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Hyperion Records

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The Herbert Howells Memorial Window, Gloucester Cathedral (1992) by Caroline Swash (b1941)
Photograph by Angelo Hornak, by permission of Gloucester Cathedral
Track(s) taken from CDA67914
Recording details: July 2011
Lincoln Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: April 2012
Total duration: 3 minutes 28 seconds

Michael
First line:
All my hope on God is founded
composer
1930; tune originally entitled A Hymn Tune for Charterhouse; re-named Michael, in memory of the composer's son, and published in The Clarendon Hymn Book, in 1936; NEH 333
arranger
last verse descant
author of text
translator of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
All the world knows and sings the great hymn All my hope on God is founded. All the world knows too that the tune is named ‘Michael’. Less well known is that, like the Requiem, it is not a direct response to Michael’s death, although Howells published it in his son’s memory.

In a broadcast to mark his ninetieth birthday in 1982, Howells recounted how he received the words of this hymn by Robert Bridges in the post one morning whilst in the middle of breakfast. Almost immediately a tune suggested itself to him and the hymn was apparently composed on the spot (in the composer’s words) ‘while I was chewing bacon and sausage’. The words had been sent by his friend T P Fielden, director of music at Charterhouse, and the hymn, composed in 1930, was originally called simply A Hymn Tune for Charterhouse, where it was regularly sung. Fielden was one of the editors of The Clarendon Hymn Book, and when that book was published in 1936, the year after Michael’s death, it included Howells’ hymn, now christened ‘Michael’, in his memory. The descant to the final verse on this recording is by John Rutter.

from notes by Paul Andrews © 2012

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