Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Lighten our darkness

March 1918; composed for the choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor
author of text
Third Collect 'For aid against all perils' at Evensong, Book of Common Prayer

In spending the nights of the war out of London, Stanford lived at Windsor where, according to scholar, editor and church musician E H Fellowes, he regularly attended daily evensong at St George’s Chapel. Lighten our darkness was written as a special tribute to the choir in March 1918. Fellowes recalled that it was sung on one or two occasions at St George’s in that year, but after that it was forgotten. In November 1935 it surfaced after Fellowes was sent the manuscript score by Walford Davies. The intention then appears to have been a desire to publish it, but for reasons unknown the work remained in manuscript. On this premiere recording, the anthem is sung in an edition by Jeremy Dibble. The text is taken from the Third Collect of the Order for Evening Prayer, ‘for aid against all perils’ which, like its predecessor For lo, I raise up, seems to embody something of the composer’s own personal commentary on the war. Certainly the ‘perils and dangers’ of the night loom large, appearing to support Fellowes’ suggestion that Stanford ‘had the raids in his mind when setting this Collect’. More profound, however, are the passionate, full-voiced entreaties of the opening (‘Lighten our darkness’), while the imitative phrase ‘and by thy great mercy’ expresses a deep inner longing; but more emotional still is the last phase of the anthem (‘for the love of thy only Son’) whose fervent melody must surely rank as one of the most poignantly beautiful in all English church music of the period.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble © 1998


Howells: The house of the mind & other choral works
Studio Master: SIGCD491Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Stanford: Choral Music
Studio Master: CDA68174Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Stanford: Sacred choral music
CDS44311/33CDs Boxed set (at a special price)


Track 6 on CDA68174 [3'48]
Track 10 on CDS44311/3 CD3 [3'25] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 7 on SIGCD491 [3'55] Download only

Track-specific metadata

Click track numbers above to select
Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...