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|Disk Title||Personent Hodie|
|Music for Christmas – Ealing Abbey Choir|
|Soloists||Simon Hogan (Organ)|
|Location||Ealing Abbey, London|
|Date Recorded||February 2010|
There are few professional Catholic Church Choirs in London; even fewer have boy choristers, but only one serves a monastic community: in this case, the monastery of St Benedict at Ealing in West London. For a century the Abbey Choir has been deepening and enhancing the worship and prayer of those who come to St Benedict’s. I am very proud of our musical tradition here at Ealing, and I warmly support and encourage the valuable work that has been done by the Abbey Choir in this recording to support Aid to the Church in Need. The Christmas message, which is so beautifully sung in this CD, reminds us of the call to peace and reconciliation in our world. This is the mission of the Church and the special work of Aid to the Church in Need in its support for persecuted and oppressed Christians around the world. All involved in this valuable work have my appreciation, encouragement and prayers.
Rt. Revd. Martin Shipperlee, OSB
Christopher Eastwood began his musical studies as a chorister at Westminster Cathedral, under the direction of James O’Donnell. In addition to the Cathedral’s daily services, Christopher also sang for concerts and television and radio broadcasts as well as numerous recordings.
Christopher read music at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he was the Senior Organ Scholar with responsibility for the choir and the music in the college chapel. In 2001 Christopher toured with the college choir to the North of England and then to Venice in 2003. During this period he also directed the choir in a recording of music by the Wesley family, which was released in 2003 to favourable reviews. During his time at Oxford, Christopher maintained an active interest in singing, especially with the early music group, Magdala, directed by David Skinner, and on recordings of the music of Orlando Gibbons, and the soundtrack for the BBC’s Blue Planet series with Magdalen College Choir.
||02:40||A maiden most gentle French||arr Andrew Carter|
||02:38||I sing of a maiden||Lennox Berkeley|
||02:59||A Hymn to the Virgin||Benjamin Britten|
||04:19||Nun komm, der Heiden heiland BWV659||J S Bach|
||02:32||Canite tuba||Francisco Guerrero|
||02:58||I wonder as I wander Trad||arr Andrew Carter|
||02:48||Personent hodie German||arr Gustav Holst|
||02:54||This is the truth from above Trad||arr Ralph V Williams|
||04:06||Bethlehem Down||Peter Warlock|
||01:11||In dulci jubilo BWV608||J S Bach|
||03:05||A spotless rose||Herbert Howells|
||04:19||Of the Father’s love begotten||Trad arr Chris Eastwood|
||04:07||Christe redemptor||Chant arr Matthew Martin|
||03:06||Sans Day carol||Cornish arr John Rutter|
||04:16||Wie schön leuchtet BWV739||J S Bach|
||03:52||Away in a manger||Trad arr Chris Eastwood|
||01:29||Sir Christèmas||William Matthias|
Born and educated in Bristol, Simon Hogan is currently studying organ performance at the Royal College of Music under David Graham. His passion for cathedral music began when he became a chorister at St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. He later returned as an Organ Student, before taking up the organ scholarship at Bristol Cathedral. In September 2007 Simon began a year as Organ Scholar at Salisbury Cathedral. During his time there he regularly accompanied the cathedral choir, gave recitals on the renowned Willis organ, and worked in the Cathedral School.
On leaving Salisbury, Simon took up a scholarship to read Music at the Royal College of Music. He is currently Organist of Ealing Abbey Choir, where he is responsible for accompanying the Abbey Choir and assisting the Director of Music in the training of the choristers. He combines this with the organ scholarship at King’s College, London.
Ealing Abbey Choir was founded in 1911 by Dom Cyril Rylance (1880–1958), a monk of the monastery, coming into existence as the Catholic Church in England was rediscovering its musical heritage through the works of Renaissance composers and Gregorian chant. The choir’s repertoire of Gregorian chant and Latin polyphony is now enhanced by the inclusion of many works by twentieth century composers such as Howells, Duruflé, Messiaen, Taverner and Jonathan Dove.
The Abbey Choir consists of treble choristers and six professional lay clerks. The choristers are all pupils of St Benedict’s School, Ealing, where they are musically active, and each receives scholarships for singing and instrumental lessons.
The Choir’s principal commitment revolves around the liturgy in the Abbey Church each week and especially during Christmas and Easter. Outside of the liturgy the choir is extremely active. Recently the choir has recorded Bruckner’s motets with ‘Herald’, toured Barcelona, Switzerland, Rome and Strasbourg to great acclaim, and given concert performances of Bach’s St John Passion, Handel’s Messiah, and Orff’s Carmina Burana at Cadogan Hall.