The Lord Is My Shepherd

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The Lord Is My Shepherd

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British composer Howard Goodall composed this setting of Psalm 23 as the title theme to the BBC television series "The Vicar of Dibley." An anthem of warmth and tranquil beauty, it features a brief soprano solo and lovely melodies that enhance each verse of this most beloved psalm. At times dramatic and at others peaceful, it is a poignant choral offering particularly effective for memorial services.

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The Lord Is My Shepherd
Overall rating 
Choral Integrity 
Textual Quality 
Audience Response 
Those who have been exposed to the BBC television series from 1994-2000, will immediately recognize this as the beloved theme for the series about an Anglican vicar in the countryside of Oxfordshire, England. It is often used in England as a solo at memorial services, but it has been set by the composer for SATB choirs for use all throughout the church year.

The solo at the beginning, even if sung by the entire soprano section, should be treated simply like a boy soprano might sing it. Wide vibrato or a heavy voice quality will not serve this anthem well. This is not a dramatic piece, rather it is a peaceful and endearing offering of Psalm 23.

The Bottom Line

This well-known setting of Psalm 23 is beautiful and poignant.
Syllabication is at times unusual, but once addressed, it should not be an issue, and it fits the British style.
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