Sumsion’s “They that go down to the sea in ships”
sung by the Hereford Cathedral Choir
This is a six minute choral piece. If choral music is unfamiliar territory for you, take the time to sit quietly and look a the text below while listening to the piece. You’ll notice how the composer has used every tool at his disposal to meditate on the meaning and emotion of the text (Psalm 107: 23-30).
They that go down to the sea in ships, and occupy their business in great waters;
these men see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
For at his word the stormy wind ariseth, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
They are carried up to the heaven, and down again to the deep;
their soul melteth away because of the trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.
So when they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, he delivereth them out of their distress;
for he maketh the storm to cease, so that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad, because they are at rest;
and so he bringeth them unto the haven where they would be.