And I saw a new heaven – Edgar Bainton (1880-1956)
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Edgar Bainton was a pupil of Stanford at the Royal College of Music. He spent much of his life in Newcastle-upon-Tyne as a teacher and principal at the Conservatoire. At the outbreak of World War I, Bainton was abroad, and subsequently was interned in Ruhleben. After the war he returned to Newcastle and once again became an active force in music-making in the north-east. In recognition of his work and influence, and prior to his leaving England to take up the appointment as director of the New South Wales State Conservatorium in Sydney, the University of Durham awarded him the degree of DMus honoris causa and he was also elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Music. Although not a prolific composer—and somewhat ignored as a composer in England—he did have some success with his operas in Australia.
The anthem And I saw a new heaven, with a text taken from Revelation 21, is typical of Bainton’s work in that he was attracted to late-romantic harmony without indulging in the folksong-influenced modal harmonies which characterize much of the music of his English contemporaries such as Vaughan Williams.
And I saw a new Heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea.
And I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying: “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.”