Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898 | SUBSCRIBE

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898


Chapter & Verse: Who wrote...?

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

September-October 2021

“Unmeasur’d space is the Lord”s habitation” (March-April 2020). Gayle Sawtell identified the “hymn-like chorus” as a work by Beethoven, composed in 1802 as the fourth in a cycle of six lieder (Opus 48) setting works by the German poet Christian Gellert. Number four—inspired by “Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur” (The glory of God from nature), Gellert’s treatment of Psalm 19—is better known as “Die Himmel rühmen” (The heavens praise). Virgil Thomson ’22, D.Mus. ’82, composed a popular setting in English, “The Heavens Are Telling,” but the specific English lyrics quoted above may have been specially written for the choral competition our reader remembered.


Send inquiries and answers to Chapter and Verse, Harvard Magazine, 7 Ware Street, Cambridge 02138, or via email to [email protected].