God the Omnipotent

# 569

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God the Omnipotent

Words:  Henry Fothergill Chorley and John Ellerton

Music:  Russia, by Alexis Lvov


"God, the Omnipotent!" is a hymn with words written in 1842 by Henry F. Chorley (1808–1872) and 3rd and 4th stanzas by John Ellerton (1826–1893) in 1870.[1] It is based on a text from Revelation 19:6, "The Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (KJV)Through a process lost to history, two similar but different sets of lyrics have melded into the version of this hymn that we know today.

Alexey Feodorovitch Lvov (1799-1872) composed RUSSIA in 1833 one night "on the spur of the moment," according to his memoirs, after Czar Nicholas I asked him to compose a truly Russian national anthem (rather than continuing to sing a Russian text to the English melody for "God Save Our Gracious King"!). Lvov's tune was accepted and has been featured as the Russian anthem in various compositions (including Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture). Also used as a hymn tune ever since its 1842 publication in John Pyke Hullah's Part Music, RUSSIA is today often associated with the hymn text "God the Omnipotent!" Given its origin as a national anthem, the tune does have a majestic character and suggests brass instruments for accompaniment Lvov served in the Russian army from 1818 to 1837, advancing to personal adjutant to Czar Nicholas I as a major-general. In 1837 he succeeded his father as director of the imperial court chapel choir in St. Petersburg, a post he retained until 1861. A fine violinist, Lvov played Mendelssohn's violin concerto in Leipzig with the composer conducting in 1840. He toured with his own string quartet until deafness forced his retirement in 1867. Lvov composed much church music for the imperial choir as well as a violin concerto and several operas. He also compiled a collection of church music for the Orthodox church year but is best known as the composer of the tune for the Russian national anthem.

Enjoy this spirited congregation from St. John’s, Detroit. What an organ! YOUTUBE