A selection of Dan Locklair’s music from across the liturgical year. Performed by Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir, Winchester College Chapel Choir and Sospiri. Conducted by Christopher Watson and Malcolm Archer.
Dan Locklair: Gloria
£5.99 – £11.99
About this release
This CD brings together pieces composed with texts that come from across the liturgical year. The works represent the style of Dan Locklair’s vocal music and show his skill and imagination in settings for a cappella choir, pieces for voices with organ accompaniment, and the central work Gloria with large choral forces, brass octet and percussion. At the core of all these pieces is the text and Dan Locklair’s setting of it.
Commissioned Programme Note
Lord Jesus, Think on Me is a setting of an ancient text by Synesius of Cyrene (ca. 375-430), who was made Bishop of Ptolemais around 410 only several years after his conversion to Christianity. Synesius’s Lord Jesus, Think on Me is the last of a set of ten odes, here with the well-known English translation from the original Greek by Allen W. Chatfield (1808-1896). First published in Chatfield’s Songs and Hymns of the Earliest Greek Christian Poets, 1876, Chatfield stated that his translation was “a paraphrase or amplification, rather than an exact translation of the original.”
While reflecting the dark and austere quality of Chatfield’s translation, my choral setting of it also seeks to convey the poem’s lyrical beauty, as well as the brightness and joy that is so beautifully expressed in the final verses of the poem. It was composed in May 2006 and is dedicated to my friend and colleague, David Pegg, in celebration of both his 2005 retirement as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Greensboro, North Carolina-based professional choral ensemble, Bel Canto Company, and of his work as Director of Music of Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Read more
Like a suite in conception, all the three movements of The Isaiah Canticles are centered on the same pitch, “D.” Each movement is based on a synthetic nine-note mode (D, E, F, F-sharp, G, G-sharp, A, B, C), which is formed by four-note sets derived from the Lydian, Dorian, Aeolian and Ionian modes. A polychord (consisting of C-major and D-major) creates an important harmonic anchor and defines the climax points for all three movements of the piece.
Completed in June 2005, The Isaiah Canticles was the result of a commission from The South Bend Chamber Singers (Nancy Menk, Music Director) in South Bend, Indiana.
Angel Song is a setting of a Christmas hymn text by Moncure Daniel Conway (1832-1907) entitled, Now Let the Angel Song Break Forth! Following his graduation from Harvard Divinity School, Rev. Conway, a native of Virginia, settled in the Boston area and became a Unitarian minister and prolific author. Influenced by the transcendentalism of Ralph Waldo Emerson, he was an outspoken critic of slavery. Devoting more and more of his time to the abolitionist cause, Mr. Conway eventually left the Unitarian Church and moved to England. His five-stanza hymn text, Now Let the Angel Song Break Forth!, was written in Boston in December 1863 during the American War Between the States and only days prior to President Abraham Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. In proclaiming ‘For the New World a Christ’s new birth,’ the poem’s keen insights from 1863 remain ever fresh and vivid. In Angel Song I have sought to musically capture the vibrancy, pain and timeless reflections found in Rev. Conway’s expressive words.
Angel Song was the result of a 2014 commission from John and P.J. Williams in honor of the music program of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Winston–Salem, North Carolina) and its director, Organist/Choirmaster, Dr. John Cummins.
En natus est Emanuel is a lush setting of a Christmas text by German composer, Michael Praetorius (ca. 1571-1621), and comes from Part VI of Praetorius’ large publication, Musae Sioniae(The Muses of Sion, 1605-1610). En natus est Emanuel was composed in 1999 for the Bel Canto Company and Greensboro Youth Chorus (Greensboro, North Carolina, USA), who premièred it during that same year.
