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Behold, O God our defender

25 December 1952; commissioned as the introit for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
author of text
Psalm 84: 9-10

In November 1952, Howells was invited to compose a short Introit for the Coronation Service of Queen Elizabeth II. The text was to be verses from Psalm 84, beginning ‘Behold, O God our defender’. He completed this quiet, reflective prelude to a great state occasion at the end of that year, on Christmas Day. For the Coronation itself the combined choirs were large and Howells provided a fully orchestrated score, but this sensitive anthem is more usually heard, as here, with smaller forces and organ accompaniment.

from notes by Paul Andrews © 2016


Howells: Collegium Regale & other choral works
Studio Master: CDA68105Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Howells: St Paul's Service & other works
CDA66260Archive Service
Howells: The house of the mind & other choral works
Studio Master: SIGCD491Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 13 on CDA68105 [3'29]
Track 5 on CDA66260 [4'02] Archive Service
Track 1 on SIGCD491 [4'08] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD491 track 1

Recording date
11 January 2017
Recording venue
Church of St Michael and All Angels, Oxford, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Adrian Peacock
Recording engineer
David Hinitt
Hyperion usage
  1. Howells: The house of the mind & other choral works (SIGCD491)
    Disc 1 Track 1
    Release date: June 2018
    Download only
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