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Hyperion Records

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Westminster Bridge (detail) by Samuel Scott (c1702-1772)
Private Collection / Agnew's, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA68013
Recording details: January 2013
Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: January 2014
Total duration: 3 minutes 13 seconds

Down Ampney
First line:
Come down, O love divine
composer
NEH 137
author of text
Discendi amor Santo
translator of text

Other recordings available for download
Wells Cathedral Choir, Malcolm Archer (conductor), Rupert Gough (organ)
Introduction
Vaughan Williams thoroughly disliked the romantic hymn tunes of the Victorian era, writing that ‘they are positively harmful to those who sing and hear them’ (a moral attitude that perhaps we need to hear more of today). In replacing them he was able to bring his own ability to be in touch with what people want to sing that had developed through his study of folksong. The words, a translation by Richard Frederick Littledale from the fourteenth-century Italian of Bianco da Siena have a glowing warmth. This brings Vaughan Williams’s gifts to full flower in a tune which fully expresses the words without the least hint of sentimentality. In each half of the tune, after two phrases with repeated rhythm he writes a swifter-moving line that gathers all to a conclusion. Down Ampney is the Cotswold village where he was born.

from notes by Alan Luff 1999


Other albums featuring this work
'The English Hymn, Vol. 1 – Christ Triumphant' (CDP12101)
The English Hymn, Vol. 1 – Christ Triumphant

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