Project Description


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About this release

The tradition of hymn singing is one of the central parts of Christian heritage and liturgy. The singing of hymns has had, and continues to have, a significant importance in the Church today whether that be in the form of plainsong, chorales or the contribution of the Protestant traditions of Western Europe. This recording seeks to capture some of the nest of these hymns as well as to introduce some contemporary tunes and illustrate how composers have adapted them as settings for choirs.

About the artists

Sofia Vokalensemble

The choir’s performances are characterized by a warm, lyrical Swedish choral sound and a stage presence that has taken the ensemble far in international competitions.

In 2012 Sofia Vokalensemble won the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. The competition, this year held in Maribor, Slovenia, is one of the most prestigious in the world and the participating choirs are the winners of six reputed choral competitions in Europe. Sofia Vokalensemble qualified for the competition after winning the Grand Prix at the International Choral Competition, Maribor, Slovenia, in 2011.

In the autumn of 2009, Sofia Vokalensemble won the Grand Prix at the Grieg International Choir Festival in Bergen, Norway. In the summer of 2008 the choir took two first places in the Grand Prix in Italian Gorizia and in 2006 the ensemble tied for first place in the prestigious Harald Andersén Chamber Choir Competition in Helsinki, Finland. Sofia Vokalensemble has also toured in Czech Republic, South Africa, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Hong Kong, Ireland, Greece, Venezuela and Russia. At home in Stockholm, the choir gives regular concerts in the Sofia church.

Music by Bach, Poulenc, Pärt and Schnittke recurs frequently in the repertoire. The choir has also premiered pieces by, among others Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Fredrik Sixten and Karin Rehnqvist. Sofia Vokalensemble is a choir with great love for music and the work is characterized not only by high musical ambition and close interaction with the conductor: the heart is always there;  on Wednesday rehearsals and weekend training camps as well as at airports, parties, and behind the scenes before a competition.

  • King of Glory, King of Peace - tune. Ballards, arr. Adrian Lucas
  • Soul of My Saviour - tune. Anima Christi, arr. William Maher
  • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling - tune. Blaenwern, arr. William Rowlands
  • O Thou Who Camest from Above - tune. Hereford, arr. Samual Sebastian Wesley
  • Ye Holy Angels Bright - tune. Darnell's 148th, arr. John Darwell
  • Jesu, Love of My Soul - tune. Aberystwyth, arr. Joseph Parry
  • Jerusalem on High - Sir Frederick Ouseley
  • Angel-Voices Ever Singing - tune. Angel Voices, arr. Edwin Monk
  • Virgin-Born, We Bow Before Thee - tune. German Medieval Melody, arr. Julian Dams
  • There's a Wideness in God's Mercy - tune. Coverdale, arr. Maurice Bevan
  • O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus - Thomas Williams
  • Come Down, O Love Divine - William Harris
  • When I Survey the Wondrous Cross - tune. Rockingham, arr. Edward Miller
  • Long Since in Egypt's Plenteous Land - Charles Hubert Parry
  • Abide with Me - tune. Eventide, arr. William Monk
  • How Shall I Sing That Majesty - tune. Coe Fen, arr. Ken Naylor
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Catalogue Number: CR021

Choir Cathedral Singers of Christchurch, Oxford
Trumpet Richard Powell, Kevin Ransom
Organist Daivd Bannister
Conductor John Padley

Cover Image Simon Williamson
Photography Various
Engineering Adaq Khan
Mastering Adaq Khan
Producer Simon Williamson
Creative Director Mike Cooter
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Recorded 9, 10 March 2013
Venue The Chapel of Wellington College, Berkshire
Total Duration 48 mins

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