One of the unfortunate effects of the great liturgical reforms which have taken place in the Church of England over the last thirty years has been the almost complete disappearance of choral matins. This has meant that a large part of the repertoire has become forgotten through disuse. Howells wrote a number of settings of the Te Deum, Jubilate and Benedictus of which the Collegium Regale
settings are by far the most well known. This is a shame, for as with Howells’s choral output as a whole, conductors tend to stick to familiar repertoire and ignore the riches which exist in other, less well known works. The Te Deum and Benedictus written in 1952 for St George’s Chapel, Windsor, are just such examples of outstanding settings of these great words which are almost completely neglected.
from notes by Paul Spicer © 2005