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Immortal, invisible, God only wise – St Denio

First line:
Immortal, invisible, God only wise
NEH 377, adapted from a Welsh song
last verse harmony and descant
author of text

During his lifetime, the Scottish poet and preacher Walter Chalmers Smith (1824–1908) wrote much verse including the sacred poem Immortal, invisible, God only wise. Smith studied at Marischal College in Aberdeen and graduated with a Master of Arts degree in 1841. He then entered the Ministry and became a Free Church minister in Glasgow and Edinburgh between 1862 and 1894. A collection of his works was published in 1902.

The version of the tune ‘St Denio’ in use today was adapted from a Welsh song set to a hymn in John Roberts’ Caniadau y Cussegre, a collection of hymns published in 1839. John Roberts (1822–1877), a Welsh Calvinistic Methodist preacher, had a great influence on Welsh musical life, introducing the music of Bach, Handel and Mendelssohn to Welsh choirs and also a number of German chorale tunes.

from notes by Sarah Langdon © 1999


Praise to the Lord
The Music of St Paul's Cathedral
SPCC2000Super-budget price sampler

Track-specific metadata for CDH55036 track 4

Recording date
3 February 1989
Recording venue
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Praise to the Lord (CDH55036)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: September 1999
  2. Praise to the Lord (CDH88036)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: October 1989
    Deletion date: September 1999
    Superseded by CDH55036
  3. The St Paul's Cathedral Choir Playlist (CDPL0108)
    Disc 1 Track 22
    Release date: 8 September 2017
    Download only 8 September 2017 Release
  4. The Music of St Paul's Cathedral (SPCC2000)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: July 2000
    Super-budget price sampler
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