We have always worked to create the best listening experience on CD – using advanced microphones and equipment during the recording phase and ensuring the quality is maintained at every stage in production.
This website has a number of “previews” of the recordings available on the Herald AV Publication label which are in a “lossy”, or reduced quality form – encoded in low bitrate MP3 files.
As an experiment we are now making some recordings available in the FLAC, “Free Lossless Audio Codec” format which offers a significant improvement in playback quality. These files are available for download via the “Free!” page.
You will need to download and install an additional Audio Codec in order to listen to these files which is available here at the Xiph website. Please download the “Current Stable Version”!
HAVPCD345 – Catholic Collection II
I am delighted to support this wonderful recording of music by the Choirs of Leeds Cathedral, under the Director of Music, Benjamin Saunders. Below the altar in our Cathedral, we have the relics of two of the English Martyrs, who gave their lives for the Faith during the 16th Century. We are closely linked to the suffering Church through these two witnesses to the Truth, Blessed Peter Snow and Blessed Ralph Grimston, who were martyred in Yorkshire during penal times. Therefore it is a great joy that this recording will help the Catholic Charity, Aid to the Church in Need, in their work for those who are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. For in so many parts of the world today people are in need of the consoling love of Christ and the Resurrection hope that He offers us. I pray that this recording – which is a celebration of God’s love – will inspire all listeners in faith, hope and charity. May Our Lady, St Anne and all the martyrs encourage and strengthen us all.
HAVPCD344 – British Fantasies & Fanfares
This programme is happily not just another ‘English cathedral organ music’ compilation although elements within it may be familiar in that context. The key to the chemistry of the mix is the word ‘fantasy’. This term is one much used by composers of the early 20th century. It referred to compositions in one movement which drew their inspiration from the form of the same name of the first Elizabethan period and was much encouraged by Walter Cobbett (1847-1937) who founded an annual composition competition to encourage composers to write in the form. None of the works on this disc relate to that competition.
HAVPCD342 – Evensong for St Peter’s Day
Exeter became a cathedral city in 1050 when King Edward the Confessor came in person to install Leofric as the first Bishop of Exeter. We share with Westminster Abbey, both our founder, and our patron saint, St Peter. By tradition the festival of St Peter is held each year on June 29th. In medieval times the festival was marked by the lighting of a bonfire on the cathedral green and the making of shields. It has been suggested this may have been for Decani v. Cantoris horseback battles! Today the festival (without bonfires and battles) is attended by the Friends of Exeter Cathedral. Since 1929 the Friends have assisted the Dean and Chapter in preserving and improving the fabric and furnishings of this wonderful building together with its music and its archives, thereby helping to maintain the long tradition of worship and praise for years to come. This recording follows the traditional order of Evensong according to the Book of Common Prayer but with an added celebratory ‘Te Deum’.
HAVPCD341 – Pray the Rosary with Cardinal Newman
According to tradition, the Rosary devotion in its entirety was revealed to St Dominic by Our Lady herself. Sceptics have other theories, but it is certain that the cycle of 150 prayers, corresponding to the 150 Psalms, was promoted for the use of the laity by the late Middle Ages. The pattern of three sets of five meditations, reflecting the birth, death and resurrection of Christ as seen through the eyes of His Mother, is certainly very old, although it took time for the exact choice of meditations to become fixed, as it has remained for the last five hundred years. The essential facts of our Redemption were summarised in just those three moments, birth, death and resurrection (as they are in the writings of St Paul). The moods of joy,sorrow and glory are also the classic moods through which a life of prayer develops, as described in many spiritual writers. After the joy of first conversion comes the sorrow of the struggle with the various forms of difficulty in prayer, until the break-through into glory. Yet all three moods can co-exist in one person, as seen so dramatically in the life of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Radiating joy to those around her,she experienced deep sorrow in her solidarity with suffering humanity, at times unconscious of the heart of glory within her.
HAVPCD340 – Commotio – Night
Commotio is one of Oxford’s foremost chamber choirs, formed in August 1999 to provide a refreshing alternative to the more readily available repertoire offered by most other choral groups, primarily performing lesser-known material of the 20th and 21st centuries. Matthew Berry, the founder and conductor of the choir, enthusiastically promotes the work of a younger generation of composers, as well as bringing to the fore little-known works of more established writers. In December 2002 Commotio performed the world première of Pierre Villette’s Inviolata, and in June 2007 Night for Choir and Cello by Richard Allain. They have also performed UK premières of works by Jon Mostad, Peter Klatzow, and Frank Ferko. In June 2005, the choir recorded a CD of works by Peter Klatzow entitled Towards the Light (Herald HAVP316), receiving extremely positive reviews from Musical Opinion, International Record Review and Gramophone among many others. The choir has also contributed to a portfolio CD of works by the young British composer Thomas Hyde, to be released on Toccata Classics in 2008.
HAVPCD339 – Richard Pantcheff
Whilst internationally renowned as a composer in many genres, Richard Pantcheff has established a particular reputation as a specialist composer of Choral and Organ music. Many of his works have been commissioned and performed by the major Cathedral and College Choirs of the UK and Germany, including those of Salisbury, Winchester, St Paul’s, and Glasgow Cathedrals, as well as the choirs of Magdalen College and Lincoln College, Oxford, and the Clerks of Christ Church.
His music has been performed extensively in the UK, as well as in the USA, the Caribbean, Germany, Italy, and, most recently, New Zealand.
Much of his output for Organ has been published, distributed, and performed around the world, and his choral and organ works have been broadcast in the US, the UK, and the Caribbean. A large number of his compositions have appeared on commercially-released CDs, to wide critical acclaim, most recent of which has been the recording of Five Elizabethan Lyrics, on the SOMM label.
HAVPCD338 – Organ Works by Buxtehude & Jackson
At the forefront of British organ builders is the world-renowned N P Mander Ltd of London. Noel Mander, the firm’s founder, installed his first Cathedral organ in Sheffield Cathedral in 1966. The instrument was substantially completed to the agreed specification, but for its planned Nave Division, following almost ten years of discussion and vacillation. The final scheme was drawn up in November 1964 by Dr Francis Jackson, Master of the Music at York Minster, forwardlooking for its day, with features which were more common on continental instruments than could be found on English Cathedral organs of the time. The separate Nave division, playable on the Great or on the Positive manual, was added in 1969. This proved to be a superbly effective addition, with its excellent voicing by Ian Bell. The action throughout was electric; the pipework was voiced generally on low wind-pressure but for a somewhat anachronistic high-pressure Tuba rank.
HAVPCD337 – EDWARDIAN SPLENDOUR
The Edwardian era: the image that more than likely springs up, sepia-toned, before the mind’s eye is of moustachioed, stiff-backed men, ivoried parasols and tea on the lawn. If it was a period of recovery from the Boer Wars, of moral relaxation after strict Victorianism and of solid middle class prosperity, it was also a time of tense and febrile European relations. To some extent music covered its ears and continued heedless, preoccupied with the heady foibles of comfortable society. Yet at the same time sensitive and pensive artistic souls, shedding at least a portion of their Victorian emotional torpor, began to assert themselves through the depth and originality of the music, painting and literature. Parry and Elgar were the first musicians to begin to open their eyes to new possibilities.