Older, familiar hymn tunes can provide a comfortable atmosphere to worship as the listener recalls the text and the experiences of singing these words. Daniel Light’s arrangement of “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go” has this very potential as it is offered in worship. A five-measure introduction leads into stanza 1, set with the melody in the upper voice and undulating eighth notes below. The 4/4 meter is suggested at MM=60 for the quarter note, offering a flowing but not rushed approach to the accompaniment. A key change up a half step to A major establishes stanza 2, now set with the melody in the bass voice and chords in the right hand filling in the harmony. The final stanza moves up an additional half step to B-flat, places the melody back in the upper voice while becoming the most active rhythmically. A brief coda parallels the introduction as the piece quietly comes to an end.
This arrangement is not particularly difficult. A steady sense of rhythm and ability to “bring out” the melody are crucial. Intermediate to early advanced players should have little difficulty preparing this.
PERFORMANCE OPTIONS include use as a prelude or offertory in worship. If appropriate, the hymn text could be silently read by the congregation as the musician plays this setting. Perhaps use this as an instrumental meditation within the worship service.