Dona Nobis Pacem – 6. O Man Greatly Beloved

by Ralph Vaughan Williams

O Man Greatly Beloved begins at 30:12. The choir entrance is at 32:00. You can drag the slider to 32:00 as often as you wish.

London Symphony

Tips for new choir members:

“O Man Greatly Beloved” begins at the bottom of page 52 in your score. The baritone soloist sings first. The basses of the choir begin singing at the top of page 54. Other choir voices join in after the basses. (It will help you if you put some kind of bookmark so you can easily find page 52. There are rehearsal marks, but no measure numbers. Rehearsal mark “34” is the first one in this movement. During rehearsals with the orchestra, the conductor will call out rehearsal marks and perhaps a few measures before or after those marks. For example, he might say “three before 36,” which is the top of page 54 in the choral score. You have to find that place in the music quickly and without asking the conductor for special attention.)

This is challenging music. You will catch on more quickly if you mark your score. First, mark the staff that is yours. It is helpful to mark your staff at page turns. Secondly, find and mark the places where the time signature changes. The choir enters while the signature is 2/2. At the bottom of page 61 the time signature changes to 3/4. At the top of page 66 it goes back to 2/2. At the top of 68 it is 3/2. You can hear these changes. If you know where they occur, you won’t miss an entrance.

The most important thing to do with these practice videos is to listen to your part until you are confident about the notes and about your entrances. A lot of listening might be needed. The practice videos play the accompaniment and one voice part, which is pretty loud. When you think you are singing your part well, try singing along with the video at the top of this page. If you are like me, you will fall off the train the first time you try this. But then you will know where you need to work on it more.

Learn to advance the video. This will allow you to skip the lengthy baritone solo and orchestra part at the beginning when you want to get right to practicing your part. Below the video is the approximate time when that voice starts. Grab the little red slider at the bottom and drag it to the right to get to that time.

If you would like to hear one of these videos played more slowly, you will need to see the speed control. First start the video. Then click the square icon in the southeast corner of the video screen. That makes it play in full-screen mode. Now click the little gear icon near the southeast corner. Speed control is one of the features. Try setting the speed to 0.75. (To cancel full-screen mode, press the Esc key on your keyboard.)


SOPRANO 1 (enter at 1:40)
SOPRANO 2 (enter at 1:50)


ALTO 1 (enter at 1:50)
ALTO 2 (enter at 1:50)


TENOR 1 (enter at 1:40)
TENOR 2 (enter at 1:40)


BASS 1 (enter at 1:25)
BASS 2 (enter at 1:25)