LOCKDOWN ISLAND DISCS
We know music has a life-changing impact on performers and listeners. During these unusual and trying times of isolation, music can also have a powerful effect in bringing people together. Our intention is to brighten your day with a regular daily piece of choral music. These will be shared daily via our Twitter and Facebook pages. Don’t worry if you miss one as we’ll be including a full listing of all the chosen tracks and a link to each one below on this page. Please also follow our Lockdown blog here with news and interviews with the choir in isolation.
As there are now a lot of entries, follow these links to help find the date you need:
Charles Wood - Hail gladdening light
Recorded as part of our Earthrise concert in May 2019, in the Chapter House, York Minster. This 360 video and sound recording was made by "Sing from your seat"; you can scroll in your PC or move your device and look round the Chapter House. Enjoy!
Erik Esenwalds - Rivers of Light
Recorded as part of our Northern Lights concert in October 2019, in the Chapter House, York Minster.
Matthew Harris - Tell me where is fancy bred, Who is Sylvia
Two light-hearted Shakespeare songs for April Fools Day! Recorded in May 2014 in the National Centre for Early Music.
Thomas Tallis - In manus tuas
Recorded during Lent, March 2019, in the Chapter House.
John Wilbye - Draw on sweet night
From our 'Into Darkness' concert in March 2014. An emotionally varied madrigal, where 'sweet night' cures the pains of the day.
Rachmaninov - Bogorodiste Dyevo
This is another choir favourite, and this was recorded live in concert in February 2005,.
Victoria - Pueri Hebraeorum
A motet for Palm Sunday. This recording is featured on our CD 'Lamentations of Jeremiah'.
Monday 6 April
Victoria - Convertere Jerusalem ad Deum tuum
An extract from the conclusion of Victoria's first set of Lamentations for Holy Week. Recorded in March 2019. The whole work is featured on our CD 'Lamentations of Jeremiah'.
Macmillan - Woman, behold thy son
An extract from James Macmillan's "Seven Last Words of Christ".Recorded live in concert in York Minster, March 2011, with David Pipe (organ). The choir repeat the text with a chorale-like texture, while the accompaniment becomes ever-more frantic.
Stainer - The Crucifixion
Recorded live as an act of worship as part of our contribution to Holy Week in York Minster, in April 2015, with Jason Darnell (tenor), Andrew Thompson (bass) and David Pipe (organ).
Charpentier - Le Reniement de St Pierre
Charpentier's oratorio depicting the events of Maunday Thursday (the betrayal of St Peter). Recorded in the National Centre for Early Music, York, 2000 and included on our earliest CD 'Desolata Est'.
Lotti - Crucifixus
A piece enjoyed the world over, famous for its amazing harmonies.
Recorded in the Chapter House, York Minster, in March 2019
A piece enjoyed the world over, famous for its amazing harmonies.
Stainer - God so loved the world, from The Crucifixion
Our first try of a virtual performance, recorded in lockdown. First of many!
Tippett - Deep river, from A Child of our Time
Deep river is the final spiritual of Tippett's oratorio, and it offers a glimpse – but only that – of a ‘land where all is peace’. Featured on our disc 'In Pace' (2002).
Tchaikovsky - Now the powers of heaven
No 9 of Nine Sacred Pieces (1884/5), with an alternative text to the traditional Cherubic Hymn for the Lenten Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts during the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. Recorded live in concert in 2005.
Brahms - Lasset uns unser Herz
Movements from the motet Warum ist Licht gegeben (op. 74) . Recorded live in concert, March 2002, in the Chapter House, York Minster (some audio quality lost in transfer from original format) .
Philip Moore - Sanctus and Benedictus
Movements from the St John Mass, composed in 2000 for York Minster Choir's tour of the USA. Recorded in concert in October 2013, at St Olave's Church, and recorded by David Rose.
Vaughan Williams - The cloud-topped towers
To commemorate Shakespeare's anniversary day, Vaughan Williams' magical setting of Prospero's thoughts on mortality, from The Tempest. Recorded in concert in June 2002, in York Minster, recorded by Chris Barlow. Please click here for our Shakespeare playlist on Youtube.
Ben Rowarth - Where is thy God?
The winning entry of the National Centre for Early Music's Young Composer Award in 2012, when it was performed by The Ebor Singers. This performance was recorded in concert in April 2015, in the Chapter House, York Minster. Recording - David Rose.
