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Versus - The Garnier Organ

Versus - The Garnier Organ

Elgar Concert Hall - University of Birmingham


Bach, J S:

Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C major, BWV564

Toccata in C major (Early version of BWV566)

Bruhns:

Chorale Fantasia on 'Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland'

Danksagmüller:

Five Verses on the Chorale Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott

Lauvig:

Via Crucis

Schumann:

Four Sketches, Op. 58


Henry Fairs plays on ‘Chair’ (Mitteltönigeswerk) organ

The first recording of the new Garnier organ in the Elgar Concert Hall at Birmingham University played by the organ's curator, and international concert organist, Henry Fairs. Featuring music by JS Bach, Bruhns, Schumann, Danksagmüller, and Lauvik, this wide-ranging programme of music from the 17th to 21st centuries exploits the full tonal resources of this wonderful instrument, which is a major contribution to Birmingham's centre of excellence in organ performing and teaching.

Effectively two separate instruments the player turns round to play the 'Chair' organ. This is exploited in Franz Danksagmüller's new work 'Versus' (Latin: turned), commissioned for the opening recital in November 2014, and forming the centre-piece of this symmetrical programme which begins and ends with major works in C major by JS Bach played on the larger instrument.

Henry Fairs is Head of Organ Studies at Birmingham Conservatoire, Organist to the University of Birmingham and Honorary Professor of Organ at the University of St Andrews. He has won ten prizes in international organ competitions, and appeared in festivals throughout Europe and in North America, Canada, Russia and Japan, performing solo recitals, broadcasts and concertos on both historic and modern instruments. He is regularly invited to serve as a jury member, examiner, guest tutor and speaker. His students include a number of prize-winners in international competitions. Henry was closely involved with the recent installation of the Garnier organ and will be responsible for commissioning a number of new instruments at Birmingham Conservatoire's new home over the coming years.

“Fairs programmes some unusual items to show off the versatility of the Garnier, which is actually two instruments: a three-manual recital organ and a smaller example to accompany choral work...Via Crucis, by Jon Laukvik, is a deeply impressive eight-movement meditation, massive in scale and full of Messiaen-like colour and imagination.” The Observer, 6th August 2017 ****

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To Be A Light

To Be A Light

Evening Canticles For Upper Voices


Archer, M:

Berkshire Service

Aston, P:

Service in G

Briggs:

Jesus Service

Harris, W:

Service in D

Howells:

Service in D

(transposed to E flat)

Lole:

The St David's Service

MacDonald, S:

Service in A flat

Marshall, W:

Service in C

McDowall:

St Albans Service

Moore, P:

Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in A (for St Mary’s, Warwick)

Rose, B:

Service in E


Alexander Berry (organ)

Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir, Sarah MacDonald

The Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (affectionately known as the “Mag and Nunc”) are said and sung daily throughout the world during services in most Christian denominations. In the Anglican tradition, they are specifically paired in the service of Evening Prayer.

Throughout the centuries, the vast majority of setting of these canticles were scored either for men’s voices or for full choir. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as the Anglican choral revival in England flourished, weekday services in parishes and schools were often sung only by boy choristers. Since then the introduction of girls’ choirs into British cathedrals and parish churches, and the absence of Layclerkes from some services, has resulted in an increased demand to set services for upper voices and organ.

This CD features settings from the 19th and 20th century stalwarts Harris, Howells, and Rose, as well as newer settings written within the last 20 years with several first recordings.

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Vox Clara: Music by Gabriel Jackson

Vox Clara: Music by Gabriel Jackson


Jackson, Gabriel:

Vox clara ecce intonat

Seven Advent Antiphons

Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen?

That wind blowing and that tide

Holy is the true light

Aria for Joel and Vicki

Cantate Domino

Confirma hoc Deus

Factus est repente

Missa Triueriensis


Luke Bond (organ), Joel Garthwaite (saxophone)

Truro Cathedral Choir, Christopher Gray

Read David's exclusive interview with Gabriel Jackson about the project here.

One of Britain’s foremost and most celebrated composers, Gabriel Jackson, joins with the critically-acclaimed Choir of Truro Cathedral, under its inspiring director, Christopher Gray, and saxophonist, Joel Garthwaite, to present a collection recent works for choir, saxophone, and organ. Fourteen pieces are receiving first recordings, including the opening work ‘Vox clara ecce intonat’, commissioned by St John’s College, Cambridge, in 2013, and other works written for the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.

Seven new works were specifically written for Christopher Gray and the Truro Cathedral Choir, including That wind blowing and that tide for treble voices, saxophone, and organ, the result of a day’s workshop with Gabriel Jackson and the Cathedral choristers, and incorporating their musical ideas.

