I Was Glad
Hubert Parry

229

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The second and final entry for Hubert Parry in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This first appeared in the Hall of Fame in 2002 and has remained in the chart ever since, reaching its highest position of 130 in 2012 after it was performed at Prince William and Catherine Middleton's wedding.

Settings of Psalm 122 have abounded in churches for hundreds of years. Purcell composed one. So did Boyce. Charles Hubert Hastings Parry's setting, known by the 'incipit' of the text as published in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, has become one of the most celebrated. Perhaps this is for the simple reason that it sets out to achieve musically exactly what the opening words say. From the moment it begins, it is throbbing with energy, and the first choral cloudburst of the words 'I was glad' still sends a tingle down the spine, even on the hundredth hearing.