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Lord, thou hast been our refuge 'Psalm 90'

composer
1921
author of text
Psalm 90

 
Composed in 1921, Lord, Thou hast been our refuge combines a setting of Psalm 90 with Issac Watts’s metrical version of the same Psalm—O God, our help in ages past—and the fine tune ‘St Anne’, to which the latter is commonly sung. VW carries out this feat with typically unostentatious skill. The baritone soloist (sometimes a semi-chorus) starts the Psalm, chant-like; the full chorus enters with the hymn, pianissimo, as if in the distance, and the two proceed in tandem—always piano—until the first verse of the Hymn is finished. The full chorus then continues with the Psalm over a broad spectrum of homophonic texture. An instrumental transition, fugally based on ‘St Anne’, leads to a combined recapitulation / apotheosis—forte now—in which fugal derivations from ‘St Anne’ assume ever greater importance (‘And the glorious majesty of our Lord be upon us’). Vaughan Williams would certainly have been aware, in this context, of Bach’s so-called ‘St Anne’ Fugue, the first phrase of whose subject is identical with the first phrase of the ‘St Anne’ tune.

from notes by Christopher Palmer 1993

Recordings

Music for Remembrance
Studio Master: CDA68020Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
The English Anthem, Vol. 5
CDA66758Archive Service
Vaughan Williams: Choral Works
CDS44321/44CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Vaughan Williams: Dona nobis pacem & other works
CDA66655

Details

Track 10 on CDA68020 [8'19]
Track 12 on CDA66655 [7'46]
Track 12 on CDS44321/4 CD2 [7'46] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 7 on CDA66758 [8'53] Archive Service

Track-specific metadata for CDA66758 track 7

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-95-75807
Duration
8'53
Recording date
30 June 1994
Recording venue
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. The English Anthem, Vol. 5 (CDA66758)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: February 1995
    Deletion date: November 2008
    Archive Service
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