In the days when diocesan choral festivals were great gatherings of (all-male) robed choirs it was quite usual for a new anthem to be commissioned. For the 1894 meeting of the Salisbury Diocesan Choral Association, C H H Parry, by then one of the leading composers of his day and one of the leaders of the revival of English music that has continued to the present, wrote the anthem Hear my words, O ye people. It ends with a movement in which the cathedral choir and the main body of singers alternate to sing this hymn as the climax of the piece. The anthem itself, although revived from time to time, is not one of Parry’s best pieces, except for this tune taken from it, including the elaborate accompaniment for the final verse, so suitable in the anthem, and so effective too in ordinary use. ‘Laudate Dominum’ (‘Praise the Lord’) is the heading of Psalm 150 in the Book of Common Prayer, and the words are a metrical version of that psalm by H W Baker.
from notes by Alan Luff © 2001