Main content

Herbert Howells

Donald Macleod maps Howells's compositional roots, from an unprivileged Gloucestershire upbringing right back to the music of the Tudors. The loss of his nine-year-old son Michael to a sudden illness in 1935 cast a lifelong shadow across Howells's music. Donald Macleod explores how music became a release valve for the bereft composer.

Buildings, and their acoustic possibilities, were a constant source of inspiration for Howells. Donald Macleod explores how the composer became a hot property for choral institutions wanting a made-to-measure commission.

Despite lying unheard and unseen for over a decade, Hymnus Paradisi came to define Howells's achievements as an artist. Donald Macleod explores the tortuous gestation of the work.

Release date:


1 hour, 10 minutes


Role Contributor
Composer Herbert Howells