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Anthem suggestions please


Martin Cooke
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We will be hosting a memorial service in a couple of months time for a young artist and art teacher who died last year. If forum members have some suggestions for anthems or hymns, I would be really interested to hear them. I'm thinking along the lines of The heavens are telling and For the beauty of the earth (either the Rutter or as hymn to England's Lane) - what else is there? She painted en plein air beautiful landscapes and was wonderfully creative and inspiring. Think 'art' but also think 'teacher and inspirer' if you can. Lots more ideas will come to me, I am sure but I would like to choose from a wide a 'gathered field' as possible. Many thanks.

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Call me a pleb, but, as a hymn, I much prefer "For the beauty of the earth" to Dix as harmonised in AMR. To me this version of Dix has a more gentle character and a beauty that better matches the words than the more jaunty England's Lane. It's a hymn which I recommend to wedding couples (For the joy of human love,...), with quite a high take up rate, but almost always they want it to Dix, with no leading from me, just a better known and better loved tune.

 

In terms of anthems, I'm finding it quite difficult. On the creation theme, perhaps "All creatures of our God and King" by Harris might be relevant.

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Thank you very much for your suggestions, everyone. Resources, by the way, are SATB young voices - school choir with organ. I didn't know the Howells but what a fabulous piece - beyond us here, but so glad to have discovered it. It led me to a super Wells Cathedral Howells CD whence I have have also enjoyed the New College Mag and Nunc - I've always been a bit dismissive of Howells' settings other than the popular ones - Coll Reg, St Paul's, Westminster and Gloucester.

 

Dix v England's Lane - well, actually, I've always found Dix a bit dreary especially in the simple version where the harmony doesn't change to accommodate whatisname's descant in the AMR. It's possibly a "St Paul's thing" for me - Geoffrey Shaw was a chorister there about 80 years before me! That just makes an interesting link for me.

 

Not sure I have found the ideal anthem yet but I will keep looking. As I say, many thanks, and if any further ideas come to anybody, please do mention them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are accessible settings of "For the beauty" by John Joubert and Andrew Carter that might be within your choir's grasp. The former is available in one of the Novello "More than Hymns" books whilst the latter is part of a longer work entitled "Great is the Lord" and published by Morning Star in the USA. The last movement of said cantata, "Thou art the vine," is also worth a look though more suitable perhaps for a dedicatory service than a memorial.

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