The words of this hymn are attributed to St Columba (521-597) and Britten’s setting of them dates from the very last days of 1962. The work is simple in the best sense of the term. Its craftsmanship is as unerring as is its sensitivity to the text. St Columba was founder of the monastery of Iona and from the island shrine he made missionary journeys to the Highlands of Scotland.
from notes by Peter Lamb © 1986