The choristers who are The Anglican Singers have a deep interest in music of the English choral tradition. Much of the finest music of this tradition, spanning half a millennium, is found in the Anglican service of choral evensong. Since 1996, the independently organized Anglican Singers have been artists-in-residence at St. James Episcopal Church, New London, CT.
The following are selections from our services of Choral Evensong and Lessons and Carols for Advent. Unless otherwise noted all selections recorded live at St. James Episcopal Church, New London CT.
|Let all mortal flesh keep silence -Edward C. Bairstow (1874-1946)
Set to the Liturgy of St. James – an offertory hymn sung as the Eucharistic Elements are brought to the altar. Bairstow has utilized non-Western tonal modalities to create an intensely numinous motet that complements the mystical language of the St. James Liturgy. Recorded at St. Thomas's Church, New Haven with the Adult Choir of St. Thomas's Church.
|Lord, let me know mine end -Maurice Greene (1696-1755)
A contemporary of G.F. Handel – it has been said that Greene “was the one [native] English composer of the period who undoubtedly deserves the honour of being mentioned in the same breath with the great masters of the Continent.”
|Unto us a child is born - Peter Niedmann (b. 1960)
The Anglican Singers were honored to premiere this carol in December 2012 by New London native Peer Niedmann. Portions of the macaronic text are taken from a Christmas poem composed by William Dunbar (c. 1460-c. 1520), one of Scotland’s greatest poets, whose works figure large in that country’s recent literary renaissance. Its mystical verses also foreshadow the compositions of one of the preeminent metaphysical poets of the next century, Richard Crashaw (1613-1649).
|And the glory of the Lord - G. F. Handel (1685-1759)
Handel's "And the Glory of the Lord", from the Christmas portion of his Baroque masterpiece, Messiah, is bold and brassy: a celebration of the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy of redemption.
|Adam lay in bondage - Conrad Sousa (b. 1935)
"Adam lay in bondage" is a catchy rendition of the anonymous 14th-century carol – not as familiar perhaps as Boris Ord's setting, but delightful in its cheerful, quirky syncopation.
My beloved spake - Patrick Hadley (1899-1973)
With text taken from the Book of Solomon "song of Songs", the allegorical depiction of a young woman and a young man coming toward one another from afar to wed and consummate their love is tantalizing. Hadley superbly grafts onto these onomatopoeic words the lush, sinuous texture of his musical phrasing.
|Hear Us, O Hear US, Lord - Lee Hoiby (1926-2011)
Wisconsin native Lee Hoiby died inMarch 2011, shortly before the Anglican Singers performed his anthem “At the round earth’s imagined corners” at Christ Church Cathedral, Springfield, Massachusetts. An advocate of the abiding principles of harmony and melody, he bucked the prevailing orthodoxy to write music that, while not in the least derivative, is informed by a timeless and time-tested beauty and power that resonate deeply in the heart and soul.
|Magnificat in D - Herbert Brewer (1865-1928)
Brewer ushered in the renaissance of an English musical tradition that, lamentably, had lapsed since the time of Henry Purcell. In his Service in D, the character of the Magnificat is vigorous and triumphant
| Nunc dimittis in D - Herbert Brewer (1865-1928)
Nunc dimittis – as befits the text – is introspective and tranquil, until the recapitulated Gloria, which broadens and swells to a resplendent climax.
|Lo, How a Rose e'er Blooming - Hugo Distler (1908-1942)
Hugo Distler composed The Christmas Story chorale motet taking for his motif the beloved sixteenth-century tune “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” (“Lo, how a rose e’er blooming”). The Anglican Singers are singing the first two verses of this charming work, which, in its entirety, consists of storytelling verses sung by single and double choir, interspersed with a setting of the Magnificat.
|The Truth From Above - Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
One of the most popular traditional carols arranged by the premier collector and interpreter of English folk tunes.