Composer: John Goss
Words by H.F. Lyte (1795-1847), an Anglican clergyman, hymn-writer and poet.
Sir John Goss (27 December 1800 – 1880) was an English organist, composer and teacher.
Goss was a boy chorister of the Chapel Royal, London, and later a pupil of Thomas Attwood, organist of St Paul's Cathedral.
After a brief period as a chorus member in an opera company he was appointed organist of a chapel in south London, later moving to more prestigious organ posts at St Luke's Church, Chelsea and finally St Paul's Cathedral, where he struggled to improve musical standards.
As a composer, Goss was known for his vocal music, both religious and secular. Among his best-known compositions are his hymn tunes "Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven" and "See, Amid the Winter's Snow".
The music critic of The Times described him as the last of the line of English composers who confined themselves almost entirely to ecclesiastical music.
John Goss composed LAUDA ANIMA (Latin for the opening words of Psalm 103) for this text in 1868.
Along with his original harmonizations, intended to interpret the different stanzas, the tune was also included in the appendix to Robert Brown¬ Borthwick's Supplemental Hymn and Tune Book (1869).
LAUDA ANIMA is one of the finest tunes that arose out of the Victorian era.
A reviewer in The Musical Times, June 1869, said, "It is at once the most beautiful and dignified hymn tune which has lately come under our notice."