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Prayer to the Father of Heaven

First line:
O radiant Luminary of light interminable
author of text

Prayer to the Father of Heaven (1948) sets the texts of John Skelton (c1463-1529), to whose earthy, ribald poems Vaughan Williams had earlier been drawn in his 1935 choral suite Five Tudor Portraits. This work is different both in scale and tone, however. Composed to mark the centenary of Hubert Parry’s birth, the eloquent dedication pays homage to ‘the memory of my master, Hubert Parry, not as an attempt palely to reflect his incomparable art, but in the hope that he would have found in this motet (to use his own words) "something characteristic"'. It is indeed difficult to discern the influence of Parry’s music here. But in the beautiful, strange harmonic shifts, enlisted in the service of a nuanced and individual response to the text, it becomes a fitting tribute.

from notes by Ceri Owen © 2018


Vaughan Williams: Mass in G minor & other choral works
Studio Master: SIGCD541Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 11 on SIGCD541 [5'39] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD541 track 11

Recording date
20 July 2017
Recording venue
St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Chris Hazell
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Vaughan Williams: Mass in G minor & other choral works (SIGCD541)
    Disc 1 Track 11
    Release date: May 2018
    Download only
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