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Covers HymnDescants Album EasterBrass 1 250

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O God beyond all praising

Chamber Ensemble

Arranged for mid-size chamber ensemble with Strings, Flute, Oboe, Horn, Trumpet, and Timpani. This is a merger of two versions, the current string quartet version, expanded to the scale of the earier comissioned arrangement.

Complete chamber mixed ensemble of strings, winds, and percussion


(Includes a $7 license per copy we prepaid to use this text.)



Originally a figure in the symphonic suite The Planets, by Gustav Holst, located in the middle of Jupiter: the Bringer of Jollity, THAXTED was later arranged by the composer as a hymn tune. He gave it the name Thaxted, after the English village where he lived for many years, and where he was founder of an annual music festival. (As Pluto had not yet been discovered, the symphony is an eight-movement composition. And given Pluto's subsequent 'undiscovery,' The Planets remains very much a wonder.)

Michael Perry (1942-1996) was canon at Rochester Cathedral, and editor of Jubilate Hymns. As THAXTED is usually associated with the English patriotic hymn I vow to thee my country, Perry wrote this hymn to provide a text "more appropriate for Christian worship." Originally two verses, a middle verse was added later at the request of Richard Proulx in reference to the Pauline discourse connecting the passing of earthly splendor with future glory, a verse appropriate to some occasions such as a requiem or memorial. But Perry's own preference was that the additional verse should in most cases be omitted. The hymn was written in 1982 specifically for this tune, and a license from the copyright holder, Hope Publishing Company, is required for use.


Thaxted (tune) Wikipedia entry about the tune

Thaxted Parish Church official Thaxted wesbsite

History of Hymns (UMC Discipleship Minitries): "O God beyond all praising."


Version 8.8.11 CE

  • Rewritten introduction (specific to the chamber ensmble version)
  • Expanded instrumentation
  • Articulations and dynamics have been refined

Version 8.7.10

  • Dozens of voice leading cues improved
  • Added passing note in descant
  • Score and parts re-configured for legibility
  • Full score in both 10x13 and US Letter (86% of 10x13)
  • Organ Score US Letter landscape
      - includes vocal parts
      - optimized for page turns


  • First publication with this voicing
  • Choral score includes a version for duplex printing on tabloid printer

Previous versions were released in different voices

  • Strings 4-4-1-1-1, Horn, Trumpet, and Timp (available through Oratorio Society of Minnesota)
  • Harp, Violin, Flute, Oboe, Cello, and Timp (original 2007, matches small ensemble Rutter Requiem)


Michael Perry © Hope Publishing Company

Though we can't publish them here due to copyrights, you can view on the Hope Publishing Company website (link will open a new tab)
"O God beyond all praising"