I was just thirteen years old and in my first year at senior school, a new member of the concert chorus. Sitting next to me was my chum John Tavener. We had just been handed our copies of Haydn’s The Creation, which we were due to perform that year, and our conductor called out ‘page 42’. It was The heavens are telling, we sang it through – none of us had never heard it before – and I was thrilled. I have sung, conducted or just listened to it many times since then, and it still thrills me every time: music as fresh as the day it was written, filled with splendour, majesty, and excitement. The Creation remains my favourite oratorio (OK, along with Messiah). It was one of my BBC Desert Island Discs.
The sheet music for The heavens are telling the glory of God is included in Sacred Choruses, published by OUP.