The Advent Antiphon setting O Clavis David was commissioned by Merton College, Oxford, in 2012. Christopher Gray subsequently asked Gabriel Jackson to compose settings of the remaining six ‘Great O’ antiphons of Advent for the Truro Cathedral Choir. The complete cycle of seven unaccompanied Antiphons were first performed at The Advent Service in Truro Cathedral in December 2014.

Other new works include a beautiful work for saxophone and organ, dedicated to saxophonist, Joel Garthwaite and his wife Vicky on the occasion of their marriage, and a Chorale Prelude for solo organ, composed for William Whitehead’s Orgelbüchlein Project. The disc also includes several earlier works written for Truro Cathedral Choir: the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis of 2001, and the Missa Triueriensus (‘Truro Mass’) of 2005, and Cantate Domino written for the Truro 125 celebrations in 2013.

Gabriel Jackson was born in Bermuda in 1962. After three years as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral, he went on to study composition with Richard Blackford and with John Lambert at the Royal College of Music.

Particularly acclaimed for his choral works, his liturgical pieces are in the repertoires of most of Britain’s cathedral and collegiate choirs and he is a frequent collaborator with the leading professional groups of the world. His music is regularly performed, recorded and broadcast throughout Europe and the USA.

In 2003 Jackson won the liturgical prize at the inaugural British Composer Awards with O Doctor optime, and won two further prizes in the choral category with The Spacious Firmament in 2009 and Airplane Cantata in 2012. From 2010 to 2013 he was Associate Composer to the BBC Singers, producing a series of substantial pieces for the group.

“Jackson's work, with its allusions to Orthodox music, to the euphony (but not the prolixity) of Tavener and to Tudor manners, has an irresistible allure. Not a note is superfluous, the formal shaping is always elegant, and it's always written with the performers first in mind. In this selection of sacred pieces, Truro's fine singers engage touchingly with this creative generosity.” Sunday Times

“Jackson involved the choristers of Truro in the writing of a piece they were to sing as part of the cathedral’s first world war commemorations...along with other work for Truro’s exceptionally fine choir, including a stunning set of Advent Antiphons and a wonderfully lithe and sinuous Cantate Domino. Joel Garthwaite and Luke Bond sprinkle stardust over everything they play.” The Observer, 14th August 2016 ****

“What makes Vox Clara so special is that Jackson knows the building and choir intimately...The acoustics of the cathedral enhance the beauty of the instrument as the melodies fade away...and Bond, organist at Truro, is an extraordinary musician.” Hi-Fi News

“Jackson continues to produce sacred choral music of the highest invention, responding to commissions with vivid panache. His music can – in an instant – switch from richly layered ecstasy to direct, hushed intimacy, for example in the anthem Cantate Domino. It helps, of course, that as a former cathedral chorister he knows what makes singers tick.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2016

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All Angels Cry Aloud

All Angels Cry Aloud

Liturgical Choral Works by John Hosking


Hosking:

A Royal Blessing

Ave Maria

Ave verum corpus

Missa brevis in D major

Requiem

Te Deum

The Bangor Service

The Chester Service


Timothy Parsons (organ) & Alexander Berry (organ)

The Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge & The Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir, Sarah MacDonald

An inspirational collection of the liturgical choral music of John Hosking.

This disc of choral works by a new voice brings an exciting and dynamic approach to writing for the church. This is melodious and memorable music, and the pieces range from exquisite miniatures, such as A Royal Blessing, written for the birth of Prince George of Cambridge in 2013, to the massive setting of the Te Deum. Also included is Hosking’s short Requiem setting.

John Hosking is currently Assistant Director of Music at St Asaph Cathedral in North Wales. A prize-winning student at the Royal College of Music, John continued his studies with the late Nicholas Danby and Margaret Philips. He was appointed Organ Scholar of Westminster Abbey in 1996 and is the only person to have ever held this post for three years. His recent move into the world of composition has been met with much enthusiasm from performers and listeners alike. For him, composition is the result of a source of inspiration – be it a text, a life event, a choir or individual performer.

John Hosking is particularly known for his powerful and commanding improvisations, and much of his inspiration has come from three great organists, Martin Baker, David Briggs and the French master, Pierre Cochereau. The style used in his improvisations permeates the organ accompaniments in many of the items on this disc, spilling over to influence the vocal lines.

This is the eighth CD that Regent has made with the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, and the third where they have joined forces with Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir, under the direction of Sarah MacDonald.

All of the works are receiving their first recording.

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Bednall: Stabat Mater

Bednall: Stabat Mater


Bednall:

Stabat Mater

Marian Suite for violin and organ

Jennifer Pike (violin)

Ave Maria


David Bednall (organ)

Benenden Chapel Choir, Edward Whiting

This fourth release on Regent entirely devoted to compositions by David Bednall is the first recording of his Stabat Mater and Ave Maria, both commissioned by Beneden Chapel Choir, and his Marian Suite for solo Violin and Organ, written especially for this recording.

