Psalm 48, Great is the Lord, choir and orchestra

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”

MP3 format with embedded lyrics (biblical text). Song duration is 4:47.



London Voices and the London Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Paul Ayres

Music by David Albracht

Choir & Orchestra Arrangement by Paul Ayres

Assistance provided by Terry Edwards
and Ben Parry, co-directors of London Voices

Recording and Mixing Engineering by Lewis Jones

Protools Engineered by Jason

Mastered by Simon Gibson

Recorded in Studio 1, Abbey Road

Album cover: James, Jennylynd. Make a Joyful Noise. 2015. Painting. Acrylic on Canvas

Printed Sheet Music is available via JW Pepper.

Description Psalm 48, Great is the Lord, opens quietly with woodwinds that introduce altos singing “Great is the Lord.” The opening melody is completed by the end of verse 1, and then repeats for Verse 2 ending with “city of the great King.” Tenors sing verses 3 – 6, and then verses 1 and 2 are repeated again with altos and sopranos. The melody for verses 7 and 8 matches what the tenors sang in 3-6. The song proceeds with introducing other melodic lines using the same chordal structure, allowing for “rounding” to take place through to the end with gradual buildup to the finale. A fermata, or “false ending”, is near the end, allowing the woodwinds and altos to reprise the opening verses and melody before a dramatic finale.

C.H. Spurgeon's Comments on Psalm 48


TITLE. A Song and Psalm for the Sons of Korah. A song for joyfulness and a Psalm for reverence. Alas! every song is not a Psalm, for poets are not all heaven born, and every Psalm is not a song, for in coming before God we have to utter mournful confessions as well as exulting praises. The Sons of Korah were happy in having so large a selection of song; the worship where such a variety of music was used could not become monotonous, but must have given widest scope for all the sacred passions of gracious souls.

SUBJECT AND DIVISION. It would be idle dogmatically to attribute this song to any one event of Jewish history. Its author and date are unknown. It records the withdrawal of certain confederate kings from Jerusalem, their courage failing them before striking a blow. The mention of the ships of Tarshish may allow us to conjecture that the Psalm was written in connection with the overthrow of Ammon, Moab, and Edom in the reign of Jehoshaphat; and if the reader will turn to 2 Chronicles 20, and note especially 2Ch 20:19,25,36, he will probably accept the suggestion. Ps 48:1-3, are in honour of the Lord and the city dedicated to his worship. From Ps 48:4-8 the song records the confusion of Zion’s foes, ascribing all the praise to God; Ps 48:9-11 extolling Zion, and avowing Jehovah to be her God for evermore.

The Treasury of David