THE HOME OF SPECIALIST MUSIC Supporting independent labels and artists from across the globe

O Sacrum Convivium

Compact Disc (Audio)
No of Discs:
Release Date:
Catalog Number:
O Sacrum Convivium
O Sacrum Convivium


When I first came across choral music by Phillip Cooke, I was captivated the consummate craftsmanship of his writing and by its expressive beauty. In 2013, King's College Chapel Choir gave the first performances of two motets by him, O lux beata Trinitas and O sacrum convivium, alongside his Veni Sancte Spiritus. The choir enjoyed singing this music, rising to its technical and musical challenges, so when it came to programming this recording, these three motets immediately sprang to mind. For the concert in 2013, we had been asked to include music by Thomas Tallis, and this juxtaposition of new and old led me to construct a programme combining world-premiere recordings of new music with familiar favourites. Phillip Cooke is a composer working in Aberdeen alongside Paul Mealor, whose music came to public prominence after his Ubi caritas was sung at the Royal Wedding in 2011. On this recording, we have included Mealor's Locus iste, composed in 2009 to mark the 500th anniversary of King's College Chapel. The University of Aberdeen draws choral composers from the world over, and the CD also contains very different pieces by American composers, John F. Hudson and Thomas LaVoy. My greatest challenge with this project was to concoct a programme of contrasting music from different centuries which has some sense of coherence. The music of what I call the 'Aberdeen School' of choral composition is placed at the beginning and the end. In between, works are presented in chronological order, with sections demarcated by organ music by J.S. Bach played on the wonderful 2004 organ by Bernard Aubertin, an instrument of international distinction. The polyphonic writing of the 16th century provides perhaps the greatest contrast to the contemporary repertoire, yet approaches to its performance can be just as fresh and invigorating. In our performances, we have used the information suggested by the original mensuration signs (equivalent to time signatures) to form judgements about tempo and the phrasing of individual lines. A sequence of 17th-century music sandwiches a simple, direct piece by Purcell in between two complex, eight-part works that share a key and inhabit the same emotional world as the organ fantasia by Bach which follows. Stainer's God so loved the world then offers a sense of hope with its text and brighter key. For me, Bach's great mastery is as apparent in his smaller-scale works for the organ as in his larger-scale pieces. I have chosen chorale settings that reflect the seasons of the year, and have used them to provide a natural transition from one section to the next. David J. Smith


  1. Name
  2. Phillip Cooke: O Lux Beata Trinitas
  3. Phillip Cooke: Veni Sancte Spiritus
  4. Phillip Cooke: O Sacrum Convivium
  5. J. S. Bach: Vom Himmel Hoch, Da Komm Ich Her (BWV 701)
  6. Thomas Tallis: If Ye Love Me
  7. Thomas Tallis: O Nata Lux
  8. Tomas Luis de Victoria: O Magnum Mysterium
  9. Tomas Luis de Victoria: O Quam Gloriosum
  10. Thomas Tallis: Hosanna To The Son Of David
  11. J. S. Bach: Meine Seele Erhebt Den Herren (Fugue On The Magnificat)
  12. Henry Purcell: Hear My Prayer
  13. Henry Purcell: Thou Knowest, Lord, The Secrets Of Our Hearts
  14. Antonio Lotti: Crucifixus
  15. J. S. Bach: Fantasia In C Minor (BWV 562)
  16. John Stainer: God So Loved The World
  17. Charles Villiers Stanford: Justorum Animae
  18. John Tavener: The Lamb
  19. Paul Mealor: Locus Iste
  20. J. S. Bach: O Mensch, Bewein' Dein Sünde Gro 3B2 (BWV 622)
  21. John F. Hudson: Ukrainian Carol
  22. Thomas LaVoy: Ave Maris Stella
In stock

Fast delivery & returns worldwide

In stock
Search engine powered by ElasticSuite