On this Disc
In common with other Cathedrals and Churches across the globe, the season of Advent and Christmas is a time when Portsmouth Cathedral welcomes large numbers of people to services or concerts.
All the music on the disc was sung at cathedral Christmas carol services in 2008 and 2009 with one exception – ‘In Your image’ is not strictly a Christmas carol, but it speaks of the incarnation and of humanity’s relationship with God our Father through Christ His Son. The ‘Advent Responsary’ is often sung at the start of Advent or Christmas carol services and this version weaves the advent hymn ‘Sleepers Wake’ within its textures. ‘Once in Royal’ adorns most churches’ celebrations and we use Sir David Willcock’s familiar harmonies and descant madefamous by the King’s College Cambridge Carol of Nine Lessons and Carols. ‘Veiled in Darkness’ is a haunting carol speaking of the Advent hope of Christ’s Coming into the world whilst ‘Let us Light a Candle’ unveils the joy of the Child’s birth in Bethlehem.
‘Away in a Manger’, here arranged by David Hill (during his time as Organist of Winchester Cathedral) continues the story of the new born babe and is followed by Estonian-born Arvo Pärt’s highly stylised Hymn to the Virgin Mother. The promise of Mary, Mother of Jesus as foretold in the Old Testament is set to music by Howells with a beautiful bass solo line.
Franz Grüber’s famous ‘Silent Night’ returns to its simple origins through Christine Gymnn’s gentle setting and is followed by the more boistrous Good fresh and jaunty arrangement of ‘Ding Dong merrily on high’
The recording business is very different from ten years ago. Finances and time are as ever in short supply, and we are grateful to Adrian Green and Convivium Records for undertaking this project on the minimum of recording sessions.
Dr David Price
Organist, and Master of the Choristers
Organist and Master of the Choristers, Dr David Price.
Cathedral Sub-Organist, Marcus Wibberley.
Recorded at Portsmouth Cathedral July 2009 & July 2010 by Portsmouth Cathedral Choir.
Engineered and edited by Adaq Khan, Adrian Green and Kevin Hodgson.
Produced by Adrian Green.
01 In Your Image Anthony Green, arr. Paul Leddington Wright b.1957 (Solo: Harry Bennett) 3.57
02 Advent Responsary Richard Marlow b. 1939 (Solo: Charlie Cresswell-Hogg) 3.07
03 Once in Royal David’s City Henry Gauntlett 1805-1876 (Solo: Hugh Summers) 3.02
04 Veiled in Darkness Glenn Rudolph b. 1951 (Solo: Charlie Cresswell-Hogg) 2.31
05 Let us Light a Candle to the Christ Child June Clark (b. 1933) 2.10
06 Away in a Manger Arr. David Hill b.1957 (Charlie Cresswell-Hogg & Hugh Summers) 3.21
07 Bogoroditsye Dyevo Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) 1.20
08 A Spotless Rose Herbert Howells 1892-1983 (Solo: Richard Walshe) 3.20
09 Silent Night arr. Christine Gymnn b. 1954 (Solo: Hugh Summers) 3.12
10 Good King Wenceslas arr. Reginald Jacques (1894-1969) 2.38
11 Of the Father’s Heart Begotten trad. arr. Sir David Willcocks (b. 1919) 4.18
12 Ding Dong Merrily on High trad. arr. Stuart Nicholson (b. 1975) 2.51
13 Final, Symphony No.1 - Louis Vierne 1870-1937 (Organist: Marcus Wibbereley) 6.12
14 Coventry Carol – Anon. 2.58
15 I saw three ships – Philip Ledger (b.1937) 1.46
Total running time 46.32 minutes