• Lennox Berkeley
  • Hymn for Shakespeare's Birthday, Op. 83 no.2 (1972)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Sam Wanamaker of the Globe Theatre Trust

  • organ
  • SATB
  • 2 min

Programme Note

Hymn for Shakespeare’s Birthday
Opus 82/2
This anthem was commissioned by Sam Wanamaker of the Globe Theatre Trust and first performed at Southwark Cathedral by the Exultate Singers under Garrett O’Brien on 23 April 1972. In spite of Berkeley’s adherence to Roman Catholic traditions the hymn is close to Anglican patterns and shows Berkeley’s return to diatonic materials after a more exploratory approach in the 1960s. There is even a melodic blue note, or false relation, also found in some
of Berkeley’s earlier music as well as later pieces such as the sixth Prelude and a prominent motif in Nelson. The Irish-born C. Day-Lewis (1904-72) was poet laureate from 1968 until his death.
Peter Dickinson