Jonathan Battishill became a chorister of St. Paul's in 1747 and later worked variously as organist and theatre musician in London.
In 1767 he became organist of Christ Church, Newgate Street. This city church was a near neighbour of St. Paul's, and Battishill must, during this time, have been at least informally associated with the Cathedral. It is easy to imagine that the anthem, "O Lord, Look Down From Heaven" was intended for St. Paul's Cathedral; the spacious, expressive music seems to demand the reverberant acoustics of such a building. It is a small masterpiece, with telling touches of detail and dramatic climaxes and contrasts fusing into an extraordinarily artistic and coherent whole.
Battishill was buried in St. Paul's near the grave of Boyce, in accordance with his dying wish.
None of Battishill's hymn tunes appears in Common Praise, but several of his chants may be found in the Canadian Psalter and the Anglican Chant Psalter.
The links below let you hear the Battishill chant, played by the computer on a synthesised organ.
The buttons will play the chant in the browser, if the correct plugin is installed.
It will play twice, and clicking on the link again will cause it to repeat.
You might need to click Refresh on your browser, or press F5 before playing, as the chant files change regularly.
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April 17, 2008