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Ref: CDG1150

20 tracks 57 min
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A meditation for the close of the day

The timeless liturgy of the Anglican church has produced a wonderful tradition of Evensong. This album captures beautiful choral music by Bernard Rose, one of the twentieth century's most brilliant exponents of this special art form, with bible readings by Margaret Howard. Around 50 minutes.

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Music by Bernard Rose (1916-1996)

1 Organ Voluntary - Chimes
2 Introit - Lift up your heads
3 Versicles and Responses I
4 Psalm 142
5 Psalm 148
6 First Reading - from The Old Testament: Genesis 1 & 2 to v.4
7 Magnificat
8 Second Reading - from The New Testament: Matthew 3
9 Nunc Dimittis
10 Versicles and Responses II
11 Anthem - O Praise God

12 Praise ye the Lord
13 Lord, I have loved
14 O quam gloriosum
15 When the sun
16 Dominus custodit te
17 Surely Thou hast tasted
18 When all Thy mercies
19 The Lord my pasture
20 The spacious firmament on high

The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford
Director: Bernard Rose, Informator Choristarum
Organist: Martin Souter, Mackinnon Organ Scholar
Cantor: The Rev. Brian Findlay, Dean of Divinity
Reader: Margaret Howard

Music recorded in Magdalen College Chapel, June 1981, by kind permission of the President and Fellows. It has been transcribed from the second LP pressing and remastered by Classical Communications Ltd. With thanks to James Crabbe (recording engineer) and Gregory Rose. This release is dedicated to Mrs Molly Rose.

Cover image: Oxford Golden Skyline c JL Photography/Alamy Images
P & C 2006 Classical Communications Ltd
Made in Great Britain

'Lift up your heads' was written as an introit for the special service in Magdalen chapel in November 1980 to celebrate the restoration and cleaning of the chapel. The Versicles and Responses (1958) were written at the suggestion of the Dean of Divinity, Dr Adams. The two chants for the Psalms come from the same period. The C minor setting of the Evening Canticles was made in 1968, the thematic basis being the scale passage. The anthem 'O Praise God' (Psalm 150) was commissioned by Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC and was performed there at a service to mark the moving of the organ from the east to the west end of the building in 1980. It contains a quotation from Stanford's well-known chant for this Psalm. 'Chimes' is a palindrome based on the hour chime in the Great Tower at Magdalen. Its sub-title (borrowed from Guillaume de Machaut) is 'Ma fin est mon commencement and mon commencement est ma fin'.

'Praise ye the Lord', the earliest of the pieces of this recording, was written in 1949. It is an eight-part setting of Psalm 149 for double choir. 'Lord I have loved' (1957) is a setting of verses from Psalm 26. The Latin version of these words ('Domine dilexi') forms part of the crest of the Cathedral School at Salisbury where the composer was a chorister from 1925-31. 'O quam gloriosum' (1972) an introit for Saints' Days, was written for the choir of St Peter's, Wolverhampton. The lower voices sing the antiphon for All Saints' Day from the Liber Usualis.

'When the sun' (Feast Song for St Cecilia) is the setting of a poem by the composer's son, Gregory Rose. Written for the Festival of St Cecilia, it was sung by the choirs of the Chapel Royal, St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Holborn in 1975.

When Dr T S R Boase attempted to leave the Chapel after his last service as President of Magdalen on 30 June, 1968 the door was locked against his exit, and the choir sang this Vale, 'Dominus custodit te' in the ante-chapel.

On August 3rd 1980 a service of thanksgiving was held in Southwark Cathedral to celebrate its 75th anniversary as a cathedral. 'Surely thou hast tasted' was sung as the introit and is dedicated to the choir and Mr Harry Bramma, an old pupil of the composer's. The Three Addison Anthems ('When all thy mercies', 'The Lord my pasture', 'The spacious firmament') were commissioned in 1979 by Dr and Mrs James E Hamner II of Washington DC in memory of the late Sir Edward and Lady Hamner of Bettisfield Park, Flint. They are for unaccompanied choir and range from four to eight voice parts. Joseph Addison was a Fellow of Magdalen as is the composer.

(Text from Bernard Rose's original LP notes)

Magdalen College Choir
June 1981


John la Bouchardière
Jonathan Cropp
Iain Greenwood
Robert Hare
Cyril Harriss
Charles Lamb
Joseph Merricks
Robert Picken
Jonathan Powell
Daniel Sandford
Richard Stephens
Robert Stephens
Christopher Tierney (solos)
Jonathan Windsor
Philip Wulstan


Andrew Bushell
Charles Cozens
Leslie Robertson
Colin Wilson


Robin Green
Mark Hammond
Mark Hampton
Peter Harvey


David Barton
Richard Hammerton
Philip Judge
Simon Robey

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