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The Lord is my shepherd

author of text
Psalm 23

Sir Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989) is one of a generation of composers who sought their musical inspiration outside England. Although he graduated from Merton College, Oxford, in 1926 (where one of his peers was Auden), his subject was modern languages and it seems that his musical study was limited to organ lessons with Sir William Harris. Berkeley's mother's family lived in France and his regular visits culminated in the young composer showing some of his scores to Maurice Ravel. Ravel encouraged him to study with Nadia Boulanger who, in turn, encouraged him to work hard at strict counterpoint. Berkeley's exposure to Stravinsky's neo-classicism and his study of counterpoint have led to some very particular features in his music: the anthem The Lord is my Shepherd, for example, is often written strictly in four parts, including the treble soloist's part. The vocal parts, although not imitative, all have a life of their own and show the composer's penchant for melody. Berkeley knew (and was influenced by) Britten, Stravinsky and Poulenc amongst others and in turn has influenced many composers through his own teaching, notably Moor, Bennett, Bedford and Tavener.

The Lord is my Shepherd (Op 91 nº 1) was written in 1975 for the 900th anniversary of the Foundation of Chichester Cathedral and is dedicated to the Very Reverend Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester.

from notes by William McVicker 1995


Hear my words
SIGCD115Download only
The English Anthem, Vol. 5
CDA66758Archive Service


Track 4 on CDA66758 [5'17] Archive Service
Track 13 on SIGCD115 [4'28] Download only

Track-specific metadata for CDA66758 track 4

Recording date
30 June 1994
Recording venue
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. The English Anthem, Vol. 5 (CDA66758)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: February 1995
    Deletion date: November 2008
    Archive Service
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