The fifth in a series of seven posts on Ascensiontide music.
The tune Salva Festa Dies is well known, and is attached to three hymns, all with the same title, Hail Thee, Festival Day, on each for Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost. It is a strong, triumphal tune, which could be sung a capella, though I would not recommend it. I was once in a parish which did this, and it did not go well.
It is based on a latin text by Venantius Honorius Fortunatus, author of such beloved texts as Sing My Tongue, The Glorious Battle and Thirty Years Among Us Dwelling. Fortunatus, for the record, wrote a body of poetry, which would should check out, if you haven’t previously. The music was composed by Ralph Vaughn Williams, Anglican musician extraordinaire.
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