Little is written about the author and translator Thomas Benson Pollock (1836–1896) and, apart from this most beautiful hymn, his work does not seem to be represented in the popular hymn books used in our churches today. The 1924 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern
includes several litanies and hymns translated by Pollock from French and Latin, and the Methodist Hymnbook
(1933) contains the hymns Spirit blest, who art adored, Jesus, with Thy Church abide
and We have not known Thee as we ought
, which has been set to Stainer’s tune ‘Credo’.
Philipp Friedrich Silcher (1789–1860) was a German composer best known for his composed ‘folk’ songs, in particular his setting of Heine’s ‘Die Loreley’, and was also an important collector of true folksongs. Like There is a green hill, Faithful shepherd, lead me is a gentle, serene hymn and Silcher’s simple hymn tune ‘Pastor Pastorum’ provides a perfect musical accompaniment to Pollock’s verse. The treble solo in the second verse is one of the most sublime moments on this recording.
from notes by Sarah Langdon © 1999