Favourite Hymns

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Favourite Hymns

  • Praise my soul, the King of Heaven
  • Christ is made the sure foundation
  • All glory, laud and honour
  • When I survey the wondrous cross
  • (The) Day of Resurrection
  • O God, our help
  • Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
  • Praise to the Holiest
  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
  • (The) Church's one foundation
  • Crown him with many crowns
  • Love divine, all loves excelling
  • Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God Almighty
  • Nun danket alle Gott (Now thank we all our God)
  • Abide with me
  • O praise ye the Lord
  • Praise my soul, the King of Heaven
  • Christ is made the sure foundation
  • All glory, laud and honour
  • When I survey the wondrous cross
  • (The) Day of Resurrection
  • O God, our help
  • Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
  • Praise to the Holiest
  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
  • (The) Church's one foundation
  • Crown him with many crowns
  • Love divine, all loves excelling
  • Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God Almighty
  • Nun danket alle Gott (Now thank we all our God)
  • Abide with me
  • O praise ye the Lord

To be liveable with, hymn recordings musn't just reproduce the hearty but lethargic combustion of a congregation driven or discouraged by an ever-present organist. Stephen Cleobury's speeds allow the poet equal rights with the composer and his direction commits the phrasing with easy grace to the presiding acoustic. His descants and falsibordons never demolish the spirit of the original, nor do Richard Farnes's occasional alternative harmonies cock any snooks, but rather widen the dimension slightly. Variations of strength are achieved by using soloists or sections of the choir in contrast to the solidity of SATB.
There are few departures from standard practice, but the version of When I survey the wondrous Cross is so touchingly beautiful, with its caressing alto line, that no other should ever be used again. Perhaps the most moving moment comes in Abide with me when the cool remote treble of Bruce Blyth sings a verse accompanied, like Pooh, by hums. The recording is a classic of understatement, made the more telling by clever distancing of that pealing organ, whose influence reflects on the message rather than pointing it. Compact Disc offers a bright-edged clarity and a much deeper perspective.'

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