Singers.com

In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument

Home | Doo Wop | Barbershop | World | Contemporary | Christian | Vocal Jazz | Choral | Christmas | Instructional | Arrangements

Herbert Howells

Herbert Howells

Born: 1892 Died: 1983

Herbert Norman Howells CH was an English composer, organist, and teacher. He was the youngest of six children born to Oliver and Elizabeth Howells. His father was an amateur organist, and Herbert himself showed early musical promise. He studied first with Herbert Brewer at Gloucester Cathedral, as an articled pupil alongside Ivor Novello and Ivor Gurney, the celebrated English song-writer and poet, with whom he became great friends. Later he studied at the Royal College of Music under C.V. Stanford, Hubert Parry and Charles Wood.

In 1915 Herbert Howells was diagnosed with Graves' disease and given six months to live. Since doctors believed that it was worth taking a chance on a previously untested treatment, he became the first person in the country to receive radium treatment. He was briefly assistant organist at Salisbury Cathedral in 1917, though his severe illness cut this appointment short; he later served as acting organist of St John's College, Cambridge during World War II.

In his 1920's and 1930's Herbert Howells' compositional output focussed chiefly on orchestral and chamber music, including two piano concertos. The hostile reception given to the second of these in 1925 largely silenced Howells' compositional activities for almost ten years. A further blow came with the death of his son, Michael, from polio (or meningitis; accounts vary) in 1935, which deeply affected Howells. It did, however, appear to unleash a new period of creativity. Both Howells himself and his music were never the same after this period of his life. Though not an orthodox Christian, he became increasingly identified with the composition of religious music, most notably the Hymnus Paradisi for chorus and orchestra. This was composed after his son's death but not released for performance until 1950, at the insistence (according to Howells' own account) of his close friend and mentor Ralph Vaughan Williams. It incorporates passages from the earlier unaccompanied Requiem, begun before Michael's death but not published until 1981, with a dedication to his memory. Again, this private account of grief remained in his desk drawer for forty years before he submitted it for publication.

Hymnus Paradisi was the first of four large-scale sacred choral works. His Missa Sabrinensis is on the same scale, in terms of length and forces required, as Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, while An English Mass is scored for significantly smaller forces, is performed almost entirely in English, and follows the Anglican tradition of placing the Gloria last. Finally, Howells' setting of the Stabat Mater, at about 50 minutes, is one of the longest extant settings of that text.

Herbert Howells is particularly known for his large output of Anglican church music, including a complete Service for King's College, Cambridge (the Collegium Regale) and settings of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis for the choirs of St John's College, Cambridge, Choir of New College, Oxford, Westminster Abbey, Worcester, St Paul's, and Gloucester cathedrals, as well as for two parish churches, St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol and St Augustine's Church, Edgbaston. These settings are often tailored for the building after which they are named. For example, the St Paul's Service has a very slow rate of harmonic change to suit the prolonged reverberation in that cathedral. The motet Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing, written shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, is dedicated to Kennedy's memory, and is considered by many to be perhaps his finest a cappella anthem. Two other anthems, Like as the hart and Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem are similar in style and rhapsodic beauty and enjoy a firm and deserved place in the Anglican choral repertoire.

Herbert Howells wrote two works for brass band: Pageantry and Three Figures. Pageantry was written for the 1934 British Open brass band championships. Howells arranged its first movement, King's Herald, for full orchestra for the coronation of King George VI in 1937.

In later life Herbert Howells was awarded an honorary doctorate from Cambridge University, and was made a Companion of Honour. He was godfather to the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. His daughter Ursula (1922-2005) was an actress.

Featured Items (See Related Items.)

Displaying 1-4 of 4 items.


Herbert Howells : Requiem : SATB : 01 Songbook : Herbert Howells : 884088417284 : 0853606943 : 14027133

Herbert Howells : Requiem

Review: Herbert Howell's Requiem written for unaccompanied SATB chorus and soli. Although written in 1936, Requiem was not released for performance until 1980, held back by Howells following the death of his son in 1935. It is a harmonious and deeply Romantic composition, but restrained and it is at these moments we realise how affected he was by his loss. It was the composer's intention that Requiem should be performed a cappella, however he provided a limited organ part, for rehearsal purposes only, which is included here.

