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Track(s) taken from CDS44311/3

St Patrick's Breastplate

First line:
I bind unto myself today
composer
'St Patrick' NEH 159 and 'Gartan' NEH 278, traditional Irish melodies from The Complete Petrie Collection of Ancient irish Music, part II
composer
1902
author of text
attributed; 8th-century Old Irish Hymn; after Ephesians 6: 11
translator of text
1889

Winchester Cathedral Choir, David Hill (conductor), Stephen Farr (organ)
Recording details: April 1997
Winchester Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: May 1998
Total duration: 10 minutes 0 seconds

Cover artwork: Towards Grandborough (2004) by Ann Brain (b1944)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
 
1

Other recordings available for download

Wells Cathedral Choir, Malcolm Archer (conductor), Rupert Gough (organ)
Westminster Abbey Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor), Robert Quinney (organ)

Reviews

'Hill and the Winchester Choir are superb. The choral tone is luscious, the discipline outstanding, the recording captures the sumptuous acoustics of the cathedral without blurring the musical details, and the performances are vivid and exciting yet carefully nuanced' (American Record Guide)

'My congratulations on a very fine achievement' (Classic CD)

'Superb performances, supremely fine singing, magnificently directed. A delight for Stanford lovers' (Organists' Review)
Twelve years after his Irish contemporary Thomas R Gonzalvez Jozé had composed his own setting (to the tune ‘Tara’) of ‘I bind unto myself today’ (1890) for the Irish Church Hymnal, Stanford copyrighted his own version of the hymn of the Ancient Irish Church. Attributed to St Patrick the words (in a translation by Mrs Alexander) were arranged by Stanford to an old Irish melody which first appeared in The English Hymnal published in 1906. Known as ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’, the muscular text is based on St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, chapter 6 verse 11: ‘Put on the whole armour of God’. St Patrick’s Breastplate, which in 1912 was also arranged by the composer for organ, brass, side drum and cymbals, is a set of strophic variations in which the arrangement is continually varied chorally and accompanimentally. Verse 8 (‘Christ be with me’) diverges from the customary triple metre for an interlude in the tonic major. The final verse, in effect the doxology, returns to the minor for perhaps the most majestic variation, fertile in harmonic nuance and modal colour.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble 1998

Other albums featuring this work

Rejoice, the Lord is king!
Studio Master: CDA68013Best of 2014Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
The English Hymn, Vol. 3 – Hills of the north, rejoice
CDP12103
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