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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
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Thaxted is an ancient and beautiful market town in Essex where Gustav Holst lived for many years. When this tune was taken from his suite The Planets, only one note needed to be changed to turn it into a melody that people love to sing. In the suite it grows into being from the hurly-burly of the opening section that portrays Jupiter, ‘the Bringer of Jollity’. The rapid swirl of notes with which the movement begins has the opening notes of this tune. Its nobility is perhaps a portrait of the king of the gods. Separated from its source it shows a regal poise that can yet express devotion and humility. It has been felt to have a ‘Britishness’ that makes it suitable for national occasions.
The opening words of the hymn, by Cecil Spring-Rice, lead us in that direction, but in fact the second verse take us on a different journey, to ‘another country’. The hymn is therefore one to be used with care.
I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above, Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love; The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test, That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best; The love that never falters, the love that pays the price, The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
And there’s another country I’ve heard of long ago, Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know; We may not count her armies, we may not see her King; Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering; And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase, And her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.