Portsmouth Cathedral: In Your Image | Convivium Records International
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In Your Image: Carols for Christmastime

Portsmouth Cathedral Choir & Dr. David Price

  • Catalogue
    CR005
  • Choir
    Portsmouth Cathedral Choir
  • Conductor
    Dr. David Price
  • Organ
    Marcus Wibberley
  • Engineering
    Kevin Hodgson
  • Mastering
    Adaq Khan
  • Creative Dir
    John Bevan
  • Exec Producer
    Adrian Green

Introduction

In common with other Cathedrals and Churches across the globe, the season of Advent and Christmas is a time when Portsmouth Cathedral welcomes large numbers of people to services or concerts.

All the music on the disc was sung at cathedral Christmas carol services in 2008 and 2009 with one exception – ‘In Your image’ is not strictly a Christmas carol, but it speaks of the incarnation and of humanity’s relationship with God our Father through Christ His Son. The ‘Advent Responsary’ is often sung at the start of Advent or Christmas carol services and this version weaves the advent hymn ‘Sleepers Wake’ within its textures. ‘Once in Royal’ adorns most churches’ celebrations and we use Sir David Willcock’s familiar harmonies and descant made famous by the King’s College Cambridge Carol of Nine Lessons and Carols. ‘Veiled in Darkness’ is a haunting carol speaking of the Advent hope of Christ’s Coming into the world whilst ‘Let us Light a Candle’ unveils the joy of the Child’s birth in Bethlehem.

Away in a Manger’, here arranged by David Hill (during his time as Organist of Winchester Cathedral) continues the story of the new born babe and is followed by Estonian-born Arvo Pärt’s highly stylised Hymn to the Virgin Mother. The promise of Mary, Mother of Jesus as foretold in the Old Testament is set to music by Howells with a beautiful bass solo line.

Franz Grüber’s famous ‘Silent Night’ returns to its simple origins through Christine Gymnn’s gentle setting and is followed by the more boistrous Good King Wenceslas. The disc concludes with the magisterial medieval hymn, ‘Of the Father’s heart begotten’ followed by a fresh and jaunty arrangement of ‘Ding Dong merrily on high’.

Dr David Price Organist & Master of the Choristers

Portsmouth Cathedral Choir

Portsmouth Cathedral Choir is made up of 22 boy choristers and 12 gentlemen (including 6 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 6 services.

The Choir also sings at various special services and events both locally and internationally, and has toured Belgium, Holland, Sweden, France and more recently Estonia and Germany. At home in the UK they have also sung at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Queen’s private chapel at St George’s in Windsor Castle and, most recently,

at Westminster Abbey. The Choir was involved in the 70th Anniversary of D-Day in including two BBC Radio broadcasts and an International Drumhead Ceremony. The Cathedral Choir maintains strong links with the Royal Navy and takes part in a number of services for them such as the annual Royal Marines Band Remembrance Service and the Second Sea Lord’s carol service on HMS Victory.

In 2014 the boy choristers performed in Britten’s War Requiem to a capacity audience at Winchester Cathedral, alongside choirs and orchestras from Bournemouth University, Imperial College, London, and Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, and the full choir toured Belgium.

David Price

David Price is Organist and Master of the Choristers at Portsmouth Cathedral. Before he came to Portsmouth he was Assistant Organist of Ely Cathedral having previously held Organ Scholarships at Rochester Cathedral and Croydon Minster.

During his time at Ely he toured Germany, Belgium, Holland, Poland and the Czech Republic with the Cathedral Choir. The choir’s John Amner recording for Hyperion was critically acclaimed and was the Editor’s Choir in ‘The Gramophone’ music magazine.

Since David has been at Portsmouth the profile of the Cathedral’s music has been raised to new heights through twelve international tours, numerous recordings and regular work for the BBC and ITV. He has been pleased to lead vocal training sessions for other choirs and has recently worked in this capacity for the Diocese of Berlin and with the choir of Pembroke College, Oxford.

In addition to his duties at the Cathedral, David serves on the committee of RSCM Portsmouth, and is a member of the Council of the Royal School of Church Music. He has recently served two terms on the Association of English Cathedral’s Music & Liturgy Committee.

In 2007, Portsmouth University 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 the same year he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of St Cecilia. Recent recital venues for David include Chambery Cathedral and Notre Dame de Neiges, Alpe d’Huez in the French Alps and Trinity Church, Copenhagen in Denmark and he is playing in Westminster Abbey, Newcastle Cathedral and Hexham Abbey later in the year.

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. Last year he was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Guild of Church Musicians presented to him by the Archbishop of Canterbury.