Rachmaninoff: Cherubic Hymn
From the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom (Op 31). Recorded in concert, in the Chapter House, York Minster, February 2005. Recording - Chris Barlow.
Howells: Psalm 23
From Requiem (1932/3). The Requiem was written in the early 1930s but not performed until 1980. Later, Howells drew heavily from it for Hymnus Paradisi, his memorial to the nine-year-old son he lost to polio in 1935. Recorded live, February 2006, in the Bar Convent, York.
Anon: Kyrie (from the York Masses)
500 years separate Philip Moore's mass (Wednesday 22 April) an this anonymous Kyrie, included in a early-16th century repertoire which survived the Reformation by being used as binding of documents from York Minster's Consistory Court. Featured in our CD 'Mystery and Miracle' (2013).
Geistliches Lied (Sacred Song) is Brahms’ earliest accompanied choral work, composed in 1856 at the age of twenty-three. The poem by the chorale author Paul Flemming (1609-1640) considers the acceptance of fate and trust in God. Recorded live in concert in April 2015, in the Chapter House, York Minster.
Our second recording made in social isolation. Shortly before Lockdown we started recording project of American Christmas music, including music by Stephen Paulus. So we post this today thinking of everyone, but in particular of those in the United States. Stephen Paulus wrote “The Road Home” in 2001. The tune is based on a pentatonic folk tune “The Lone Wild Bird”. Michael Dennis Browne wrote the new words, which speak eloquently about "returning" and "coming home" after being lost or wandering. The words seem appropriate to perform in these strange moments, as we look forward to better times.
"I love my love" is a Cornish folksong made familiar by Gustav Holst's beautiful arrangement, and it is also a choir favorite! This recording was made when the choir were singing in the KulturSommer Festival in Germany in May 2009 (some audio quality lost in transfer from original format).
Moody studied for a PhD in composition at Music Department, York University. Eastern liturgical chant has had a profound influence on his music, as has the spirituality and liturgy of the Orthodox Church. Recorded live in concert, in the Chapter House, York Minster, February 2009, by David Rose.
Recorded live in concert, in St Georg, Nieder-Olm, May 2009, as part of Kultursommer Festival (some quality lost in transfer from original source). Translation: Free us, save us, justify us, O blessed Trinity.
For VE Day, we post the resplendent Sanctus from Duruflé's Requiem, a work first performed in 1947. Duruflé was one of several composers commissioned by the Vichy government during the war, and ultimately this was the work Duruflé produced, although it was eventually dedicated to the memory of his father, who died in 1945. For those who heard the many public performances in the immediate aftermath of the war, however, it became a memorial for the Frenchmen who had died for their country.
Live in concert, the Chapter House, York Minster, February 2005.
It is truly fitting to bless you, O Theotokos, ever-blessed and most pure and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim: without defilement you gave birth to God the Word: true Theotokos, we magnify you.
Macmiilan: The Gallant Weaver
James Macmillan's magical setting of Robert Burns' poem. Recorded live in concert, May 2009, in Kirchen, Germany in the KulturSommer Festival (some audio quality lost in transfer from original format).
Moore: First Hymn of Caedmon
Recorded live in concert, March 2011, in York Minster. Caedmon's Hymn is recognised as the earliest song in English. Caedmon was a pig-herder at Whitby Abbey under St Hilda, and had no knowledge of song. But one night, after a dream, he penned this song praising God's creation.
Byrd: Civitas sancti
recorded live in concert, in St Georg, Nieder-Olm, May 2009, as part of Kultursommer Festival (some quality lost in transfer from original source). Civitas sancti by William Byrd (c.1543-1623) is the second part of the motet Ne Irascaris, using text from Isaiah to reflect on the plight of Catholics who were forced to worship in secret.
Translation: Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
Kerry Andrew: Gloria, from the York Mass
recorded live in concert, in St Georg, Nieder-Olm, May 2009, as part of Kultursommer Festival (some quality lost in transfer from original source).
Working with composers has been a very rewarding aspect of our activity over the last 25 years, in particular when we have commissioned new pieces. Today's recording is the thrilling Gloria from the York Mass by Kerry Andrew, commissioned from us in 2008.
This is our 41st posting of music since lockdown, and relectantly it will be the last of our daily postings. We hope you have enjoyed our archives, and we will continue to share them. Thank you for your support, and please keep following us, as we have some exciting virtual plans on the way! There is also additional video content on our Youtube channel.