Christopher Gibbons (1615 – 1676): O Bone Jesu

A Latin-texted motet is, as you might expect, quite unusual amongst Gibbons’ compositions1. It’s very beautifully and expressively written and with an very special sound-world. The soprano hovers more than an octave over the three lower voices the effect of which is heightened by sharpened interjections. I found it a very striking piece of music…

Ēriks Ešenvalds (b1977): Psalm 67

Ešenvalds setting of Psalm 67 was premiered by Stephen Layton and Polyphony in Amsterdam in 2012  a very traditional Anglican chant sounding baritone solo is responded to by the full choir singing a very chordal setting of the text. It’s very chromatic writing which shifts and mixes mood between praise and apprehension. The chant melody…

Mater ora filium — 14th century polyphony

This source of this charming piece of 14th century polyphony is a Gradual of Sarum chant now in the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library1 Both the composer and the text’s author are unknown and it seems likely as it was the only polyphonic item in the gradual that it was intended for liturgical use. It’s…

Nunc Dimittis – Huw Morgan (2015)

A setting of the Nunc Dimittis (Luke 2: 29-32) in English by Huw Morgan. Sung here by the Merbecke Choir of Southwark Cathedral. This work is published by Firehead Editions: http://fireheadeditions.com/downloads… Photograph of Muckross Abbey, Ireland, by the composer. www.huwmorgantheorgan.com www.merbecke.org.uk Enjoy :-). mfi

John Dankworth (1927-2010): Light of the World

If you know the English jazz scene you probably think of the late John Dankworth either as a brilliant jazz composer and saxophonist or as Cleo Laine’s husband but his talents were too great and too broad to be confined to any one genre. His setting of Paul Wigmore’s "Light of the world" is a…