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Rejoice, the Lord is king!

Rejoice, the Lord is king!

Great Hymns from Westminster Abbey


 

I heard the voice of Jesus say

Vaughan Williams & Robert Quinney

Jonathan Brown (bass)

anon.:

I bind unto myself today (St Patrick's Breastplate)

Let all mortal flesh keep silence

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Croft:

O worship the King (Hanover)

Gibbons, O:

Drop, drop, slow tears

Goss, J:

Praise my soul, the King of Heaven

Handel:

Rejoice, the Lord is King, HWV286

Judas Maccabaeus: Thine be the glory

Howells:

All my hope on God is founded

Hughes, J:

Guide me, O thou great Redeemer (Cwm Rhondda)

Irvine, Jessie:

The Lord's My Shepherd (Crimond)

Monk, W H:

Abide with me

Parry:

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind (Repton)

Julian Empett (bass)

O praise ye the Lord

Jerusalem

arr. Sir George Thalben-Ball

Purcell:

Christ is made the sure foundation (Westminster Abbey)

Rowlands:

Love divine, all loves excelling (Blaenwern)

Vaughan Williams:

The Old Hundredth Psalm Tune 'All people that on earth do dwell'

Come down, O Love divine (Down Ampney)

Wesley, S S:

O Thou who camest from above (Hereford)


In this new album, Westminster Abbey rings with the voices of the choir and organ lifted in the great hymns which, familiar to all, are a vital part of our national character and history. The recording brings the experience of Abbey occasions—from royal weddings to state funerals to regular services—into the home.

The singing of hymns has its roots in the earliest days of the Christian church and remains a central part of the liturgy. In the Anglican church, and nowhere more so than in Westminster Abbey, this is a tradition that thrives, and where tunes from the sixteenth century sit happily alongside fervent Methodist outpourings, profound Victorian sentiment, the ‘rediscoveries’ of Vaughan Williams, and arrangements by the Abbey’s musicians of today.

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The Feast of St Peter at Westminster Abbey

The Feast of St Peter at Westminster Abbey


Bach, J S:

Sinfonia from Cantata BWV29

arr. Marcel Dupré

Robert Quinney (organ)

Byrd:

Mass for five voices

Crotch:

Psalm 124 'Nisi quia Dominus'

Robert Quinney (organ)

Duruflé:

Tu es Petrus, Op. 10 No. 3

Ley:

Psalm 138 'Confitebor tibi'

Robert Quinney (organ)

Palestrina:

Tu es Petrus a 6

Radcliffe:

Preces

Stanford:

Jubilate & Te Deum in B flat, Op. 10

Robert Quinney (organ)

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in B flat, Op. 10

Robert Quinney (organ)

Walton:

The Twelve

Julian Empett (bass), Raphael Taylor-Davies (treble), William Rowland (treble), Ben Turner (countertenor), Julian Stocker (tenor) & Robert Quinney (organ)


Another fascinating collection from Westminster Abbey, recreating a particular liturgical period.

This disc contains music one might hear if visiting the Abbey on its patronal feast, that of St Peter the Apostle, which falls on 29 June. The programme broadly follows the structure of the three major choral services of the Anglican tradition, all of which can in turn be traced back to the worship familiar in the pre-Reformation period when the Abbey was a Benedictine monastery: Matins (or Morning Prayer); Eucharist (Mass); and Evensong (Evening Prayer). The two principal musical elements are William Byrd’s Mass for five voices, and, linking the morning and evening Offices, four movements from Charles Villiers Stanford’s Service in B flat. Also featured is Walton’s choral masterpiece The Twelve.

The Abbey choir sings with its usual full-throated joy, expertly directed by James O’Donnell.

“Stanford’s Te Deum and Jubilate from his B flat Service have become comparative rarities, and they make a terrific impact here, organ and choir combining with exultant, spine-tingling resonance...This is cathedral choral singing at its finest and most inspiring.” The Telegraph, 28th July 2010

“This music for Westminster Abbey's patron, St Peter, offers a nimble, not to say ecumenical chance to unite contrasting choral works on one disc...The choir sounds best in Stanford's quintessentially Anglican Service in B flat and in Walton's The Twelve (1965)...Its flamboyant organ part and fugal "Twelve as the winds and the months" finale are intriguing and uplifting.” The Observer, 8th August 2010

