Choral level of difficulty: Level 2 (5 greatest)
This setting of Psalm 70 (Haste thee O God to deliver me) is a fine, passionate and almost completely overlooked anthem which ought to be in the repertoire of most cathedrals and ambitious church choirs. The psalm is a dramatic one and Britten reflects the words in a wide-ranging setting which includes extended sections for tenors/basses and sopranos/altos. He also sets the Gloria.
This is not a difficult work but it is not entirely straightforward either. There is no translation in the printed score and conductors need to take a Psalter and annotate the score with a translation so that the words can be fully appreciated and a colourful performance created to reflect them. It is well worth the effort.
Repertoire note by Paul Spicer