Gloria uses the traditional Latin Gloria in excelsis text, which begins with the Biblical words found in Luke 2:14. This ancient canticle is known both as the Greater Doxology and, because of its opening sentences, as “the angel’s song.” In the first part of Gloria, I have sought to symbolize “the angel’s song” aspect of the text that celebrates the birth of Jesus. After a brass and percussion introduction, a small group of singers begins a chant-like statement of the Gloria text. These singers begin singing in the rear of the performance space. As the small group sings, they process toward the larger ensemble, symbolizing the angels bringing the Good News of Jesus’ birth to God’s people on earth. The full chorus and brass gradually enter and the full text of the Gloria is eventually sung. Soon, a symbolic people’s response begins as the Gloria text is fully repeated. This time many dimensions of this dramatic text are musically expressed, ranging from the exuberant and highly rhythmic statements of praise in the opening and closing parts of the piece, to the gentle and reflective antiphonal music in the piece’s mid-section.
Gloria was commissioned in 1998 by the Choral Art Society (Portland, Maine) for a December 1999 World Première in Portland. It is warmly dedicated to the board, members and Music Director (Robert Russell) of the Choral Art Society.
O Sacrum Convivium is a serene setting of this traditional Latin text. Composed in 1999, it is warmly dedicated to Robert Brewer and Frances Anderson (both, at the time, Organist/ Choirmaster and Music Assistant respectively of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas).
Ubi Caritas is a setting of the traditional Latin text by the same name. It was composed in early 2003 and is warmly dedicated to the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Choir (Winston-Salem, NC), Barbara Beattie and Jack Mitchener (then Director of Music and Organist respectively).
Ave Verum Corpus seeks to capture both the lyrical sadness and the radiant Hope expressed in the ancient and enduring Ave verum words. The authorship of the medieval poem, Ave Verum, is unknown. Ave Verum Corpus was composed in the autumn of 2010 and is warmly dedicated to my former Wake Forest University student—now colleague and friend—Andrew Clark, in celebration of his first academic year (2010–2011) as Director of Choral Activities at Harvard University.
St. Peter’s Rock uses brief texts from both the Old and New Testaments. Matthew 16:18, set in Latin (“Tu es Petrus…”), serves as an antiphon heard throughout the piece. After an instrumental introduction, the Antiphon is heard in an expansive manner with the simple chant-like vocal lines being supported by an organ chaconne. The chaconne represents the solidarity of The Church (i.e. “Rock”) on which St. Peter set Christ’s church. A slow, a cappella section, using the Genesis 28:17English text, appears at the piece’s mid-section. Flanking this a cappella section are two fast and rhythmical sections based on text from the New Testament (Matthew 7:24-25) and Old Testament (Psalm 122:1), both of which exuberantly celebrate “the house of the Lord!” The basis for all the musical material of St. Peter’s Rock is the 19th century hymn tune, St. Peter, by English-born composer, Alexander R. Reinagle (1799-1877) and named for the London church Mr. Reinagle served as organist: St. Peter in the East. St. Peter is heard most clearly in the trumpet part during the final section of St. Peter’s Rock.
St. Peter’s Rock was commissioned in 1999 by The St. Peter’s Choir (Ben Outen, Organist and Choirmaster) of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Charlotte, North Carolina as a gift to the congregation in honor of the Church’s new Parish House. St. Peter’s Rock also pays tribute to the memory of my uncle, Wriston Hale Locklair (1925-1984), Director of Public Relations and Assistant to the President at The Juilliard School in New York City until the time of his sudden death. As a child Wriston was a choirboy at St. Peter’s.
Pater Noster is a Latin setting of The Lord’s Prayer as found in Matthew 6: 9-13. Rich and lush in its expression of these beloved words of Jesus Christ, Pater Noster was composed in June of 2000 for Gerre Hancock and The Choir of Men and Boys of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City.
The text for Remembrance comes from The Beatitudes, as found in Matthew 5: 3-12 (KJV). Musically, Remembrance alternates the full four-part SATB choir with the men (TTBB) and women (SSAA) of the choir. An antiphon, “Remember your servants, Lord,” is heard three complete times over the course of the piece, and may be sung (as recorded here) by a soloist.
