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Donald Macleod charts Wesley's final years, including his move to Gloucester Cathedral and eventual return to the county he longed for, Devon.

Forget Samuel Sebastian Wesley as a pillar of the Anglican Cathedral world - he was an eccentric, inconsistent and irascible character - Donald Macleod marks the bicentenary of Wesley's birth, surveying the composer's life and music.

One final move for Wesley from Winchester Cathedral to Gloucester, where in the final years of his life, he was little concerned with his contractual duties. His acceptance of the post at Gloucester caused quite a shock - one Canon noted, "it was as if the Archbishop of Canterbury had applied for a minor Canonry." Wesley finally got his wished-for return to Devon though, when he was buried at Exeter next to the grave of his daughter. For one who gave so much music to the Anglican Church, his funeral was conducted in silence with no music at all.

In this final episode, Donald Macleod charts Wesley's final years, including a work commissioned by Charles Gounod - The Praise of Music - and Wesley's most famous anthem - Ascribe unto the Lord - which the composer orchestrated later in life.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 20 Aug 2010 12:00

Music Played

  • Samuel Sebastian Wesley

    By the Rivers of Babylon (1867)

    Performers: Mark Rowlinson (baritone), Keith Swallow (piano)

    • BBC Recording.
  • Samuel Sebastian Wesley

    Give the King thy judgements (1863)

    Performers: Olivia Robinson (soprano), Lynette Alcántara (mezzo-soprano), Robert Johnston (tenor), Andrew Rupp (bass), BBC Singers, Richard Pearce (organ), Paul Brough (conductor)

    • BBC Recording.
  • Samuel Sebastian Wesley

    Holsworthy Church Bells (1874)

    Performer: Paul Morgan (organ)

    • Regis FRC8101.
  • Samuel Sebastian Wesley

    The Praise of Music (1872)

    Performers: BBC Singers, Paul Brough (conductor)

    • BBC Recording.
  • Samuel Sebastian Wesley

    Ascribe unto the Lord (1851)

    Performers: Jacoby Thwaites (treble), Philip Slane (treble), John Bruell (treble), Keith Ross (alto), William Kendall (tenor), The Choir of Winchester Cathedral, The Waynflete Singers, The Academy of the BBC, James Lancelot (organ), Martin Neary (conductor)

    • Golden Hour GH629.

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