Dan Locklair: Gloria


Performed by Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir, Winchester College Chapel Choir and Sospiri. Conducted by Christopher Watson and Malcolm Archer.


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

About the artists

Christopher Watson

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.

Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir

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

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. Read more

Malcolm Archer

Malcolm Archer has had a distinguished career in church music. He held the post of Organist and Director of Music at Bristol, Wells and St Paul’s Cathedral. He was subsequently Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College for eleven years.

Malcolm studied as an RCO scholar at the Royal College of Music and was Organ Scholar at Jesus College Cambridge. His organ teachers were Ralph Downes, Gillian Weir and Nicolas Kynaston.

As an organist and harpsichordist he is in frequent demand. He has given solo concerts all over the world, including the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Europe. His performances with orchestra have included Poulenc’s Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 and the Bach keyboard concertos. Malcolm has also performed with the London Symphony Orchestra in a classic rock concert in the Royal Albert Hall. Moreover, he has an extensive concert repertoire and has recorded a wide variety of works including J.S. Bach organ works and Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur. Read more

  • 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
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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

Other Works

Choir Sospiri
Organ Jeremy Cole
Trumpet Ellie Lovegorve
Conductor Christopher Watson

Recorded 11, 12, 13 September, 2015
Venue Keble College, Oxford

Photography Various
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

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