Remembrance was composed in February 2006 for the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Choir (Winston–Salem, North Carolina) and in memory of my parents Hester Helms Locklair (1918-2005) and Archie Greer Locklair (1916- 1986), It is my hope that the gentle musical language of this piece, as it both conveys this ancient text and floats between the performing forces (eventually leading to a climax of grandeur), will convey to the listener a sense of Beauty and Peace that is inherent in both the text and was in the lives of my parents.
The Lord Bless You and Keep You takes its text from Numbers 6:24-26 (although this setting reverses verses 25 and 26). A traditional benediction response, this short setting of these scripture verses was composed in 2008 and is dedicated to Julia and Jack Mitchener.
(Dan Locklair, 2016)
About the artists
Christopher Watson studied music at Exeter University, and went on to hold Lay Clerkships at Durham Cathedral, Christ Church Oxford and Westminster Cathedral. He has over twenty years’ experience of singing at the highest level and has worked with many of the finest choral directors in the world. He is also an accomplished singing teacher and has a burgeoning reputation as a director and conductor.
Christopher’s conducting experience started in Exeter, where he ran the University Chapel Choir, and he went on to run Durham University Chamber Choir and the Arcadian Singers of Oxford. He has taught on the Tallis Scholars Summer School, leading consort workshops and directing Compline. Since 2006 he has run the Oxford-based choir, Sospiri. Under his direction, Sospiri have performed in the UK, France and Italy, and recorded five CDs to critical acclaim. The choir have also become recognised for their performances of plainsong: including a reconstructed pre-Reformation Vespers and Compline in Oxford, and the complete Tridentine Rite for Holy Week in Trieste. Sospiri sing Latin Vespers every term in Merton College, Oxford. Christopher’s interests stretch from Medieval repertoire to contemporary music, and Sospiri have given several premieres, most notably works by John Duggan, the choir’s co-founder.
Recent solo performances have included Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Le Concert Lorrain, his Köthener Trauermusick with the Lautten Compagney, broadcast by Deutschlandfunk, and Purcell’s Ode for St Cecilia in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with the Gabrieli Consort. He has given many performances of the Evangelist role in Bach’s St John and St Matthew Passions – most recently in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and Manchester Cathedral. 2007 saw his debut in Carnegie Hall with Theatre of Voices, giving the World Premiere of David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion, which subsequently won a Pulitzer Prize. He has performed this piece all over the world, including the Perth Festival in Australia and the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuata in Mexico. The Theatre of Voices recording of The Little Match Girl Passion won a Grammy Award in January, 2010.
Other engagements include the first performance of The Stones of the Arch by Gavin Bryars with the Kronos Quartet, Monteverdi’s Vespers in Tuscany with Philippe Herreweghe, and in Scandanavia with Paul Hillier and Concerto Copenhagen. He has made more than 50 recordings, including several of Dufay and Josquin, the Schütz Resurrection History with Ars Nova Copenhagen, Lassus motets with Philippe Herreweghe, the Bach Motets with Sette Voci and the 1575 Cantiones Sacrae of Tallis and Byrd with Alamire. With Theatre of Voices he has performed Stockhausen’s Stimmung, and also toured a programme of the music of Arvo Pärt – recorded for Harmonia Mundi in June, 2010.
Christopher is a member of The Tallis Scholars (with whom he has made more than 250 appearances), Tenebrae, Gallicantus and the Gramophone Award winning ensembles, The Clerks’ Group and The Binchois Consort.
Sospiri is an Oxford-based amateur choir, formed in 2006 by composer John Duggan and singer Christopher Watson. They met singing in Magdala, David Skinner’s mixed voice choir at Magdalen College, and quickly discovered a shared passion for Gregorian Chant which had been kindled during their time in Westminster Cathedral Choir – John was a boy chorister there under Colin Mawby, and Christopher a lay clerk more recently under James O’donnell and Martin Baker. The original members of the choir all came from within the ranks of Magdala. Some, like Susanna Fairbairn, have gone on to sing professionally, and the membership has gradually increased so that now people travel to Oxford from Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Kent to take part in Sospiri projects.
