PLAINSONG: THE ECHO OF ANGELS
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About this release
“He Who Sings Prays Twice”, so said St Augustine of Hippo.
The music of Gregorian Chant, or plainsong is the Church’s most ancient form of chanted prayer, and perhaps its most haunting and beautiful. It can transport, delight and transform. This recording is a snapshot of how plainsong is used at Portsmouth Cathedral, from the simplest of psalms sung at weekday Evensong, a great hymn marking a major Feast Day such as Veni Creator for Pentecost, or through its use in simple motets as set here by the Cathedral’s Director of Music, David Price.
About the artists
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.
The choir plays an important role in the life of the Diocese and City by singing at Ordination, Confirmation, Civic and Remembrance services. The choir is often invited to sing at churches throughout the Diocese of Portsmouth. The Royal Marines’ School of Music is now based in Portsmouth, and the choir and Orchestra or Band of the Royal Marines regularly work together.
The choir has been at the heart of recent DDay Commemorations in Caen and Bayeux in Normandy, France and here in the UK. The ceremonies saw BBC Radio broadcasts, a concert in Caen with the London Mozart Players and appearing at the International Service of Remembrance at Bayeux in the presence of HM The Queen, President of France and The Prime Minster and an International Drumhead Service on Southsea Common in the presence of The Princess Royal.
The 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and death of Lord Nelson involved the choir performing at a number of international and national events. Notable amongst those was the International Drumhead Ceremony during in the International Festival of the Sea in June, and at events aboard Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, during Trafalgar Week (including three BBC radio and TV broadcasts). Our ‘Nelson year’ concluded with a live broadcast of Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3 on the day 200 years ago that Nelson’s body sailed from Portsmouth to London for his State Funeral.
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.
- Advent prose - arr. Stephen Cleobury
- Hodie Christus natus est - arr. Benjamin Britten
- Verbum infans - arr. David Price
- Echo carol - arr. David Price
- Psalm 85 - 7th tone, 7th ending
- Missa de Angelis: Kyrie - arr. Adrian Lucas
- Missa de Angelis: Gloria - arr. Adrian Lucas
- Missa de Angelis: Sanctus & Benedictus - arr. Adrian Lucas
- Missa de Angelis: Agnus Dei - arr. Adrian Lucas
- Psalm 42 - 3rd tone, 4th ending
- Lent prose - arr. John Scott
- Veni Creator Spiritus - trad. chant
- Missa Deus genitor alme: Kyrie - trad.
- Missa Deus genitor alme: Sanctus & Benedictus - trad.
- Missa Deus genitor alme: Agnus Dei - trad.
- Benedictus - arr. David Price
- Adoro te devote - arr. David Price
- Organ Meditation on Adoro te devote - Arthur Wills
Catalogue Number: CR025
Choir Portsmouth Cathedral Choir
Organist Oliver Hancock, William Wallace
Conductor Dr. David Price
Engineering Adaq Khan, Kevin Hodgson
Mastering Adaq Khan
Producer Sam Gladstone
Programme Editorial David & Kitty Price
Creative Director John Bevan
Executive Producer Adrian Green
Recorded March, 2014
Venue Portsmouth Cathedral
Total Duration 59 mins