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As truly as God is our Father

author of text
Revelations of Divine Love (adapted from Revelation 11)

The Welsh composer William Mathias (1934–1992) was educated at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and subsequently on a Open Scholarship in composition at the Royal Academy of Music where his teachers were Peter Katin for piano and Lennox Berkeley for composition. Mathias maintained a close affiliation to his homeland, being associated with University College, Bangor, from 1959 as a lecturer and as Professor of Music from 1969 until 1988. His reputation as a composer gained him many honours, notably a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music in 1965, the Bax Society Prize in 1968, the John Edwards Memorial Award in 1981, and a CBE in the 1985 New Year’s Honours. Mathias was as popular in America as in Great Britain—testimony to this lies in the award of an Honorary DMus by Westminster Choir College, Princeton, in 1987.

Although this composer’s most distinguished compositions arguably lie in his orchestral music—his symphonies and concertos—his chamber works and his opera The Servants, Op 81, Mathias thankfully never neglected liturgical music and received many commissions, including several for Royal occasions—most notably his anthem Let the people praise Thee, O God written for the wedding of The Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981 at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The anthem recorded here is another work associated with a Royal visit to St Paul’s Cathedral: As truly as God is our Father was written at the request of the Friends of St Paul’s Cathedral for their festival and sung in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, the Patron of the Friends on 30 June 1987.

This gentle anthem takes its text from the writings of Mother Julian of Norwich. The agitated rhythms normally associated with this composer’s celebratory anthems are absent here; the powerful words are reflected in the simplicity of the slowly changing harmonies.

from notes by William McVicker © 1991


The English Anthem, Vol. 2
CDA66519Archive Service


Track 5 on CDA66519 [6'36] Archive Service

Track-specific metadata for CDA66519 track 5

Recording date
4 July 1991
Recording venue
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. The English Anthem, Vol. 2 (CDA66519)
    Disc 1 Track 5
    Release date: February 1992
    Deletion date: April 2016
    Archive Service
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