Whispering Hope

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This hymn was written by Septimus Winner (1827-1902) under his pseudonym of "Alice Hawthorne". It has been recorded by numerous gospel and country musicians, including Jim Reeves, Willie Nelson, Jo Stafford & Gordon MacRae, Tennesee Ernie Ford, The Statler Brothers, Pat Boone, Daniel O'Donnell & Mary Duff, Slim Whitman and many more. Listening to it, the tune incorporates bits of two older German songs, "Ich weiss nicht was soll es bedeuten" (or "Lorelei") and "Silent Night". Although there is no explicit reference to Christmas in the words, it appears to pop up in a lot of collections of Christmas music.

    I have recorded it as a mandolin quintet of two mandolins, octave mandolin (mandola), tenor guitar and mandocello, based on an anonymous Japanese arrangement for mandolin orchestra which I got a while ago from the now-defunct Nakano site (uploaded here). It's a very effective arrangement, but technically pretty straightforward -- this should work for a gospel or bluegrass band just as well as for a mandolin orchestra.

    1921 Gibson Ajr mandolin
    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Mid-Missouri M-111 octave mandolin
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello
    Ozark tenor mandolin

  2. Frankdolin
    Nice version Martin! And thanks for the history of this beautiful song. Here's mine. And on my last day at 65, I wish you all peace and a long life.
  3. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Happy Birthday, Frank. You chose a beautiful tune to mark the passing of your day and to launch you into the next year - hopefully more fun than the last two. I love the mood you have captured here - a bit wistful - wondering if you are missing your last year of 65 - John has told me many times, that you are not one year older, only a day older than you were yesterday.
  4. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Happy birthday, Frank. It's a long time since I was in my 60s, but as Ginny says, a birthday just makes you one day older, not a whole year. Lovely simple arrangement you have here which suits the tune especially with its country connections.
  5. Gelsenbury
    Happy birthday, and thank you for the tune! Aren't we meant to be singing for you rather than vice versa?
  6. Jairo Ramos Parra
    Jairo Ramos Parra
    Happy birthday, nothing more to add... oh yes, thanks for the music!
  7. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    A belated Happy Birthday and nice recording, Frank!
  8. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    I liked the tune so much, that I just recorded it:
  9. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Very nice playing, Frank and Christian, and many thanks for reminding me of this tune. As it was also my birthday last week, I have now updated my own 2014 recording -- same Japanese arrangement, but I have speeded it up, reduced the tremolo and omitted the mandocello part to make the arrangement a bit less dense.

    1921 Gibson Ajr mandolin (x2)
    Mid-Missouri M-111 octave mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar


  10. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Seems I’m getting on a bit too, I keep missing tunes!
    Thanks for the whole of the last year of tunes from you guys, it is such a pleasure to listen.
    And here’s to many more years to come!
  11. John W.
    John W.
    I’m on catch up….Belated birthday greetings Frank and Martin. Lovely tune and variations Frank, Christian and Martin.
  12. Frankdolin
    Thanks Folks! REally pretty version Christian, and you were not late. Liked your second version better Martin.You have a very pretty, kind of " Italian" group feel here. Nice! Thanks Again!
  13. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Frank (and John/Simon). Yes, I also much prefer my second version!

  14. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    When listening to Martin's recording, I had scrolled down to reaf the comments. I was sure to hear an Italian bowlback. I scrolled up and saw the Gibson.
    Thanks Martin for the nics recording and thanks all fo the positive comments.
  15. Frithjof
    It was a pleasure to listen to these last three versions in a row. Everyone brought in his style of playing.
    And Happy Birthday to Frank and Martin!
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