Romsey Abbey Choir: The Tudor Choir Book Vol II


Performed by Romsey Abbey Choir, conducted by George Richford.

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About this release

This project represents a culmination of 12 months intensive work and study for the boy choristers of Romsey Abbey into early music, under the direction of George Richford. The recording features the St Teilo Tudor Organ.

Commissioned Programme Note

It has been my long-held belief that 21st century boys can love and be engaged with renaissance literature (it doesn’t have to be all Howells and Rutter). The verse-anthem genre immediately presented a suitable departure point as they are differentiated in a way that can engage older and newer boys alike. The prospect of having the St Teilo Tudor Organ in residence (thanks to Professor John Harper and Dominic Gwynn) gave us an opportunity to enthuse the boys further by performing music liturgically and in context with this remarkable instrument. This CD is not just an eclectic array of music from Tudor-era composers; it is a record of the first year of chorister training and a scheme of work that has almost exclusively concentrated on English Tudor music. And it has a wider significance too.Read more

About the artists

Romsey Abbey Choir

Romsey Abbey Choir can trace its roots back to 1869 when a robed choir of men and boys was introduced in response to the Tractarian fashions of the time.

A healthy choir, rooted in the Anglican Tradition continued throughout much of the 20th century. In 1997 a top line of Girl Choristers was incorporated into the choirs at the Abbey, and they now sing with the altos (male and female), tenors and basses on alternate weeks. In 2016 the boys’ line enjoyed something of a renaissance, with 24 choristers filling the choir stalls and a separate training choir established to cope with the demand. There are over 120 singers engaged on a weekly basis at Romsey Abbey. These include the Boy Choristers, Senior and Junior Girl Choristers, choir adults, the Quavers training choir and the Abbey Consort.

The choir has broadcast on BBC Songs of Praise and has toured widely. The 2016 CD release of Adoration, celebrating 20 years of the girl choristers at Romsey Abbey, won widespread critical acclaim.

The choristers of the choir are drawn from schools in the local area and are generously supported by the PCC of Romsey Abbey and the Friends of Romsey Abbey Music.

George Richford

George RichfordGeorge Richford is a multi award-winning composer and conductor, living and working in Hampshire. He has been Director of Music at Romsey Abbey since September 2015. George was born and raised in South London and studied at Durham University and Christchurch Canterbury. George has held MD posts at Newcastle Cathedral, St John’s College, Durham, St Mary Magdalene Church, Newark and Dartford Parish Church. He has directed choirs to wide critical acclaim and has recorded and broadcast widely earning a reputation for reinvigorating and transforming choirs and for his success recruiting boys and girls. He is also the Director of Southampton University Chamber Choir.

His compositions have been performed and broadcast around the world, and have received premières on television and radio, at the 300th Anniversary of the Three Choirs’ Festival and for the Commonwealth Service of Remembrance for WW1 from Glasgow Cathedral. His music is published by Universal Editions, Music Sales Novello and Shorter House, London.

CD Booklet
  • Almighty God, who by the leading of a star - John Bull
  • Out of the Deep - Thomas Morley
  • The first song of Moses - Orlando Gibbons
  • Second Evening Service, Magnificat - William Byrd
  • The secret sins - William Mundy
  • Teach me thy way - William Fox
  • When Israel came out of Egypt - Michael East
  • Second Evening Service, Nunc dimittis - William Byrd
  • Out of the Deep - Adrian Batten
  • Above the stars, my saviour dwells - Thomas Tomkins
  • Salvator mundi (i) - Thomas Tallis
  • A fancy for a double orgaine - Orlando Gibbons
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Catalogue number: CR040

Choir Romsey Abbey Choir
Organ Adrian Taylor, Jon Pilgrim
Conductor George Richford

Cover Design John Bevan & Mike Cooter
Cover Image © Heritage Image Partnership Ltd
Engineering Adaq Khan
Mastering Adaq Khan
Producer Adrian Green
Creative Director Mike Cooter
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Recorded 19, 20,21 June, 2017
Venue Romsey Abbey, England
Total Duration 55 mins

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