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A Crown of Light

A Crown of Light cover picture

Choral and Organ music from The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St. Alban With the Cathedral Choir

Director: Barry Rose
Organ: Andrew Parnell
Light out of darkness Sir Edward Elgar
Holy is the true light Sir William Harris The Nicene Creed (from the Communion Service in F) Harold Darke
A tender shoot Otto Goldschmidt
The Sussex Carol ("On Christmas night") Traditional English, arr Philip Ledger
Nunc Dimittis (from the Service in C minor) Sir George Dyson

The Canticle of the Rose Alan Ridout
(Commissioned by Laporte plc for the unveiling of the new Rose Window, September 1989)
God the Father
God the Son
God the Spirit

Psalm 150 ("O praise God in his holiness") Chant by the Rev George Talbot
The Lord bless you and keep you John Rutter
Lord, thou hast been our refuge Ernest Walker
The Lord's Prayer (from "In terra Pax") Frank Martin
O nata lux de lumine Thomas Tallis
Hail! gladdening light! Charles Wood

Total playing time 66m 08s

A Crown of Light

A Crown of Light

On Sept 26th 1989, during a service of great splendour, Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales unveiled the new Rose Window, commissioned and donated by Laporte plc to celebrate their centenary. Designed and executed by Alan Younger, the theme of this, one of the largest Rose Windows in the United Kingdom, was described in the order of service in this way:

"It is by means of symbolism, particularly that of geometry and light, that the Rose Window speaks of God and his Creation. Through the extensive use of mdiaeval number symbolism, the window suggests a variety of themes, among them, God the Holy Trinity, the Twelve Apostles (twelve being the number of the universal church), the heavenly city and the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. Using the language of mystical symbolism, three (the Holy Trinity) multiplied by four (the elements) has traditionally represented the infusion of matter with spirit".

As the new light flooded into the Abbey, specially composed music by Alan Ridout was played on the organ, followed by the choir singing psalm 150 to a chant by the Reverend George Talbot. The whole of Alan Ridout's Suite - entitled The Canticle of the Rose - is here recorded for the first time, together with that setting of Psalm 150; and just as Light was the predominant theme in that great service, so it is in the music on this record - the gladdening light, the true light, the light out of darkness, the light to lighten the Gentiles and the light of his countenance.

All these variations on that theme are brought together in music that spans many styles and periods, some being presented on record for the first time. We hope you will find something which you will specially like and which will remind you of this great Cathedral and Abbey Church, which contains the Shrine of England's first martyr, St. Alban, now further enriched with the new great Rose Window, which gives this anthology its appropriate title of "A Crown of Light".

Recorded in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St. Alban in Jan/Feb 1990 in association with Laporte plc.

Produced by Malcolm Archer, James Whitbourn and Sean Farrell
Recorded and edited by Lance Andrews
Cover designed by Parallel Motion and donated by Laporte plc