Thy voice, o Harmony, is divine (2009)

A cappella SSATB
Commissioned by Magdalen College School, Oxford

First performance 3 July, 2009  |  The Choir of Magdalen College School  |  Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

Commissioned in the year of Haydn’s bi-centenary to celebrate his visit to Oxford.

Thy voice, o Harmony, is divine was commissioned by Magdalen College School to celebrate the Bicentenary of Haydn’s death and the composer’s association with Oxford. It was first performed on 1 July 2009 by the Oxford Sixth Choir, conductor Jon Cullen, in the Sheldonian Theatre Oxford as part of the MCS Arts Festival. Also performed at the same concert were works by Handel and Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis (Nelson Mass) by the Hanover Band, conductor Paul Brough.
The London premiere was given by the Esterhazy Singers, conductor Esther Jones, on 4 November 2009 at St Giles Cripplegate, Barbican, London.

This work is inspired by a little piece written by Haydn for the award ceremony in the Sheldonian Theatre at which he received his honorary doctorate from Oxford University. Haydn’s Canzone à tre was composed as a round in a clever setting of the words, Thy voice, o Harmony, is divine, which could be turned upside down and sung backwards, simultaneously. The words are attributed to the Haydn.

The phrase shapes of this motet, Thy voice, o Harmony, is divine, derive in some way from Haydn’s Canzone, unfolding and overlapping between the voices. The central section presents a homophonic reference to the Haydn’s round with text and notes set in palindromic fashion. The conclusion of the motet dissolves into repeated, lingering phrases which melt into the air. The text is taken from the Haydn Canzone.

The Loving Memory (2016)

SATB & organ
Text: Seán Street
Duration: 4′
Oxford University Press
Commissioned by Magdelen College School for the Commeroration of Benefactors
First performance 2 July 2016 | University Church, Oxford, UK | Jon Cullen, conductor

This joyous, upbeat anthem sets a compelling poem by contemporary poet Seán Street in response to a text by sixteenth-century Bishop of Norwich John Parkhurst on the subject of ‘alma mater’.

Programme note

Review available

Link to Score:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-loving-memory-9780193514461

Link to recording:

The Presence (2016)

SSAATTBB unaccompanied
Text: Various Psalms
Duration: 5′
Oxford University Press
Commissioned by Helen Godfrey in memory of her parents, Bishop Reginald Foskett, formerly Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, and Mrs Daphne Foskett, for Duncan Ferguson and the Choir of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh

First performance 27 November 2016 | Choir of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh | Duncan Ferguson, conductor

Programme note

Link to Score:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-presence-9780193511989

Link to recording:

The St Albans Service (ssa) (2013)

SSA and organ
Evening Canticles – Mag and Nunc for upper voices
Gemini Publications (2013)
First performance 14 November, 2012, St Albans Girls Choir, St Albans Abbey, Tim Winpenny, conductor
Commissioned by Nicholas Jardine

Link to Score:

Link to recording:

Towards the morning (2008)

Text: Psalm 139
A cappella SSATB
Duration: 5′
Gemini Publications
Commissioned by Berkhamsted Collegiate School for Head Teacher, Dr Priscilla Chadwick

Link to Score:

Link to recording: