Hyperion Records

Give unto the Lord, Op 74
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Written in February 1914, Give unto the Lord was immediately published by Novello. It was first heard in a version for chorus and orchestra at the Festival of the Sons of the Clergy at St Paul’s Cathedral on 30 April 1914, and was consequently dedicated to Sir George Martin, the organist of St Paul’s.

Elgar responds to the words of Psalm 29 with vigour and powerfully contrapuntal choral writing, but with a gentle central interlude at the words ‘In His Temple’. Eventually Elgar returns to the music of the opening but ends with the words ‘the blessing of peace’. As these words are, uniquely, repeated and given added emphasis by being echoed round the choir, one has to wonder whether Elgar had any inkling in April 1914 of what was to be.

from notes by Lewis Foreman © 2007

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