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Ian King: Music for Gloucester Cathedral

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Catalogue No: SOMMCD 0649
Release Date: 18/03/2022
Number of Discs: 1
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SOMM Recordings is delighted to announce the first recordings of church music by Ian King composed for, and performed by, Gloucester Cathedral Choir.

Led by the Cathedral’s Director of Music, Adrian Partington, with Nia Llewelyn Jones, conductor of the Girls’ Choristers, and Assistant Director of Music Jonathan Hope as organist, the choir presents first recordings of 11 works composed between 2012 and 2020 by Ian King. All were first performed in the imposing surroundings of Gloucester Cathedral, where this recording was made in June 2021.

Ian King died shortly before the sessions took place but had worked closely with Adrian Partington in planning this recording and was delighted that these choral works were to be committed to disc by the choir for which they were written.

The programme includes the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis commissioned for the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival in 2016, a setting of the St. John Passion, specifically designed for liturgical use, and a wonderfully atmospheric realisation of Carol Ann Duffy’s poem, The Christmas Truce.

Adrian Partington commented: “I believe that in time Ian King will be recognized as a significant composer of Anglican Church Music. It has been a privilege for me to conduct all these wonderful works; I am delighted that the Gloucester Cathedral Choir has made their premiere recordings. These, and the rest of Ian’s choral output, deserve to be widely known and performed. I hope our recording will bring them to the attention of other conductors and choirs.”

This disc continues the relationship between SOMM Recordings and Gloucester Cathedral Choir. Their premiere recording of Ian Venables’ Requiem, with shorter pieces by Ivor Gurney, John Joubert and John Sanders (SOMMCD 0618) was hailed by BBC Music Magazine as “highly commendable… luminous and majestic”, by the Daily Telegraph as “subtle but gripping”, while Choir & Organ’s five-star review declared it “intensely beautiful”.

On This Recording

    The Gloucester Service

  1. Magnificat
  2. Nunc dimittis
  3. We beseech Thee, Almighty God (Collect for the Fifth Sunday of Lent)
  4. O clap your hands
  5. O God who by the leading of a star (Collect for Epiphany)
  6. Jubilate
  7. The Gloucester Girls' Service

  8. Magnificat
  9. Nunc dimittis
  10. Almighty and everliving God (Collect for Candlemas)
  11. The Christmas Truce
  12. God, who as at this time (Collect for Whitsunday)
  13. The St. John Passion

  14. After Jesus had spoken these words
  15. So the soldiers
  16. Then they took Jesus
  17. Then Pilate took Jesus
  18. So they took Jesus
  19. Meanwhile, standing near the cross
  20. Since it was the day of the Preparation
  21. Almighty God, give us grace ( Collect for the first Sunday in Advent)

Reviews:

“Until it was suggested to me in 2020 that I might interview Ian King I was ignorant of his music. Since then, I’ve listened to it a great deal – including to pieces not included on this CD – and I’ve come to esteem it very highly. … Some of these pieces have especial stature: The Christmas Truce is an imaginative and moving piece; The St John Passion is a notable addition to the Lenten liturgical repertoire; and The Gloucester Service is, I think, among the very finest recent settings of the Evening Canticles. … Every piece on this CD is here recorded for the first time and Ian King’s music was in the safest hands. Jonathan Hope’s organ contributions are unfailingly excellent. The members of the Gloucester Cathedral Choir have clearly taken this music to their hearts: they sing with skill and great commitment. Adrian Partington clearly believes in this music and directs the performances with flair and attention to detail… Ian King’s music deserves widespread attention. This excellent CD is an ideal introduction to his work.” —John Quinn, MusicWeb International