Songlist: Psalm 23, Salvator Mundi, Requiem Aeternam 1, Requiem Aeternam 2, I Heard a Voice From Heavan, Psalm 121

More details
7238b | Songbook $9.95 | SATB add item to cart English Choral Arrangements


Cambridge Singers : Stanford and Howells Sacred Music : 00  1 CD : John Rutter : Herbert Howells : 118

Cambridge Singers : Stanford and Howells Sacred Music

Review: This recording is a choral tribute to the sacred music of two visionary composers who, among their other achievements, made distinctive, lasting and much-cherished contributions to the musical repertory of the English Church. There are many links between Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) and Herbert Howells (1892-1983), the most obvious being that from 1912 to 1916 Howells was one of Stanford's many composition students at the Royal College of Music in London, where Howells was himself later to teach composition for over fifty years. Both men were outstanding teachers, Stanford in particular being virtually father to a whole generation of British composers, including Vaughn Williams, Holst, Bridge, Butterworth, Bliss, Ireland and Gurney. With the exception of the Howells Requiem and the two sacred part-songs, the music heard on this recording was intended for use in the church, in the context of the Anglican liturgy. As such, much of it is familiar and well-loved within Anglican circles but all too little-known elsewhere. It deserves to be more widely appreciated on its own considerable merits.- John Rutter

Songlist: Magnificat in G, Magnificat, Magnificat in B flat, Nunc Dimittis in B flat, O for a closer walk, Like as the Hart, The fear of the Lord, Requiem, Salvator mundi, Psalm 2, Requiem aeternam, Psalm 121, I Heard A Voice From Heaven, When Mary thro' the garden went, Long, long ago, Te Deum in C, All My Hope on God is founded

More details
7024c | 1 CD $15.98 add item to cart English Choral CDs


Finzi Singers : Howells / Stevens : 00  1 CD : Paul Spicer : Herbert HowellsStevens : 9021

Finzi Singers : Howells / Stevens

Review: In a series focusing on sacred 20th century choral works of British composers, the 20-strong mixed choral group The Finzi Singers, founded and directed by Paul Spicer, have presented some brilliant works by relatively unknown composers. Herbert Howells, described as "the central composer for the 20th century Anglican liturgy," is hardly unknown, but here are early works for the church that were believed lost up until very recently. Included are 15 of Howells' songs, including the 8 soaring movements of "Mass in the Dorian Mode, "Salve Regina," "O salutaris Hostia," "Sweetest of Sweets," "Come My Soul," "Antiphon," Nunc dimittis" and Regina caili," Following are works by Bernard Stevens, like Howells, closely associated with the Royal College of Music. The 5 movements of his 1939 "Mass for Double Choir," "Kyrie eleison," "Gloria," "Sanctus," "Benedictus" and "Agnus Dei" are striking works by a brilliant composer whose works are under-performed and under-recognized today. The Finzi Singers are one of the best church choirs we've heard, and they have recorded a very special CD. The extensive liner notes have all lyrics and information about the composers.

Songlist: Mass in the Doriam Mode:, I Kyrie, II Gloria in Excelsis, III Credo, IV Sanctus, V Benedictus, VI Osanna, VII Agnus Dei I, VIII Agnus Dei II, Salve Regina, O salutaris Hostia, Sweeest of sweets, Come, my soul, Antiphon, Nunc dimittis, Regina caeli, Mass for Double Choir:, I Kyrie eleison, II Gloria, III Sanctus, IV Benedictus, V Agnus Dei

More details
6875c | 1 CD $15.98 add item to cart


Finzi Singers : Howells Choral Music : 00  1 CD : Paul Spicer : Herbert Howells : 9458

Finzi Singers : Howells Choral Music

Review: This is another exemplary addition to the Finzi Singers' ever-expanding discography. The earliest offerings here include "Even Such Is Time," an unpublished effort from 1913, and spans all the way to 1970, with "and Thee I Will Love," a heartfelt setting from 1970 with words by Robert Bridges, "commemorating the massacre of the monks of the Abbey of Medehamstede - now Peterborough Cathedral - in AD 870". As we have now come to expect from this partnership on record, these are splendidly fervent, finely disciplined performances (one readily forgives the occasional raw sonority from the sopranos). Excellent Chandos engineering, too. A hearty recommendation.

Songlist: Behold, O God our Defender, Here is the Little Door, Sing Lullaby, A Spotless Rose, Te Deum, The Scribe, Thee will I Love, Blessed are the Dead, Even Such is Time, Inheritance, Heac Dies, God is Gone Up

More details
6894c | 1 CD $15.98 add item to cart English Choral CDs

Related Items ( See Featured Items )

Displaying 1-50 of 136 items.

