Date of Degree
DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
The aim of this essay is to provide the context and background necessary for the reader to explore and consider possible answers as to why William Henry Harris’ largest work, The Hound of Heaven, is not nearly as famous as other similarly comparable pieces. Harris is largely remembered for his Anglican church music, particularly his two most popular anthems, Faire is the Heaven and Bring Us, O Lord God. However, in the late 1910s, he composed a large-scale choral-orchestral concert work, adapting Francis Thompson’s epic religious allegory, The Hound of Heaven.
Furthermore, Harris received a significant award designed to help finance the publication of The Hound of Heaven. Beginning in 1917, The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust invited British composers to submit their manuscripts of unpublished large-scale works to a contest called the Carnegie Publication Scheme. The intent of the award was to make newly composed British works available to the public and to enhance the nation’s English music heritage. Harris was among six composers chosen to receive the Carnegie Award in 1919 for his entry The Hound of Heaven.
This essay will briefly explore and detail the life of Harris; the genesis, construction, and performance history of The Hound of Heaven; and the creation of the Trust’s Publication Scheme. Most importantly, this essay will conclude with an exploration into possible reasons why The Hound of Heaven did not enjoy a lasting legacy.
publicabstract, Carnegie Collection of British Music, Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, The Hound of Heaven, William Henry Harris
viii, 139 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 125-139).
Copyright 2014 Matthew William Erpelding
Erpelding, Matthew William. ""The danger of the disappearance of things" : William Henry Harris' The hound of heaven." DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) thesis, University of Iowa, 2014.