Hassler "Lord, Let At Last Thine Angels Come"
Date: April 28, 2014
Years ago a ChoralNet post asked, "I am curious if anyone has done research on the origin of the double choir
motet "Lord, Let at Last Thine Angels Come" (Hans Leo Hassler, ed. Walter
E. Buszin) published by Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO 98-1026,
© 1945 by CPH." This question came from Dale Witte, on September 16, 2008. I did not see any answers.
Here's what I found today, looking into the same issue. It's from Hassler's 1608 collection "Kirchengesang, Psalmen und Geistliche Lieder" (Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual Songs). That includes a double-choir motet (SATB/SATB) "Herzlich Lieb Hab' Ich Dich, O Herr" (Heartfelt Love I Have For You, O Lord). Its third section incudes this text. In addition to the Concordia Publishing House edition from 1945 edited by Walter Buszin that Dale Witte cited, Carus Verlag has published an edition of the whole motet, Carus 1.035.
The tune is today referred to as "Herzlich Lieb;" it seems to appear in different sources with variations in rhythm and intervals. It pre-dates Hassler's publication and is credited variously as anonymous or by B. Schmid from his 1577 Orgeltablaturbuch. (Hymnary.org includes this article by Vincent Lenti from "The Hymn," April 1999. It also included this PDF from Evangelical Lutheran Worship citing Schmid.)
I hope this background is useful to others. It is indeed a great text and tune, as many musicians have found, including Bach. chris hoh