The website for Dr Martin Shaw OBE FRCM (1875 –1958)

"...not widely known as a composer of secular music, his work needs to be brought into the oratorio arena, where he belongs,"

Paul Brough, conductor.

Martin Shaw with Vaughan Williams and singers


Martin Shaw

Chiefly rememberd for his editorial work with Ralph Vaughan Williams, particularly Songs of Praise and The Oxford Book of Carols, this distracts from his early career in the theatre and his longer choral works, which deserve to be widely known.

The following three works, and full orchestrations, are now available from the publishers:

Sursum Corda, composed in 1933, with words written specially by Laurence Binyon.

Easter, a play for singers: inspired by the medieval mystery plays, the play was written in 1929 with words by John Masefield. It has solo parts for twelve singers together with a double choir of angels. It is a partner piece for Masefield's The Childhood of Christ, set to music by Gustav Holst.

The Changing Year, a secular cantata, written for the Festival of Britain in 1951 first performed at Colchester. As with Shaw's oratorio The Redeemer, the words are chosen from the canon of English verse by Shaw's wife, Joan Cobbold.


Recording made in 1975 by the Broadheath Singers with the Winsor Sinfonia, conducted by Robert Tucker. Full recording available on request.