“this glorious disc from Hyperion celebrat[es] what the Abbey choir is all about...The centrepiece of the disc is Byrd's glorious Mass for five voices, superbly delivered in the performance of outstanding clarity and sensitivity under James O'Donnell.” International Record Review, September 2010

“The musicians of Westminster Abbey are in top form. Crisp phrasing, firm control of line and lumionous colours create many fine moments, notably in the Palestrina and in Byrd's Gloria. Under organist Robert Quinney, the transcribed Bach Sinfonia sweeps along to a heady climax.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2010 ***

“A sumptuous banquet of choral delight awaits the hungry listener, laid out in three carefully balanced courses, to be savoured slowly, the whole programme sung (and played) with superlative skill” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2010

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O praise the Lord

O praise the Lord

Restoration Music from Westminster Abbey


Blow:

Voluntary in A major

Robert Quinney (organ)

God is our hope and strength

Venite

Voluntary in D Minor

Robert Quinney (organ)

Voluntary in D Minor

Robert Quinney (organ)

Salvator Mundi

Child, W:

O praise the Lord

Purcell:

Service in B flat major, Z230

O Lord God of hosts, Z37

Jehova, quam multi sunt hostes mei, Z135

Julian Stocker (tenor) & Robert Macdonald (bass)

Voluntary in D minor, Z718

Robert Quinney (organ)

Hear my prayer, O Lord, Z15

Voluntary in C major, Z717

Robert Quinney (organ)

Lord, how long wilt thou be angry?, Z25

Voluntary in G major, Z720

Robert Quinney (organ)

Turner, W:

Psalm 113 'Praise the Lord, ye servants'

Psalm 54 'Save me, O God, for thy Name's sake'


The Choir of Westminster Abbey under their inspirational director James O’Donnell delve into the Abbey’s vaults for this latest fascinating disc.

The triumphant mood of the Restoration required much glorious liturgical music, and the Abbey was home to some of the greatest composers and performers of the age. This recording presents music likely to have been sung by—and in some cases, almost certain to have been written for—the Choir of Westminster Abbey during the late 1670s and early 1680s. They sing four canticles from the compendious Service in B flat by Henry Purcell, together with psalmody in reconstructed contemporary style, and anthems and motets by Purcell and his contemporary John Blow, who famously both preceded and succeeded Purcell as Organist of the Abbey.

“The Abbey choir, under James O’Donnell, conveys the thrill of Purcell’s music and the whole disc is marked by crucial attention to the articulation of words and to the careful balancing of choral sonorities.” The Telegraph, 9th April 2010 ****

“Throughout every work O'Donnell's direction is alive to the sophisticated vocal layering, and ever attentive to the meaning of the words - an innate musicality echoed in Robert Quinney's 'voluntary contributions', despatched with nimble virtuosity and a beguiling shapeliness.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2010 ****

“Overall, it's a surprisingly varied programme...The organ voluntaries add spice to the mix, bearing as some of them do the stamp of Italianate influence.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

“Clear and uncluttered sound, the antiphonal effects nicely caught in a faultless Hyperion recording” International Record Review

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A Christmas Caroll from Westminster Abbey

A Christmas Caroll from Westminster Abbey


Chilcott:

Shepherd's Carol

Dove:

The three Kings

Gruber, F:

Silent Night

Arranged by Christopher Bowers-Broadbent

Head, M:

The Little Road to Bethlehem

Lavino:

Nativity

Leighton:

A Christmas Carol, Op. 21

Mathias:

Ave Rex, Op. 45

Pearsall:

In dulci jubilo

Poulenc:

Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël

Rutter:

Dormi, Jesu

trad.:

Joys Seven

Arranged by Stephen Cleobury

I saw three ships

Arranged by James O’Donnell

Walton:

All this time


The first of this month’s ‘double bill’ from Westminster presents a delightful and unusual selection of music for Christmas from the Abbey Choir. It encompasses all the diverse themes of Christmas which have inspired composers across the ages: light shining in darkness; the tenderness of mother and child; the fulfilment of promise; and the warm merriment of corporate celebration.

An excellent selection of contemporary carols features the composers Jonathan Dove and Bob Chilcott among others. The richness of twentieth-century church music is illustrated in works by Poulenc, Walton, Mathias and Leighton, and by the heartbreakingly lovely piece The little road to Bethlehem by Michael Head. Skilful arrangements of the traditional carols Silent night, In dulci jubilo and I saw three ships, complete this attractive seasonal release.

