Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, was commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral in London to write a piece for SATB choir and organ in celebration of HM The Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016. The piece is now available from Chester Music, so that choirs all over the world can join in with the festivities. Churches and other local organisations are planning events on Sunday 12th June and many may want to include this approachable setting of Robert Bridges’ poem.
Directed by Andrew Carwood, the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir performed I love all beauteous things as part of the National Service of Thanksgiving which took place on at 11am on 10 June 2016 in the presence of HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. At the service the Archbishop of Canterbury gave the address and the Prime Minister read a lesson.
Judith Weir comments:
"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."
At the suggestion of Michael Hampel, Precentor of St Paul’s Cathedral, I have set words by Robert Bridges, who was Poet Laureate from 1913–1930. Bridges was an outstanding humanitarian and writer, whose poetry has inspired me before in The Voice of Desire, a song-cycle for mezzo-soprano and piano. This short, fast-tempo setting aims to emulate the swift, fleet-footed rhyme and metre of the two-verse poem, with its unobtrusive but telling reference to ‘man in his hasty days’.
Commissioned by the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral to mark the 90th birthday of HM The Queen, generously supported by the Boltini Trust. Performed at the National Service of Thanksgiving for HM The Queen’s birthday at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, on Friday 10th June 2016 in the presence of HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
Music by Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music, words by Robert Bridges, Poet Laureate in the year HM The Queen was born.
Duration c. 3½ minutes
I LOVE ALL BEAUTEOUS THINGS
words by Robert Bridges OM (1844–1930)
Poet Laureate 1913–30
I love all beauteous things,
I seek and adore them;
God hath no better praise,
And man in his hasty days
Is honoured for them.
I too will something make
And joy in the making;
Altho’ to-morrow it seem
Like the empty words of a dream
Remembered on waking.
(I love all beauteous things, etc…)