a cappella verse of my own harmonization.
In the descant verse, listen for the contrast between flutes/principals against the huge pedal. [If you have a subwoofer, it may go airborn; I make my final mixes in flat response.] The bass 'presence,' a low rumble, is established by the 16' principal and the growl is from the 32' contra bassoon. In the second phrase (the second A of the AABC phrase format), I've tried to replicate the magic solo reed on the Landaff instrument. At the end, I hold back the swell reeds until the penultimate chord...just when you think the instrument is going all out, there's still more!