Text Henry Williams Baker, 1875
Voicing SATB, opt. brass quintet, opt. timpani, organ
Topic Praise and Adoration, Music
Scripture References Psalms 148 & 150
Price $3.50 (U.S.)
Cat. no. 410-874 Full score 410-875
Difficulty Mod. Difficult
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Min. of 5
This joyous festival anthem by Craig Phillips sets original music to Henry Baker's familiar hymn text (based on Psalms 148 and 150). Featuring brass quintet, timpani, and organ, an energetic accompaniment supports the choir throughout (and provides colorful interludes). The choral parts are uniformly easy (with only the most minimal divisi at the end), making this an especially strong selection for a choral festival or other occasion where a mass choir might come together with limited rehearsal.
O praise ye the Lord! praise him in the height;
rejoice in his Word, ye angels of light;
ye heavens, adore him by whom ye were made,
and worship before him in brightness arrayed.
O praise ye the Lord! Praise him upon earth,
in tuneful accord, ye sons of new birth;
praise him who hath brought you his grace from above,
praise him who hath taught you to sing of his love.
O praise ye the Lord! All things that give sound;
each jubilant chord re-echo around;
loud organs, his glory forth tell in deep tone,
and sweet harp, the story of what he hath done.
O praise ye the Lord! Thanksgiving and song
to him be outpoured all ages along!
for love in creation, for heaven restored,
for grace of salvation, O praise ye the Lord!
--Henry Williams Baker, 1875, based on Psalm 148 and 150
"Composing a musical rival to C. Hubert H. Parry's masterful setting of Henry Williams Baker's versification of Psalms 148 and 150 requires as much technical prowess as it does confidence. Phillips excels in both areas with an anthem that carves its own distinctive niche to hold these treasured words. Aside from sharing the 3/4 meter with the earlier setting, the musical apparel is entirely original. The resolute homophony of the choir above an undergirding of syncopated organ chords combines strength with nimble vitality. The setting is expansive and in no hurry to move through the text, matching the rhetorical flourishes with musical pageantry. Instrumental interludes grow in length throughout the anthem, further adding to the festive nature. As such, the use of a brass quintet (with optional timpani) seems highly desirable, although performance with organ alone is accommodated in the score. This thrilling setting of majestic poetry is a marvelous addition to the choral repertoires instead of --or alongside--Parry’s extended cantata." --AAM Journal, Jan./Feb. 2024