“An ambitious and superbly sung programme, sympathetically framed within the choir's spaciously atmospheric home acoustic.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 *****

“The Christmas Eve carol service at Westminster Abbey is one of the most warming events in the festive calendar, and this CD captures the atmosphere beautifully … The singing is a constant delight” The Telegraph

Presto Disc of the Week

8th December 2008

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The Feast of the Ascension at Westminster Abbey

The Feast of the Ascension at Westminster Abbey


Britten:

Festival Te Deum in E, Op. 32

Finzi:

God is gone up, Op. 27 No. 2

Gowers:

Viri Galilaei

MacFarren, G:

Psalm 93

Philips, P:

Ascendit Deus

Pott:

Toccata

Rose, B:

Preces

The Dismissal

Schütz:

Psalm 100: Jauchzet dem Herren, alle Welt, SWV 36

Stanford:

Coelos Ascendit Hodie, Op. 38 No. 2

Vaughan Williams:

O Clap Your Hands (Psalm 47)

Walton:

Missa Brevis

Chichester Service


Hyperion is delighted to present this latest CD from The Choir of Westminster Abbey under their inspirational director, James O’Donnell. They continue their exploration of the rich repertoire of the liturgy in its historical context in the Abbey with music for the Feast of the Ascension. Ascension Day is a particular moment of celebration within the annual round of Easter praise and is celebrated in glorious and triumphal language. The works recorded here represent a wide range of the best of liturgical music, starting from the intricate and joyful writing of the sixteenth-century composer Peter Philips and ending with fascinating and appealing pieces by living composers. Along the way are works from the great flowering of English cathedral music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

“The boys might be singing Stanford's Caelos ascendit hodie, but they could just as easily be trilling ''Woohoo! It's Ascension Day!'' I love such musical joie de vivre, and not every choir is able to produce it convincingly as these chaps...this is Westminster Abbey Choir at their crystalline best, with spot-on pitching, enviable articulation and sympathetic phrasing.” Charlotte Gardner, bbc.co.uk, 18th April 2008

“The choir of Westminster Abbey under James O'Donnell sing with the happy care which his choristers at the Cathedral used to bring to their work with him. If the echo calls attention to itself at the start, the ears soon adjust. They are not going to complain with so much to enjoy.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2008

“After seven years at the helm, James O'Donnell has made a formidable singing outfit of the Westminster Abbey Choir...The treble line is robust and thrilling, its soloist, Jacob Ewens, a sinuous star in Britten's Te Deum in E. The ensemble is well balanced in the polyphony of Philips's Ascendit Deus and confidently tuned in the awe-filled modernism of Gowers's Viri Galilei, while the organist, Robert Quinney, does more than his share in the dazzling accompaniments.” The Times, 26th April 2008 ****

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The Feast of St Michael and All Angels at Westminster Abbey (Michaelmas)

The Feast of St Michael and All Angels at Westminster Abbey (Michaelmas)


Alcock, W G:

Psalm 91 'Whoso dwelleth under the defence of the Most High'

Britten:

Jubilate Deo in C major (1961)

Dering:

Factum est silentium

Harvey, J:

Laus Deo

Howells:

A Sequence for St Michael

Langlais:

Messe Solennelle for mixed choir & organ

Leighton:

Preces and Responses

Stanford:

Psalm 148

Tippett:

Plebs angelica

Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense)

Vaughan Williams:

Te Deum in G


“The choir, atmospherically recorded in the Abbey itself, sings this demanding repertoire with its customary zeal and a well-blended sound, and the performances are directed with the panache and style one has come to expect from James O’Donnell. Robert Quinney’s contribution as organist culminates in a Laus Deo from Jonathan Harvey aptly described by O’Donnell in his booklet note as “the opulent psychedelia of [Messiaen’s] Turangalîla compressed into four minutes” The Telegraph

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Elgar - Great is the Lord

Elgar - Great is the Lord


Elgar:

Great is the Lord (Psalm XLVIII), Op. 67

They are at rest

Queen Alexandra Memorial Ode

Ave Maria, Op. 2 No. 2

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me (from The Apostles)

