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18 June 2013

The King Shall Rejoice (Bob Chilcott)

The King shall rejoice in thy strength, O Lord:
exceeding glad shall he be of thy salvation.

Thou hast given him his heart's desire:
and hast not denied him the request of his lips.

For thou shalt prevent him with the blessings of goodness:
and shalt set a crown of pure gold upon his head.

He asked life of thee, and thou gavest him a long life:
even for ever and ever.

His honour is great in thy salvation:
glory and great worship shalt thou lay upon him.

For thou shalt give him everlasting felicity:
and make him glad with the joy of thy countenance.

"The King shall rejoice" is a new anthem setting by Bob Chilcott for mixed choir and organ, composed for the service at Westminster Abbey on 4th June 2013 to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II. The work was commissioned by The Dean and Chapter of Westminster and sponsored by many of the choristers who sang in the Coronation Service in 1953. The anthem combines two texts. The first takes the opening six verses of Psalm 21, "The King shall rejoice in thy strength, O Lord". Four verses of the same text were set famously by George Frederick Handel in his Coronation Anthem "The King shall rejoice", written in 1727 for the Coronation of George II. The second text uses an adapted version of the same six Psalm verses set by William Byrd in his anthem "O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth our Queen" in honour of Queen Elizabeth I.

Text: Paraphrase of Psalm 21: 1-6
Music: Bob Chilcott (b 1955)

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