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St Patrick's Breastplate

First line:
I bind unto myself today
composer
'St Patrick' NEH 159 and 'Gartan' NEH 278, traditional Irish melodies from The Complete Petrie Collection of Ancient irish Music, part II
composer
1902
author of text
attributed; 8th-century Old Irish Hymn; after Ephesians 6: 11
translator of text
1889

 
Twelve years after his Irish contemporary Thomas R Gonzalvez Jozé had composed his own setting (to the tune ‘Tara’) of ‘I bind unto myself today’ (1890) for the Irish Church Hymnal, Stanford copyrighted his own version of the hymn of the Ancient Irish Church. Attributed to St Patrick the words (in a translation by Mrs Alexander) were arranged by Stanford to an old Irish melody which first appeared in The English Hymnal published in 1906. Known as ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’, the muscular text is based on St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, chapter 6 verse 11: ‘Put on the whole armour of God’. St Patrick’s Breastplate, which in 1912 was also arranged by the composer for organ, brass, side drum and cymbals, is a set of strophic variations in which the arrangement is continually varied chorally and accompanimentally. Verse 8 (‘Christ be with me’) diverges from the customary triple metre for an interlude in the tonic major. The final verse, in effect the doxology, returns to the minor for perhaps the most majestic variation, fertile in harmonic nuance and modal colour.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble © 1998

Recordings

Rejoice, the Lord is king!
Studio Master: CDA68013Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Stanford: Sacred Choral Music
CDS44311/33CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
The English Hymn, Vol. 3 – Hills of the north, rejoice
CDP12103

Details

Track 18 on CDP12103 [6'23]
Track 12 on CDA68013 [5'21]
Track 5 on CDS44311/3 CD3 [10'00] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDA68013 track 12

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-14-01312
Duration
5'21
Recording date
18 January 2013
Recording venue
Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Adrian Peacock
Recording engineer
David Hinitt
Hyperion usage
  1. Rejoice, the Lord is king! (CDA68013)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: January 2014
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