Few composers of hymn tunes have been as vilified as Sullivan. The problem is that we know so well his masterpieces, the Savoy operas, in which we are delighted by his lightness of touch and the spontaneity of his melodies. However, for Sullivan, and for his many admirers including Queen Victoria, his real calling was to take English music to heights of serious achievement in oratorio and grand opera, and when he attempted these his feet became leaden and his melodies boring. This was true also of his hymn tunes, although he contributed to the hymnody of his time through his work as composer, arranger and musical editor. ‘Lux Eoi’ (‘The Light of the Morning Star’) is the last of his tunes to survive in many books. He wrote it originally for ‘Hark a thrilling voice is sounding’, but it is now almost always sung to these words by Christopher Wordsworth, who wrote a series of sound doctrinal hymns for teaching purposes when he was Rector of Stamford, near London, and Canon of Westminster before becoming Bishop of Lincoln.
from notes by Alan Luff © 2001