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Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy wrote the anthem that begins ‘Hear my prayer’ for soprano, chorus and organ or orchestra in 1844. It was first performed in London the following year. The beautiful aria ‘O for the wings of a dove’ is the final stanza of text. The words, drawn from Psalm 55, are by William Bartholomew, who also collaborated with Mendelssohn on the text for his oratorio ‘Elijah’. ‘O for the wings of a dove’ became particularly popular through a recording made by boy treble Ernest Lough in 1927.