Bednall’s unique setting of the ancient Stabat Mater text telling of Mary’s grief at the foot of the cross on Good Friday is a large-scale work for upper voices and organ, and featuring an extensive part for solo violin. In this recording this is played by the internationally-renowned violinist, Jennifer Pike. In keeping with the Marian theme the disc has a wonderfully-attractive new setting for the same forces of the well-known Ave Maria text. Jennifer Pike also plays a new three-movement Suite for solo Violin and Organ, based on Marian plainchant themes.

David Bednall is recognized as one of the leading choral composers of his generation and has recently completed a PhD in Composition with Professor John Pickard at the University of Bristol. He is Organist of The University of Bristol, and Sub Organist at Bristol Cathedral. He studied the organ with Dr Naji Hakim and David Briggs, and was Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral.

The first CD of his choral music - Hail, gladdening light withWells Cathedral Choir under Matthew Owens - was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice, and a second disc with the Wells Choir, Flame Celestial, received much critical praise, including a Gramophone recommendation. The recording of his Requiem with the choir of St Mary’s, Calne, conducted, as here, by Edward Whiting, was a Classical Music magazine ‘Recording of the Fortnight’. Other highlights have included Missa Sancti Pauli, commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral for the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, and commissions for the new music wells 68 – 08 festival. His Christmas Cantata, Welcome All Wonders, commissioned by The Queen’s College, Oxford, was released on Signum Records in 2013, also to superb international critical acclaim.

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For the Iron Voice

For the Iron Voice

21st-Century Organ Music


Briggs:

Song without Words

The Legend of St Nicholas

Fisher, Paul:

Scherzo

Gibbs, A:

Pastorale

Kingman, N:

Pieces (3)

Pickard:

Tesserae

Wilby:

For the Iron Voice

Winters:

Evening Voluntary


Paul Walton (organ of Bridlington Priory)

An unusual collection of contemporary organ music, ranging from the searing virtuosity of new works by John Pickard and Nicolas Kingman, to the lyrical beauty of Paul Fisher, Alan Gibbs, and David Briggs. The disc takes its name from the three-movement showpiece suite for organ For the Iron Voice by Philip Wilby, here receiving its first complete recording.

Performed on the organ of Bridlington Priory by Paul Walton.

The organ of Bridlington Priory is one of the largest and finest parish church organs in the UK. It was built by the Belgian firm Anneessens and installed in the Priory in the spring of 1889. In 2005/6 the organ was rebuilt by Nicholsons and Co from the ground up with a new building frame and tonal modifications and additions to produce a reliable, comprehensive, perfectly balanced instrument. It was dedicated by Archbishop John Sentamu in April 2006.

Paul Walton is Assistant Organist of Bristol Cathedral, and director of the Bristol Phoenix Choir. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music under Kevin Bowyer. This is his third solo recording on Regent.

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Saint Louis Firsts

Saint Louis Firsts


Bennett, R R:

A Contemplation Upon Flowers

Bingham, J:

Solomon And Love

Aquileia

Chilcott:

Before the ice (O magnum mysterium)

Guillaume, S:

Le Dernier Voyage

Helvey:

An Evening Song

Jones, Trevor:

Psalm 23

Maclean, C:

Slow Gold

Manning:

Ode To Love

Pott:

Good Day, Sir Christëmas!

Praulinš:

Iam Ver Egelidos


Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, Philip Barnes

From the city that brought the world its first true ‘skyscraper’, a ground-breaking recording of eleven choral works, ten of them new commissions by the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, from a diverse range of global composers.

For six decades the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus has dedicated itself to presenting the finest examples of choral literature. In recent years there has been an emphasis on presenting the work of living composers. In the mid-1990s a ‘composer in residency’ program was begun which flourishes to this day, and numerous supporters began to commission new works especially for this choir. The fruits of their generosity may be heard on this recording of which all but tracks 3 and 8 are first recordings.

The works embrace the full gamut of choral techniques and emotional depth from the vibrantly rich harmonies of Bob Chilcott’s Before the Ice, and Howard Helvey’s An Evening Song to the extreme virtuosity and agility of Judith Bingham’s Solomon and Love. New choral techniques are explored in Ugis Praulins’ work, and Sydney Guillaume’s exquisite Le Dernier Voyage brings a twenty-first century take on sensual French-influenced impressionism.

The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus has an enviable reputation in the US and beyond. This is the choir’s fifth release on Regent and all have received outstanding critical recognition.