Their discography includes A Multitude of Voices [CR026] and Gloria [cr033] for Convivium Records, a collection of Lamentations on the Naxos label and Requiem, a disc containing among other things John Duggan’s original set of six WWI pieces, which is available on The Gift of Music label. Sospiri has a particular focus on juxtaposing old pieces with newly written ones, with the unifying thread of texts connecting them. The choir performs concerts regularly in Oxford, has toured France and Italy, and for several years has sung a termly Latin Vespers in the chapel of Merton College, their service from January 2014 being broadcast worldwide by the European Broadcasting Union.
The PGS Chamber Choir is the school’s premier vocal ensemble, one of over 40 ensembles at the school. In addition to leading school services and concerts, they have broadcast on BBC Radio and Television as part of the DDay70 commemorations and their recording of Christmas music, Hodie!, was listed as a Recommended Recording by the Royal Schools of Church Music in 2014.
An annual highlight is the Remembrance Concert, performed alongside the school’s Associate Musicians the London Mozart Players, with whom the choir has an ongoing programme of commissions by leading composers.
In September 2015, the choir joined the Oxford Bach Choir, conductor Nicholas Cleobury, the LMP and tenor soloist Nicky Spence to record one of these commissions, Jonathan Dove’s powerful cantata For an Unknown Soldier, for Signum Records. In 2016, the choir is premiering three works by the school’s then Associate Composer, Alexander Campkin, culminating in a thrilling choral day for hundreds of singers from the school led by Dominic Peckham.
The choir toured Italy in July 2016, performing as part of two local festivals and for Mass at St Mark’s Basilica, Venice.
Winchester College Chapel Choir sings the regular services in Winchester College Chapel. Winchester College was founded by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, in 1382, and Winchester College Quiristers have for over 625 years sung services in Winchester College Chapel. In modern times they have formed a choir renowned for its excellence, and their musical director is Malcolm Archer.
The Quiristers, who form the top line of the choir, perform a wide variety of music at home and abroad. They benefit from bursaries, a first rate all-round education, and a particularly broad musical training. This builds confidence, teamwork and a commitment to the highest standards. The Quiristers also sing on their own as a concert choir, as well as with Winchester College Chapel Choir. The senior boys from the College, many with previous experience as both choristers and Quiristers, provide the lower voices.
Since 1966 the Quiristers have attended The Pilgrims’ School. They are given bursaries which are funded by Winchester College, and means tested top up funding is available up to 100 per cent. At Pilgrims’ the Quiristers benefit from the best academic teaching and join in all the school’s sporting activities.
Winchester College Chapel Choir broadcasts, records and goes on tour, and in recent years they have sung in the USA, Italy, France, Holland, Russia and Germany. In the Quiristers’ own concerts they perform a fascinating mix of both sacred and secular repertoire. The Chapel Choir regularly sings in London, where performances have included the BBC Promenade Concerts and The London Handel Festival. They have also performed Bach’s St John Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music. They recently sang for a special 70th birthday concert for the composer John Rutter.
The frequently appear on BBC TV and Radio. Appearances have included the BBC Radio 3 ‘Choral Evensong’ programme and Classic FM. In 2015 a Quirister won the coveted BBC Young Chorister of the Year competition, and it is noteworthy that his was the fourth such success in recent years.
The Chapel Choir has regularly broadcast the Classic FM carol service and the Quiristers have recorded Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols for BBC Radio 4.
The Chapel Choir is proud of its association with Convivium Records. Their releases have included Stanford’s Choral Music and Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols. The also recorded Mozart’s Requiem with the London Mozart Players. The choir has also recorded a disc of plainsong for Warner Classics in association with film and TV composer David Perry.
For boys with musical gifts, our musical training offers a unique opportunity. All our boys learn two instruments, with practice timetabled and supervised. As a result, many win scholarships (academic and musical) to a range of secondary schools, including Winchester College. Many former Quiristers and Chapel Choir members have gone on to take up Oxbridge choral and organ scholarships and won places at our top musical conservatoires.
