To experience the full apotheosis of this hymn it needs to be taken beyond even the glories of a cathedral choir and organ and heard in a Salvation Army citadel in their fine arrangement for band, choir and congregation that turns it into a small cantata. For Matthew Bridges’ words provide us with a hymn of exaltation, a lifting-up of all we have to praise Christ, now exalted into heaven, but still the incarnate and crucified Jesus. Elvey served for most of his career as organist of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle (1835–1882). His only other popular tune is ‘St George’s Windsor’ which is widely sung to the harvest hymn ‘Come, ye thankful people, come’. He was a somewhat old-fashioned musician, and his tunes are not part of that romantic movement that was so prevalent at the time. Like so many tunes in this collection this one was contributed to the 1868 Appendix to Hymns Ancient and Modern. The name ‘Diademata’ means in Greek ‘crowns’.
from notes by Alan Luff © 2001