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St Paul’s wishes the Queen a happy birthday – with our special gift to choirs everywhere
Today (Thursday 21 April) St Paul’s Cathedral is revealing details of a special anthem written for the Queen’s birthday.
16 May 2016
St Paul’s commissioned Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir to create a new anthem. It will be sung by St Paul’s Cathedral Choir at the National Service of Thanksgiving here on Friday 10 June.
But the Cathedral is not keeping the anthem to itself for a world premiere.
The piece has been written to suit both the magnificent choir of St Paul’s Cathedral and local amateur choirs - so everyone should feel able to perform it to enjoy an echo of the St Paul’s service wherever they are.
People can order the anthem from Judith Weir’s publisher Chester Music to perform at their own local services or concerts to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.
The text of the anthem is based on a poem by Robert Bridges – Poet Laureate in the year The Queen was born – ‘I love all beauteous things.’ The poem speaks of a person’s delight and reverence for that which comes from God, and the anthem will be joyous, uplifting and memorable.
The Reverend Canon Michael Hampel, Precentor of St Paul’s, who is responsible for the service and for the anthem commission, said:
‘Robert Bridges was Poet Laureate 90 years ago when the Queen was born and Judith Weir is her current Master of the Queen’s Music so, in this anthem, music and verse from across the Queen’s nine decades come together to celebrate a truly remarkable woman who has been – quite simply – one of the best heads of state any nation could have and surely the best-loved head of state in history.
‘Many churches and other local organisations are planning events on Sunday 12 June and you may want to include this beautiful setting by Judith Weir of Robert Bridges’ poem ‘I love all beauteous things.
‘The service at St Paul’s will be broadcast live on BBC1 on Friday 10 June at 11.00 a.m. so, whether you perform the new anthem locally or not, you can hear it on TV! We’re looking forward to revealing special moments in the service closer to the day.’
St Paul’s Director of Music Andrew Carwood said:
‘I am thrilled to have the opportunity to perform a new piece by Judith Weir to celebrate HM The Queen’s 90th birthday. Music has always generated powerful emotions and singing is a wonderful way to express our admiration and gratitude to a monarch who has given this country so much.
‘Judith Weir is one of the world’s great composers. ‘Her sympathetic word setting together with her ability to write direct and powerful music is a winning combination. We very much hope that choirs around the country will enjoy performing this piece as much as we will.
Judith Weir said:
‘It is a particular honour to contribute new music for this great occasion, and a pleasure to write a choral version of Robert Bridges’ beautiful verse.’