O God beyond all praising
Arranged for Harp, Oboe, French Horn, String Quartet, and Timp with Choir, Congregation, and Organ.
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.
First publication with this voicing
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)