Hyperion Records

These words were written in 1831, a time in J H Newman’s life of considerable stress and turmoil. He was deeply concerned for the Church of England, and over a number of political events. His own spiritual life was approaching a crisis. On holiday in Italy with friends he became ill. Becalmed on ship on his way home he wrote these words, never intending them to be sung as a hymn. They are a challenge to the tune-writer: first, the mood of deep distress through which faith and hope shines must be expressed; secondly, having been written freely as a poem, the tune must respect the punctuation and allow the sense to flow over the ends of the lines. The upward surge of this tune expresses the mood well, and it sings of a deep resignation to the will of God in the final phrase. We hardly notice the technical problems because of the skill of the writing. W H Harris, who had a long career in cathedral music culminating in almost thirty years at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, wrote the tune in 1924 on a long train journey through Alberta.

from notes by Alan Luff 1999

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDP12101 track 20
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 20
    Release date: November 1999
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