Malcolm Archer is one of the world’s leading church musicians. He has enjoyed a distinguished career in cathedral music. Previous posts include Norwich, Bristol, Wells Cathedrals and most notably Director of Music at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. He is now Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College, where he is responsible for the College’s ancient choral foundation; conducting the Chapel Choir and teaching the organ.
During his time at St. Paul’s Cathedral he directed the choir for several State services, including the Tsunami Memorial Service and the London Bombings Service. He also directed 80th Birthday Service for HM The Queen. Buckingham Palace invited him to compose a special anthem which he performed live on the BBC. His many broadcasts and recordings from Wells and St. Paul’s have received critical acclaim, and the Daily Telegraph voted his CD of Christmas music from St. Paul’s as Editor’s Choice. His choir at Winchester College has an enviable reputation through their many broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. They tour international touring and have produced a number of highly praised recordings.
Malcolm Archer is much in demand as a choir trainer and choral and orchestral conductor, and he has directed concerts, workshops, courses and summer schools in various parts of the globe, as well as working with several leading orchestras. He is also the Musical Director of the Jean Langlais Festival in France. As an organ recitalist he has played in nine European countries, the USA and Canada, and his CDs include repertoire as diverse as J.S. Bach and Olivier Messiaen, as well as his own music.
As a composer, Malcolm Archer receives regular commissions from both sides of the Atlantic, and he has many published works. Recently he has composed works for the Southern Cathedrals Festival, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Festival of the Sons of the Clergy and an anthem for the enthronement service of the Bishop of Winchester. He has also jointly edited two books for Oxford University Press: Advent for Choirs and Epiphany to All Saints for Choirs. His compositions are widely performed and greatly enjoyed for their approachable nature and singability.
He has been an adjudicator for the BBC Young Chorister of the year competition, and has over the years had 12 of his own choristers in the final including two winners, the most recent in 2015. Malcolm was a judge for the BBC Songs of Praise School Choirs competition for four years, becoming a chair of the judging panel for two of those competitions. He is also a frequent contributor to that programme as both interviewee and musical arranger. He has recently been a judge for the British Composer Awards.
Malcolm Archer has served as council member of the Royal College of Organists, and he is a member of the council of the Guild of Church Musicians. They recently awarded him the Fellowship for his services to church music over many years. In 2009, he was awarded the FRSCM (Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music) for his work in three cathedrals, and as a composer of church music.
- Lord Jesus think on me - Dan Locklair
- Isaiah Canticles: i. Surely it is God who saves me - Dan Locklair
- Isaiah Canticles: ii. Seek the Lord - Dan Locklair
- Isaiah Canticles: iii. Arise, shine, for your light has come - Dan Locklair
- Angel Song - Dan Locklair
- En natus est Emanuel - Dan Locklair
- Gloria - Dan Locklair
- O sacrum convivium - Dan Locklair
- Ubi caritas - Dan Locklair
- Ave verum corpus - Dan Locklair
- St Peter's Rock - Dan Locklair
- Pater noster - Dan Locklair
- Remembrance - Dan Locklair
- The Lord bless you and keep you - Dan Locklair
Catalogue number: CR033
Gloria (Track 7)
Choir Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir
Choir Winchester College Chapel Choir
Trumpets Ellie Lovegrove, Shane Brennan, Samuel Ewens, Charlotte Buchanan
Trombone Jack Smith, Jamie Pimenta
Bass Trombone Adrian Cleverly
Tuba Tom Briers
Percussion Robert Kendall, Craig Apps
Conductor Malcolm Archer
Recorded 7 March, 2015
Venue Romsey Abbey
Organ Jeremy Cole
Trumpet Ellie Lovegorve
Conductor Christopher Watson
Recorded 11, 12, 13 September, 2015
Venue Keble College, Oxford
Engineering Adaq Khan
Sound Assistance Kevin Hodgson
Mastering Adaq Khan
Producer Dan Locklair, Andrew King
Creative Director Mike Cooter
Executive Producer Adrian Green
Total Duration 64 mins