Song NameArrangerComposerArtistItem TitleFormatTrax
-Psalm 121Herbert HowellsArs Nova SingersA Shadow and a Dream 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
-Psalm 23Herbert HowellsArs Nova SingersA Shadow and a Dream 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
-Requiem aeternam IHerbert HowellsArs Nova SingersA Shadow and a Dream 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
-Requiem aeternam IIHerbert HowellsArs Nova SingersA Shadow and a Dream 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
-Salvator mundiHerbert HowellsArs Nova SingersA Shadow and a Dream 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Maid Peerless Herbert HowellsManitou Singers of St. Olaf CollegeRepertoire For Women's Voices Vol 3 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsNational Lutheran ChoirWhile Angels Sing 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsConcordia ChoirToday Heaven Sings 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsCambridge SingersChristmas Night, Carols of the Nativity 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsSt. Olaf ChoirSing For Joy 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsCambridge SingersFaire Is The Heaven 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsSt. Olaf ChoirWhat Wondrous Love Vol V1 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsFinzi SingersHowells Choral Music 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsSixteenHodie - An English Christmas Collection 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless Rose Herbert HowellsTenebraeDream of Herod - Christmas and Advent Music 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsBemidji ChoirAlmost A Cappella 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless Rose Herbert HowellsPolyphonyO Magnum Misterium 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsLuther College Nordic ChoirI Love The Lord 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsHandel and Haydn SocietyAll Is Bright 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless Rose Herbert HowellsPolyphonyA Christmas Present 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsChoir of King's College, CambridgeA King's College Christmas 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsUCLA Madrigal SingersHark, How The Bells 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsOxford New College ChoirNativitas - A Celebration of Peace 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless Rose Herbert HowellsSt. Olaf ChoirFor God So Loves The World 2 CDsMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsCambridge SingersTreasures of English Church Music 2 CDsMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsChoir of King's College, CambridgeClassic Christmas Carols 2 CDsMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsPhoenix ChoirSpotless Rose: Hymns to the Virgin MarySACDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsUniversity of Louisville Cardinal SingersA Time To Cherish 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsOxford New College ChoirCarols from New College 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsSt John's College Choir, CambridgeAdvent Carols from St. John's 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsBemidji Choir and Chamber SingersThere's Room For All 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless RoseHerbert HowellsTenebraeWhat Sweeter Music 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
A Spotless Rose Herbert HowellsMinnesota Choral ArtistsShout the Glad Tidings! 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
All My Hope on God is foundedHerbert HowellsCambridge SingersStanford and Howells Sacred Music 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
AntiphonHerbert HowellsFinzi SingersHowells / Stevens 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Behold, O God Our DefenderHerbert HowellsVariousMusic for Royal OccasionsSongbookMORE DETAILS 
Come, my soulHerbert HowellsFinzi SingersHowells / Stevens 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Dear Lord and Father of mankindHerbert HowellsChoir of King's College, CambridgeVoices of Praise 2 CDsMORE DETAILS 
Gloucester ServiceHerbert HowellsChoir of King's College, CambridgeVoices of Praise 2 CDsMORE DETAILS 
Here Is The Little DoorHerbert HowellsChanticleerSing We Christmas 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Here Is The Little DoorHerbert HowellsPolyphonyO Magnum Misterium 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Here Is The Little DoorHerbert HowellsOxford New College ChoirNativitas - A Celebration of Peace 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Here is the little doorHerbert HowellsChoir of Jesus College CambridgeJourney Into Light 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Holy spirit ever dwellingArcherHerbert HowellsMalcome Archer (Editor)Epiphany To All SaintsSongbookMORE DETAILS 
I Heard a Voice From HeavanHerbert HowellsHerbert HowellsRequiemSongbookMORE DETAILS 
I Heard A Voice From HeavenHerbert HowellsDale Warland SingersCathedral Classics 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
I Heard A Voice From HeavenHerbert HowellsVasari SingersRequiem Aeternam 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
I Heard A Voice From HeavenHerbert HowellsConspirareRequiem 2 CDsMORE DETAILS 
I Heard A Voice From HeavenHerbert HowellsCambridge SingersStanford and Howells Sacred Music 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
I Heard A Voice From HeavenHerbert HowellsArs Nova SingersA Shadow and a Dream 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
There are MORE PAGES! (click on a note below)
More pagespage 1 items 1-50page 2 items 51-100page 3 items 101-136
Page:123


Search Catalog



Narrow your search with the following choices:
Song Title
Group Name
Book/CD Title
Gender
Music Category
Format
Number of Voice Parts
New Release?
Christmas?
Clear and Start Over  

All Rights Reserved   All Content, page design, CGI Copyright © United Singers International