Directed by Brian Armfield
with CARLO CURLEY — organ
1. Rejoice O my spirit - Bach (2:27) Choir
2. Panis Angelicus - Franck (3:11) Choir
3. Litany to the Holy Spirit - Hurford (2:39)
Solo: Andrew MacDougall Choir
4. Sortie - Lefébure-Wély (3:42) Organ
5. All things bright and beautiful - Rutter (2:11) Choir
6. Gaelic Blessing - Rutter (1:50) Choir
7-14 Eight pieces for musical clock - Haydn (6:37) Organ
15. Berceuse - Fauré (3:25) Organ
16. In paradisum - Fauré (3:12) Choir
17. Pie Jesu - Fauré (2:32)
Solo: Lloyd Nail
18. Clair de lune - Vierne (7:32) Organ
19. Personent Hodie - Holst (2:29) Choir
20. Nativity Carol - Rutter (3:50)
Solo: James Kaminski Choir
21. Lullay myn liking - Holst (3:08)
Solos: James Young-Jamieson and Thomas Burnell-Nugent Choir
22. O little town of Bethlehem - Walford Davies (3:25)
Solo: Alick Mildmay-White Choir
23. Shepherd's Pipe Carol - Rutter (3:06) Choir
24. Fanfare in D - Lemmens (2:50) Organ
1. Rejoice O My Spirit - Bach (1685-1750)
This charming aria comes from Cantata 15. Bach wrote most of his cantatas whilst Organist at St Thomas in Leipzig.
2. Panis Angelicus - Franck (1822-1890)
Franck’s compositions varied a great deal. As well as a highly accomplished orchestral writer, he was a fine organist - his three Chorals for organ being among the most well-known in the organ repertoire. Panis Angelicus has become very popular as a solo and choral item.
3. Litany to the Holy Spirit - Hurford (b. 1930)
Peter Hurford is well-known as an organ recitalist - including an acclaimed reputation in the performance of Bach’s music. He was also, for many years, Organist and Master of the Music at St Alban’s Cathedral in Hertfordshire.
4. Sortie -Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély (1817-1870)
A Graduate of the Paris Conservatoire, he studied with Benoist (as did Franck) and went on to succeed his father as organist of Saint-Roch. After a ten-year tenure there, he assumed the post of organist at the Madeleine, after which he took up the post at Saint-Sulpice. His Sortie is a rollicking offering, certainly more of a “profane” recital piece as opposed to a sacred work. Here the full organ is exploited to the fullest, crowned by the super “Father Willis” reeds.
5. All things bright and beautiful 6. Gaelic Blessing - Rutter (b. 1945)
The two pieces written by John Rutter illustrate his easy lyrical style and his choral music has now become an integral part of the choral repertoire for this reason. The instant ear-catching melodies, together with attractive and colourful accompaniments make these pieces very popular with the Chapel Choir members.
7—14. Eight Pieces for musical clocks - Haydn (1732-1809)
1. Minuet 2. Allegretto 3. Allegro 4. Minuet 5. Presto 6. Menuet - Allegretto 7. Allegretto 8. Marche
Haydn wrote approximately thirty pieces for the flute-clock. Those represented here were composed between 1772 and 1793 and utilize the lighter registers of the organ’s comprehensive specification.
The listener will discover Carlo’s singing bird-cage in operational mode in the latter part of piece no 6 Minuet - Allegretto.
15. Berceuse - Gabriél Fauré(1845-1924)
Faure served as organist at the Madeleine and as Professor of composition at the Paris Conservatoire. A perfect example of his lyrical, impressionistic writing must surely be the delicate Berceuse, whose transcription by the brilliant organist, Edouard Connilette is heard here. Among his most well-known pupils were Roger-Ducasse and Ravel.
16. In Paradisum
17. Pie Jesu - from Requiem - Fauré.
The Requiem by Fauré is very much one of the most well-known and popular among choral societies. It contains many beautiful tunes as well as the music’s ability to be equally successfully accompanied by orchestra or organ. The work was originally written for boys’ voices.
