Recently, I was asked to name my top five favorite anthems. This is not an easy task.
The person who did the asking was Brett Maguire, Organist/Choirmaster at Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church, Danville, Virginia. Brett now writes a weekly "About the organ selections."
Among the works I considered were three anthems of Herbert Howells:
I consider these to represent a sort of "Holy Trinity" within Howells's choral literature.
I assumed that the three I had named made up 75% of his Four Anthems, but this is not the case.
Howells's Four Anthems, SATB, org, 1941, consist of
I'd never heard of We Have Heard with Our Ears or Let God Arise until I saw them listed in Grove's today
The anthem that I thought was one of the Four, My Eyes for Beauty Pine (text by Robert Bridges), was set in 1925, nearly 15 years prior to the Four.
As it turns out, there are a lot of Howells's anthems I don't know.
I Love All Beauteous Things, SATB, org, 1977, for instance, another text by Bridges, was set toward the end of Howells's life in 1977.
Does anyone want to loan me a copy? Or a CD?
Yes, it's official: I'm becoming obsessed.
What are your favorite anthems?
1 As if there's any other way to hear . . . I tried to hear with my eyes, but they only pined for beauty (homage a Mitch Hedberg)
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