Advent Carol Service (St John’s College, Cambridge): James MacMillan, Simon Beattie, Jonathan Dove, John McCabe – The last and greatest herald (World Première) & Peter Wishart

A new church year is upon us, and with it comes the first choral broadcast for the season of Advent. Yesterday, Radio 3 broadcast the Advent Carol Service live from the Chapel of St John’s College, Cambridge, the choir of which has a deservedly high reputation. They’re also innovative; about 6 weeks ago, they became the first choir of this kind to make their services available as weekly webcasts; for more information go here.

The service featured several interesting contemporary pieces. James MacMillan‘s A New Song is one of his most emphatically melodious anthems; its blend of high solemnity yielding to radiance is just right for Advent. Simon Beattie‘s Advent Calendar is broadcast here for the first time; it’s an interesting piece, not entirely successful, as it lacks a clear sense of direction, but with some nicely-judged poignant harmonic writing. Jonathan Dove‘s I am the day is a simple, delicate confection with a curious patchwork quality, weaving fragments that each sound familiar yet become something new; i like it.

John McCabe‘s stirring new anthem bears the impressive title The last and greatest herald. It introduced a perfectly-timed clamour into the service, nicely mirroring the jarring quality that prophecy inevitably brings. The conclusion of the service included Peter Wishart‘s boistrous Alleluya! A new work is come on hand, which alternates quite wildly between emphatic, strident outcries and marginally softer descending passages, resembling a rather manic peal of bells.

James MacMillan – A New Song

FLAC [20Mb]

Simon Beattie – Advent Calendar

FLAC [10Mb]

Jonathan Dove – I am the day

FLAC [23Mb]

John McCabe – The last and greatest herald (World Première)

FLAC [25Mb]

Peter Wishart – Alleluya! A new work is come on hand

FLAC [10Mb]

Posted on by 5:4 in Advent & Christmas, Premières, Seasonal
Tags: , , , ,

3 Responses to Advent Carol Service (St John’s College, Cambridge): James MacMillan, Simon Beattie, Jonathan Dove, John McCabe – The last and greatest herald (World Première) & Peter Wishart

  1. autumnia

    Hi, I got here via your post on Livejournal. Thank you for sharing this and providing a summary of it! I’ll be taking this later.

  2. scroft20

    Thank you, so much I saw replying on Iplayer having this service and it not. A 100 thank you

  3. Anonymous

    Hello, I really am grateful for this, but do you think you could upload parts 1 and 3 of this service which have expired? I would love to hear them!
    Thank you very much!
    Peter

Reply to scroft20

Anti-Spam Quiz: