Portsmouth Cathedral Choir: Sing To The Lord


Featuring performances by David Price and Portsmouth Cathedral Choir.


About this release

The aim of this collection of liturgical music is to highlight how singers of all ages contribute to the musical life of Portsmouth Cathedral. Each choir and piece of repertoire has its own characteristics and so musical items have been recorded in different parts of the cathedral building.

Commissioned Programme Note

The pieces on this disc reflect a journey through the Christian year. Advent is a time of expectancy and of penitence, waiting to welcome God’s incarnate love.

The ‘Kyrie Eleison‘ is an ancient Greek text sung at the opening of every celebration of the eucharist. The setting here is taken from Vaughan Williams’ Mass of 1922, drawing upon the modal harmonies of English polyphony. It is written for a quartet of solo voices and double choir. ‘Hodie Christus Natus Est‘ is the antiphon for the first mass of Christmas Day: it will perhaps be familiar as the processional from Benjamin Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’. At Christmas it is a tradition at Portsmouth, for obvious reasons, to begin the Christmas Morning eucharist with the joyful unaccompanied carol ‘I Saw Three Ships’. The ‘Gloria‘ announces the song of the angels at the birth of the Messiah. This example, drawn from the late mediaeval plainsong Mass VIII, sometimes known as the ‘Missa de Angelis‘, would originally have been sung by a cantor and choir of monks. Whilst ‘The Call‘, ‘Creator of the Stars of Night‘ and ‘Faithful Magi‘ all are appropriate to the season of the Epiphany, the ‘Coventry Carol‘ for three voices reflects in its spare mediaeval harmonies Herod’s massacre of the Holy Innocents. The ‘Carol for Emmaus‘ takes us through Epiphany to the ‘Nunc Dimittis‘ and Candlemas, when the aged Simeon, realising that he has at last seen the Redeemer whom he has awaited so long, can now at last depart in peace. This setting by Herbert Howells was commissioned in the 1940s by King’s College, Cambridge. Read more

About the artists

Portsmouth Cathedral Choir

The Cathedral Choir is made up of twenty-four boy choristers and fourteen gentlemen (made up of seven lay-clerks and up to seven choral scholars) who contribute to the pattern of daily cathedral worship. The choristers rehearse on weekday mornings at 8.00am before a normal school day in preparation for the week’s music. In any normal week the Cathedral Choir sings for at least 5 services.

The choristers are educated at Portsmouth Grammar School that, as such acts as our choir school. Opportunities exist for counter-tenor, tenor or basses who, having completed their school or university education, are looking for the chance to sing and work within a cathedral foundation for a year with a Choral Scholarship. Read more

David Price

In addition to his duties as Organist & Master of Choristers at Portsmouth Cathedral, Dr. David Price serves on the committee of RSCM Portsmouth and is a member of the Council of the Royal School of Church Music. The University of Portsmouth conferred David Price with an Honorary Doctorate of Music in recognition of the significant contribution he has made to the development of music at the Cathedral and for his contribution to the cultural life of the city.

In 2009 his St John Passion for Good Friday was published by Encore Publications in a series of the gospel passions alongside John Scott, Philip Moore and Richard Lloyd. In 2013 he was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of The Guild of Church Musicians.

CD Booklet
  • Kyrie (from Mass in G minor) - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Hodie Christus - Benjamin Britten
  • I saw three ships - Philip Ledger
  • Gloria in Excelsis Deo - Plainsong
  • The Call - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Creator of the stars of night - Malcolm Archer
  • Coventry Carol - anon.
  • Faithful Magi - Colin Mawby
  • Carol for Emmaus - arr. Paul Trepte
  • Nunc dimittis - Herbert Howells
  • If ye love me - Philip Wilby
  • Call to remembrance - Richard Farrant
  • Ubi caritas - Maurice Duruflè
  • Ave, verum corpus - William Byrd
  • Gloria tibi trinitas - William Byrd
  • O vos omnes - Tomas Luis de Victoria
  • Consider all ye passers by - John Amner
  • Easter - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • The Old Hundredth - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Festal Responses - Edward Woodall Naylor
  • Le salut Messianique - Thierry Pallesco
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Catalogue Number: CR001

Choir Portsmouth Cathedral Choir
Choir St Thomas Parish Choir
David Price, Marcus Wibberley
Conductor David Price, Marcus Wibberley, Andrew Cleary

Engineering Adrian Green, Adaq, Khan, Kevin Hodgson
Mastering Kevin Hodgson
Producer Adrian Green
Creative Director John Bevan
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Recorded November 2008, January 2009
Venue Portsmouth Cathedral
Total Duration 47 mins


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