18. Clair de lune (No 5 from Deuxième Suite - Pièces de Fantaisie) - Louis Vierne (1870 - 1937)
Vierne served for many years as organist at Notre Dame de Paris. His Clair de lune is dedicated to the American organ builder, Ernest M. Skinner and highlights several of the instrument’s lovely solo registers (harmonic flute, clarinet) accompanied by the soft, undulating string and string celeste voices.
19. Personent Hodie - Holst (1874-1934), 20. Nativity Carol - Rutter,
21. Lullay myn liking - Holst, 22. O little town of Bethlehem - Walford Davies (1869-1941)
23. Shepherd’s pipe Carol - Rutter
All three composers featured in the Christmas section of the CD have great reputations as choral conductors . Their Christmas compositions reflect their ability to capture the simple message of the Nativity. Gustav Holst, more well-known for such pieces as the Planets Suite was for some lime Director of Music at St Paul’s Girls’ School in London. Walford Davies was highly respected in his time as Organist at the Temple church in London. John Rutter has charge of one of the leading choirs in this country - the Cambridge Singers.
24. Fanfare in D -Jacques Lemmens (1823-1881)
Lernmens was appointed professor at Brussels Conservatoire in 1849 and exercised great influence over future generations of organists. His thrilling Fanfare in D is his bestl known composition and brings the full resources of tlie Torrington organ into play.
Mount House School is an Independent Prep School in Tavistock on the edge of Dartmoor. The school has 185 pupils in the main school and 50 in the Pre-Prep departmerit. Pupils are prepared for Public Schools locally and also throughout the country. The boarding element of the school is very strong with over half the pupils being full boarders. In the latest edition of The Good Schools Guide, the school was highly commended for its traditional but caring and friendly atmosphere.
Music at the School is strongly encouraged with almost all pupils learning an instrument and over 100 children singing in the five choirs. The Chapel Choir featured on this recording consists of 20 boy trebles and supported by altos, tenors and basses drawn mainly from staff and parents. The Chapel Choir leads the singing on Sunday in the school’s Sunday Service.
The Chapel Choir sings also at venues outside the school, including an Annual Concert at Buckfast Abbey and recitals at local Churches. As the choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music, many boys take the external singing exams run by the Diocese. Currently, 9 boys have awards.
Choristers taking part in the recording:
Carlo Curley is well-established as a world-famous organ performer. Appearances include all the main Concert Halls in the world - in this country The Royal Albert Hall, Festival Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey as well as all the major Cathedrals are among his venues. His style has also caught the fancy of such distinguished people as the President of the USA, for whom he has given a concert in the White House, and Princess Grace of Monaco as well as Princess Anne.
His aim is to bring to the public the view that organ music can be a very attractive musical medium. He is in great demand for television and radio programmes - his extrovert style of discussion has led to appearances on the Wogan Show, Desert Island Discs, Songs of Praise as well as chat shows in USA.
Such is his appeal, he is constantly in demand in other countries too, Particularly in Japan, Russia and Scandinavia. He is managed exclusively by PVA Management Ltd.
David Bailey has been one of the world’s most prestigious photographers for a number of years. Since coming to fame in 1959 as photographer for British, American, French and Italian Vogue, he has made a name for himself in a variety of styles. He has won numerous awards in Cannes and America and he won the D&AD President’s award in London in 1998. As well as photographs, he has produced and directed films including the 1995 film The Lady is a Tramp written and directed by him and featuring his wife, Catherine.
Exhibitions of his work have been featured in leading galleries throughout the world. The photograph of the Chapel Choir in front of Mount House was taken by him in June 1999.
Mount House School wish to thank the Vicar and Churchwardens of St Michael and All Angels, Great Torrington for the use of the Church for the recording. Special thanks also to Messrs Don Mittle and John Downing for their personal help and advice.
Interview: Carlo Curley - In His Own Words.