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Track(s) taken from CDA68013


First line:
O thou who camest from above
author of text

Westminster Abbey Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor), Robert Quinney (organ)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: January 2013
Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: January 2014
Total duration: 2 minutes 38 seconds

Cover artwork: Westminster Bridge (detail) by Samuel Scott (c1702-1772)
Private Collection / Agnew's, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

Wells Cathedral Choir, Malcolm Archer (conductor), Rupert Gough (organ)
Huddersfield Choral Society, Joseph Cullen (conductor), Darius Battiwalla (organ)


'The recording is first class. Engineer David Hinitt and producer Adrian Peacock have successfully captured the rich acoustics and yet achieved a clear reproduction of the voices and the mighty organ. Anyone who has ever been in Westminster Abbey should be overwhelmed by the lifelike sound picture. The generous programme is also finely contrasted … the quality of the singing is on a high level and Robert Quinney negotiates the organ accompaniments excellently' (MusicWeb International)» More
Few today know their Bibles well enough to spot the verse from which Charles Wesley took the theme of this hymn and much of its substance. Leviticus 6: 13 has ‘The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar: it shall never go out’. In this hymn we have the flame, the altar, the inextinguishable blaze, the holy fire, and that most satisfying ending, ‘make thy sacrifice complete’. As always, Wesley refers to other texts and echoes other poets. All is in the service of a text that celebrates and encourages the warm devotion of the Christian.

It needs a warm tune and had to wait for a hundred years until the author’s grandson, the leading cathedral musician of his day, published this tune in his The European Psalmist (1872), a collection of over seven hundred hymn tunes. It gets its name because he had been organist of Hereford Cathedral at the beginning of his career, between 1832 and 1835.

from notes by Alan Luff 2004

Other albums featuring this work

The English Hymn, Vol. 5 – Lead, kindly Light
The Hymns Album
Studio Master: SIGCD079Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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