Hyperion Records

Festival Te Deum in E, Op 32
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This great hymn of praise is one of the four canticles prescribed (two are sung at any given Matins), and has attracted the imagination of many composers. Benjamin Britten wrote two settings. This Festival Te Deum was composed in 1944 for the choir of St Mark’s Church, Swindon. The opening section ‘We praise thee, O God’ creates an almost trance-like, unworldly effect as the unison voices sing in apparently free time against strictly regular organ chords decorated with pseudo-Baroque ornaments. At ‘Thou art the King of glory’ the music abruptly changes character; now it is driving and rhythmic and the organ part kinetic. The trebles reach a climactic high B at ‘in glory everlasting’, and then the music quickly subsides into the dreamy atmosphere of the opening. The next few lines of the text are taken by a treble soloist, who briefly re-emerges at the very end (‘let me never be confounded’) to bring the canticle to a serene conclusion.

from notes by James O'Donnell © 2008

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDH55307 track 10
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-84-12610
Duration
7'47
Recording date
4 February 1984
Recording venue
St Alban's Church, Holborn, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Britten: A Boy was Born (CDA66126)
    Disc 1 Track 10
    Release date: April 1986
    Deletion date: September 2006
    Superseded by CDH55307
  2. Britten: A Boy was Born & other choral works (CDH55307)
    Disc 1 Track 10
    Release date: October 2007
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
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