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I Vow to Thee, My Country

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Gustav Holst

Gustav Holst (setting Ralph Vaughan Williams; ed. Grechesky)


Subtitle: From "The Planets"

This work may also be known as Thaxted.


General Info

Year: 1921 / 1988
Duration: c. 5:00
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: G. Schirmer, Inc.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $55.00   |   Score Only (print) - $5.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute
Oboe
Bassoon
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

I Vow to Thee, My Country is a British hymn (patriotic song), created in 1921, when a poem by Sir Cecil Spring Rice was set to music by Gustav Holst.

The origin of the hymn's text is a poem by diplomat Sir Cecil Spring Rice, which he wrote in 1908 or 1912, entitled Urbs Dei ("The City of God") or The Two Fatherlands. The poem described how a Christian owes his loyalties to both his homeland and the heavenly kingdom.

In 1921, Gustav Holst adapted the music from a section of Jupiter from his suite The Planets to create a setting for the poem. At the request of the publisher Curwen, Holst made a version as a unison song with orchestra (Curwen also published Sir Hubert Perry's unison song with orchestra, "Jerusalem"). This was probably first performed in 1921 and became a common element at Armistice memorial ceremonies, especially after it was published as a hymn in 1926. Holst in 1926 harmonised the tune to make it usable as a hymn, which was included in the hymnal Songs of Praise. In that version the lyrics were unchanged, but the tune was then called Thaxted (named after the village where Holst lived for many years). The editor of the new (1926) edition of Songs of Praise was Holst's close friend Ralph Vaughan Williams, which may have provided the stimulus for Holst's co-operation in producing the hymn.

Holst's daughter Imogen recorded that at "the time when he was asked to set these words to music, Holst was so over-worked and over-weary that he felt relieved to discover they 'fitted' the tune from Jupiter".

- Program Note from Wikipedia


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

  • Arkansas: II
  • Indiana: ISSMA JUNIOR BAND GROUP I
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Texas: IV. Complete


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Carthage College (Kenosha, Wisc.) Concert Band (James Ripley, conductor) – 17 May 2019
  • University of Texas, Arlington, Symphonic Band (Christopher Evans, conductor) – 30 April 2017


Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music


All Wind Music


Resources

  • Holst, G.; Vaughan Williams, R.; Grechesky, R. (1988). I Vow to Thee, My Country : From The Planets [score]. G. Schirmer: New York.
  • I Vow to Thee, My Country, Wikipedia Accessed 30 April 2017