From the album Free Range Hymns

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Gott Ist Die Liebe (For God So Loved Us)

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2. Gott ist die Liebe (For God so loved us)
"Hymnal: A Worship Book" #167
Text: August Rische, "Gott ist die Liebe"; tr. Esther Bergen, "The Youth Hymnary", 1956
Tune: Thüringer melody, ca. 1840

Daryl: soprano & tenor recorders, oboe, voice
Frances: violin, soprano recorder
Nathan: cello, alto recorder, voice

“Gott ist die Liebe”, while historically from the German Lutheran tradition, has been a central hymn in the Mennonite canon for many years. Still published and sung in German and English, it can be seen as a musical and poetic reference to the Germanic roots of the Anabaptist tradition. Translated literally, “Gott ist die Liebe” means “God is Love,” but “For God so loved us” matches better with the syllables and emphasis of the original. The melody, an anonymous tune from Thuringia (Thüringen), like many of the tunes on this recording, has its roots in the folk tradition and could certainly be a children’s song of some kind. German folk music in the 19th century shared musical and social space with what we would consider classical music. This short, simple tune led us to play with a variety of instrumental combinations in keeping with the practice of giving a simple musical text depth by adjusting the instrumentation.