Ralph Vaughan Williams

The Old 100th Psalm ("All people that on earth do dwell"), for chorus, unison chorus, orchestra & organ

    Description by Stephen Kingsbury

    This Old Hundredth Psalm Tune is one of two settings by Vaughan Williams of that venerable old melody. The first of Vaughan Williams' two settings was composed in 1929, and this later setting was written, along with the beautiful communion anthem O Taste and See, for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953. With fanfares adapted from the earlier setting, the work is a good representative of the ceremonial, public side of Vaughan Williams' musical personality. Scored for mixed chorus, organ, and orchestra, the piece shows the composer's idealism with its inclusion of a section inviting congregational participation. His characteristic evocation of the music of past masters is nicely handled; he uses the harmony from John Dowland's setting, from Ravencroft's Psalter of 1621, for one of the verses. Although not without moments of quiet reflection, this is clearly a work meant for a moment of profound pageantry. It has outlived its original raison d'etre and has found inclusion in other ceremonies -- including the composer's funeral in Westminster Abbey on September 19, 1958.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2019 Signum Classics SIGCD 569
    2016 ABC Classics
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099932735
    2012 Griffin GCCD 4077
    2012 Priory Records PRAB 110
    2011 Sony Classical 88697898632
    2011 Decca 4805207
    2011 Decca
    2011 Musical Concepts MC144
    2010 Regis Records 1323
    2009 Regent 298
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099920799
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099920663
    2007 Doyen 56
    2007 Argo 4361202
    2003 Nimbus Records 5166
    2002 Griffin / Griffin / Griffin & Co. 3001
    2002 Raven 620
    2002 Griffin GCCD 4034
    2001 Nimbus 5691-5
    2001 Pro Organo 7034
    2001 CBC Records 5121
    2001 Bandleader / Emblem CHM 8001
    2000 Gothic Records 49121
    2000 Griffin CSACD 3050
    2000 Nimbus NI7067/8
    1999 Nimbus NI1754
    1996 Conifer Classics / Conifer 51249
    1996 Madacy / Sound Exchange 9977
    1995 Guild 7102
    1995 IMP Classics 2040
    1994 Conifer 16851
    1992 London/Decca Argo / Argo 2ZH-436-120
    Pro-Arte Records 417
    Arkay Records 6156
    EMI Music Distribution 54134
    IMP Classics 19
    Direct-To-Tape 9605