Info & track listings
ST CHAD’S CATHEDRAL MUSIC DEPARTMENT
St Chad’s Cathedral Choir dates from 1841, when the Cathedral was opened. In 1854, John Hardman set up an endowment for the choir, the first English catholic choir to be supported in this way. From 2000, a professional adult choir of around 20 voices has sung at most of the principal services in the Cathedral. The main service is the Sunday 11.00am Solemn Mass, and the choir’s repertoire ranges from plainsong and polyphony to music of the present day.
St Chad’s Cathedral organ was built in 1993 and opened in 1994. It had become obvious in the mid 1980s that work on the organ was essential, and it was decided that a radical solution to the various problems of siting and acoustic with regard to organ and choir would be sought. Nicolas Kynaston was appointed Organ Consultant in 1988, and after competitive tenders had been obtained, the firm of J W Walker & Sons was commissioned at the end of 1990 to build the new instrument. The decision was soon taken to place the new instrument in the west gallery, as Pugin originally intended and it was also decided very early on that the new organ would have mechanical action as this is more durable and sensitive for the player.
The tonal scheme is very much repertoire-inspired and a product of mainstream European organ culture, as in the Catholic liturgy, the organ often has a more prominent solo role and a less important accompanying role than in some other traditions. The St Chad’s instrument was the first large mechanical organ in the West Midlands. The disposition of the new organ within the case is very traditional: the Great occupies the centre of the main case with the Swell above the Pedal department divided in towers on either side; the Positive is on the front of the gallery, behind the player’s back.
This classical layout and the clear choruses on all four divisions make it suitable for music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, whilst versatility is ensured as the principals (diapasons) on each department are complemented by a variety of colourful stops, including those required by the baroque French tradition and by the grand nineteenth century Cavaillé-Coll school. The tonal finishing is by Michael Butler and the organ case and gallery were designed by David Graebe in late medieval style.
|1||4.39||Once in Royal david's City||arr Saint and Willcocks|
|4||3.21||O little town of Bethlehem||Trad, arr RVW/Armstrong|
|5||2.33||Hodie,Christus natus est||Sweelinck|
|6||1.44||Patapan||de la Monnoye|
|8||1.21||Puer nobis nascitur||arr. Editors|
|10||3.15||Angels we have heard on high||harm RR Terry, arr Saint|
|11||3.15||Lullay, my liking||Holst|
|12||3.39||O magnum mysterium||Victoria|
|13||2.09||Away in a manger (2nd Tune)||Trad, arr. Jaques|
|14||4.14||In the bleak midwinter||Darke|
|16||3.29||In dulci jubilo||Scheidt|
|17||2.58||Silent night||arr. Sargent|