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First line:
Praised be the God of love
March 1956
author of text

Britten composed Antiphon for chorus and organ in March 1956. A setting of words by George Herbert, the piece was written for the centenary of St Michael’s College, Tenbury. The beginning of Herbert’s poem—“Praised be the God of Love/Here below/And here above”—and its ending—“Praised be the God alone/Who hath made of two folds one”—gave rise to Britten’s division of the choir into two groups. The composer’s use of bitonality reaches its apotheosis in the final section where the solo trio and main choir alternate chords until they settle on a consonance on the final word ‘one’. This invigorating piece is among the more neglected of Britten’s works. It was sung at his memorial service in Westminster Abbey.

from notes by Phillip Borg-Wheeler © 2016


Byrd & Britten: Choral works
Studio Master: SIGCD481Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 9 on SIGCD481 [5'58] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD481 track 9

Recording date
30 June 2016
Recording venue
Chapel of Jesus College, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Chris Hazell
Recording engineer
Mike Hatch
Hyperion usage
  1. Hyperion sampler - March 2017 (HYP201703)
    Disc 1 Track 8
    Release date: March 2017
    Download-only sampler
  2. Byrd & Britten: Choral works (SIGCD481)
    Disc 1 Track 9
    Release date: February 2017
    Download only
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