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Strengthen ye the weak hands

First line:
The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth
1949; T solo; SATB divisi + organ; composed for and first performed at the opening service of the Canterbury Festival in Canterbury Cathedral on 25 June 1949
author of text
Ecclesiasticus 38:4, 6, 9, 10, 12; Isaiah 35:1-6; Book of Common Prayer

With words taken from Ecclesiasticus, Isaiah and the Book of Common Prayer, Strengthen ye the weak hands was composed for the opening service of the Canterbury Festival in Canterbury Cathedral on 25 June 1949 to commemorate the Science and Art of Healing. More symphonically conceived (like Stanford’s For lo, I raise up), the anthem is framed by a theme exclusive to the organ. An introductory recitative for solo tenor leads to the main body of the anthem—a ternary design for the full choir, beginning with the text that gave rise to its title. The longer secondary paragraph (‘Then shall the eyes of the blind’) of this tripartite structure leads to a fuller, affirmative restatement of the first idea before the anthem concludes with a wistful recurrence of the organ theme and a more austere, declamatory coda (‘O Saviour of the world’) for the full choir.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble © 2019


Bairstow, Harris & Stanford: Choral works
Studio Master: CDA68259Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
The English Anthem, Vol. 6
CDA66826Archive Service


Track 5 on CDA68259 [6'49]
Track 7 on CDA66826 [7'59] Archive Service

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