The hymn known as “Fairest Lord Jesus” and “Beautiful Savior” is a folk melody from Silesia, a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in modern-day Poland. The text, “Schönster Herr Jesus,” by German Jesuits, was published in the Münster Gesangbuch (Münster Hymnal) in 1677; and the tune, likely dating to the 17th century, was published in the Schlesische Volkslieder (Silesian Folk Songs), 1842.
In many hymnals, the tune is named CRUSADERS HYMN, based on the legend that it was sung by 12th-century German Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land. Franz Liszt used the tune for a crusaders march in his oratorio, “The Legend of St. Elizabeth” (1862), and so the tune is also known as ST. ELIZABETH.
In this arrangement for trombone and organ, the tune is presented by the soloist in verse 1 and by organ with countermelody by soloist in verse 2. Following a brief modulation, the tune is presented ½ step higher by soloist and organ.
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