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A Year at Tewkesbury

A Year at Tewkesbury


Bairstow:

Sing ye to the Lord

I sat down under his shadow

Bednall:

Alleluya, a new work is come on hand

Bruckner:

Tota pulchra es, antiphon, WAB 46

Chilcott:

There is no rose

Elgar:

Give unto the Lord (Psalm XXIX), Op. 74

Forbes, S:

Gracious Spirit

Ives, G:

Ubi caritas

Leighton:

O leave your sheep

Martin, M:

I Sing of a Maiden

Laudate Dominum

Stanford:

Benedictus in C

Steel:

People look east

Tallis:

In ieiunio et fletu

Tavener:

Funeral Ikos

Walton:

Antiphon

Weelkes:

Alleluia, I heard a voice

Wood, C:

Nunc Dimittis in B flat


Carleton Etherington & Edward Turner (organ)

Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum, Simon Bell

In the eighth release in Regent's “A Year at” series we visit the Abbey Church in Tewkesbury, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. Appropriately, the programme includes music for the major Marian feasts, as well as other main feasts of the church’s year.

Additionally, the choir commissions a new work annually and three recent works, from David Bednall, Grayston Ives, and Matthew Martin, are included here. Two are receiving their first recording.

The Schola Cantorum’s raison d’etre is to sing Evensong during the week throughout school term time. This tradition at Tewkesbury was revived forty years ago in 1974 when the Choir of the Abbey School sang its first service of Choral Evensong. Since the Abbey School closed in 2006, the choristers have been educated at Dean Close Preparatory School in Cheltenham. Ever since the sixteen boy choristers and the lay clerks have continued their daily offering of worship in the peaceful surroundings of the Abbey. In recent years the Schola Cantorum has appeared on a number of highly-regarded recordings.

Simon Bell was appointed as Director of the Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum in 2012. He was previously at Winchester Cathedral where he held the position of Assistant Director of Music.

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O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, Emmanuel

Music for Advent and Christmas by Alan Bullard


Bullard, A:

O Come, Emmanuel

A baby so small, a message so great

A boy is born in Bethlehem (Puer natus)

And all the stars looked down

Hillside Carol

The gracious gift

This night

Rose of such virtue

Child in the manger, Lord of all

A star as bright as day

Merrily did the shepherds blow


Timothy Parsons (organ) & John Bachelor (organ)

The Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, Sarah MacDonald

Alan Bullard’s O Come, Emmanuel is an Advent Celebration based on the Great ‘O’ Antiphons. It is the second of three cantatas for broadly similar forces that Bullard wrote in successive years, the first beingWondrous Cross (2011), recorded by Selwyn College Choir (REGCD404). O Come Emmanuel (2012) is dedicated to Sarah MacDonald and the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College and was first performed, in its complete form, in a service in Selwyn College Chapel on Advent Sunday, 1st December 2013.

The remainder of this disc contains ten new Christmas carols. The dates of the poems that Alan Bullard has chosen to set range from the present day to the distant past, but all tell the same story, beloved of Christians for centuries.

Selwyn College Choir, under the direction of Sarah MacDonald, have gained increasing critcal recognition in recent years, not least for their advocacy of the works of living composers. Their previous CD release ‘The Eternal Ecstasy’ spent several weeks in the Specialist Classical Charts and was Classic FM Album of the Week in July 2015.

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A York Yuletide

A York Yuletide


Gruber, F:

Silent Night

arr. David Hill

Howells:

Here is the Little Door

A Spotless Rose

Sing Lullaby

Long, Long Ago

Ives, G:

Lo, how a rose e’er blooming

Jackson, S:

The Virgin’s Song

Martin, M:

Nowell sing we

Pierpont:

Jingle Bells

arr. Richard Shephard

Pott:

Balulalow

Rutter:

Nativity carol

What sweeter music

Skempton:

Adam lay y-bounden

trad.:

Ding dong! merrily on high

arr. Mack Wilberg

Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day

arr. David Willcocks

In Dulci Jubilo

arr. Bob Chilcott

Vaughan Williams:

Fantasia on Christmas Carols

Walton:

All this time

Warlock:

Lullaby my Jesus

trans. Andrew Carter


David Pipe (organ)

The Choir of York Minster, Robert Sharpe

Christmas is arguably no better experienced than in one of England’s great cathedrals, not least at York Minster. Music plays a key role here: the uplifting sound of the choir in joyous repertoire, the grandiose sound of the organ, and the wonderful acoustic all come together to celebrate this season.

In this programme, the choir of York Minster offers up a feast of mostly 20th century and contemporary English music, including the four major carols by Herbert Howells, Ralph VaughanWilliams’ extended Fantasia on Christmas carols, and Richard Shephard’s hilarious new arrangement of Jingle Bells. Of special interest are recent new carols from Matthew Martin, Stephen Jackson, Francis Pott, and Grayston Ives – the first two works commissioned by York Minster and receiving their first recording here.

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