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A Celebration In Music

A Celebration In Music cover picture

The choirs of Jesus College Cambridge

Director: Duncan Aspden
Organ: Greg Morris
Pange lingua gloriosi 6th century
Ave Maria William Cornysh
O God, thou art my God Henry Purcell
I wonder as I wander Richard Lloyd
Jubilate Deo Richard Dering
Antiphon Benjamin Britten
Praeludium in G organ Nicolaus Bruhns
Lord thou hast been our refuge Ralph Vaughan Williams
Litany to the Holy Spirit Peter Hurford

O praise God in his holiness Henry Purcell

Cantata for Jesus College Francis Grier
We beseech thee O Lord
My heart is inditing
Merciful Lord, we beseech thee

Total playing time 72m 00s

A Celebration In Music

The Choirs of Jesus College Cambridge

When John Alcock, Bishop of Ely, visited the Benedictine nunnery of St Radegund, he found only two nuns remaining - it is alleged - one of great age, the other pregnant. In 1496 he dissolved the convent and founded on the same site 'The College of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint John the Evangelist, and the Glorious Virgin Saint Radegund', from its first days commonly called Jesus College. The existing nunnery buildings, including the twelfth century Chapel and surrounding Cloister Court, were incorporated into the new college and are thus the oldest collegiate buildings in Cambridge. Together with the College, Alcock (pictured on the cover) founded a chantry and grammar school to provide music for Chapel worship. Following the Reformation, the school was closed, and apart from a brief period between 1634 and 1642, services were conducted without music until 1849. In this year, a choir on the Cathedral model was introduced on the initiative of one of the fellows, Sir John Sutton, who also made the gift of a new organ by Bishop. The college's decision to become co-residential in the late 1970s led to the formation of the Mixed Choir in 1982, to operate in conjunction with the now long-established choir of men and boys; the Gentlemen being common to both. The boys are all drawn from local schools, and come to college four times each week for services and rehearsals. The adult singers are principally Choral Exhibitioners of Jesus College who, in addition to singing the Chapel services, are reading for a degree (in a wide variety of subjects) given by the University. The choirs are recruited, administered and directed by two organ scholars. A number of former holders of the post have proceded to distinguished careers in church music, among them Peter Hurford (international organ recitalist), Richard Lloyd (former Organist of Hereford and Durham Cathedrals; composer), John Turner (former Organist of Glasgow Cathedral), Malcolm Archer (former Organist of Bristol Cathedral, now of Wells Cathedral) and James O'Donnell (Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral).

Recorded in the Chapel of Jesus College, Cambridge on 26, 28, 29 June 1996 by kind permission of the Master and Fellows

Produced by Andrew Gant and Francis Grier
Recorded and edited by Lance Andrews