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Down Ampney

First line:
Come down, O love divine
composer
NEH 137
author of text
Discendi amor Santo
translator of text

 
Vaughan Williams thoroughly disliked the romantic hymn tunes of the Victorian era, writing that ‘they are positively harmful to those who sing and hear them’ (a moral attitude that perhaps we need to hear more of today). In replacing them he was able to bring his own ability to be in touch with what people want to sing that had developed through his study of folksong. The words, a translation by Richard Frederick Littledale from the fourteenth-century Italian of Bianco da Siena have a glowing warmth. This brings Vaughan Williams’s gifts to full flower in a tune which fully expresses the words without the least hint of sentimentality. In each half of the tune, after two phrases with repeated rhythm he writes a swifter-moving line that gathers all to a conclusion. Down Ampney is the Cotswold village where he was born.

from notes by Alan Luff © 1999

Recordings

Rejoice, the Lord is king!
Studio Master: CDA68013Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
The English Hymn, Vol. 1 – Christ Triumphant
CDP12101

Details

Track 19 on CDA68013 [3'13]
Track 15 on CDP12101 [3'16]

Track-specific metadata for CDP12101 track 15

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-99-10115
Duration
3'16
Recording date
16 June 1999
Recording venue
Wells Cathedral, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. The English Hymn, Vol. 1 – Christ Triumphant (CDP12101)
    Disc 1 Track 15
    Release date: November 1999
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