Te Deum laudamus, Op. 34, No. 1

Benedictus, Op. 34 No. 2

O Salutaris Hostia

Ave verum corpus, Op. 2 No. 1

Ecce Sacerdos Magnus

O hearken Thou, Op. 64

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


“…the Westminster Abbey Choir delivers its organ-accompanied programme with beautiful tonal colour and blend.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2007 ****

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The Feast of St Edward, King and Confessor, at Westminster Abbey

The Feast of St Edward, King and Confessor, at Westminster Abbey


Bruckner:

Os justi meditabitur sapientiam

Crotch:

Psalm 132

Demessieux:

Te Deum, Op. 11

Gregorian Chant:

Laudes Regiae

Harvey, J:

Missa Brevis

Moore, P:

The King and the Robin

Morley, W:

Psalm 99

Purcell:

O God, thou art my god, Z35

Magnificat & Nunc Dimitus in G minor, Z231

Smith, W:

The Preces

The Responses

also composed by Robert Stone(s)

Stanford:

Te Deum (from Service in C major, Op 115)

Benedictus (from Service in C major, Op 115)


This new recording from Westminster Abbey presents Matins, Eucharist and Evensong as they might be heard on the Feast of St Edward (13 October). The Saint, whose death in 1066 sparked the Norman Conquest, remains buried in the Abbey to this day and his shrine is a point of global pilgrimage.

“An admirably varied programme, with excellent Hyperion recording.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2006 ****

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William Byrd - The Great Service

William Byrd - The Great Service

with additional anthems and organ voluntaries


Byrd:

The Great Service

O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth

Prevent us, O Lord

Voluntary for my Lady Nevell

How long shall mine enemies?

Out of the deep

Fancy for my Lady Nevell

Christ rising again from the dead

Sing joyfully


‘A very polished and confident performance. Quinney gives equally fluent renditions of the Voluntary and ‘Fancie for My Lady Nevell’, completing a disc that fulfils its brief with distinction’ (Gramophone)

“This particular work needs no introduction; indeed, some fine recordings already exist of this set, which has become a particular favourite of modern choirs. The atmosphere one associates with this combination of 'artist and repertoire' is present in abundance: warmth and intimacy combined with a certain reserve. At times the latter quality is perhaps too marked, or could have been leavened with a hint of extroversion: the opening track, perhaps, OLord, make thy servant Elizabeth. On the other hand the final selection, Sing joyfully (which, like the opening track, is sung a cappella) does indeed sound joyful.
In The Great Service itself, the character of the interpretations is entirely appropriate, and the choir may be heard at its best there. Its warmth of tone is due to the admixture throughout TheGreat Service of a chamber organ, sensitively handled by Robert Quinney. In the anthem Christ rising again the two treble soloists (accompanied by the organ) alternate with the full choir, a strategy that seems unconvincing because the music doesn't always lend itself to so strongly sectional an approach. Otherwise it's very polished and confident performance. Quinney gives equally fluent renditions of the Voluntary and 'Fancie for My Ladye Nevell', completing a disc that fulfils its brief with distinction.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“The atmosphere one associates with this combination of 'artist and repertoire' is present in abundance: warmth and intimacy combined with a certain reserve. In The Great Service itself, the character of the interpretations is entirely appropriate, and the choir may be heard at its best there. The warmth of tone... is due to the admixture throughout The Great Service of a chamber organ, sensitively handled by Robert Quinney. ...a disc that fulfils its brief with distinction.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2006

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Trinity Sunday at Westminster Abbey

Trinity Sunday at Westminster Abbey

A sequence of music as might be heard in the Abbey on Trinity Sunday


 

The bells of Westminster Abbey

Bairstow:

Psalm 107

Britten:

Te Deum in C

Elvey, G:

Psalm 115

Grier, F:

Missa Trinitatis Sanctae

Howells:

Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Westminster)

Stainer:

I saw the Lord

Stanford:

Fantasia and Toccata in D minor, Op. 57

Tomkins:

The Preces

The Responses

Walton:

Jubilate Deo


‘I’m so taken with this program that I frankly rebel at the notion of spending one sentence, much less a paragraph, on the topic of alternative recordings’ (Fanfare, USA)

“James O'Donnell proves himself master of two Westminster traditions: the Collegiate Abbey style is as assured as his former 'continental' Cathedral persona. Best of the persuasively-layered Britten Te Deum, and conspicuously bouncy Walton Jubilate.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2005 *****

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