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The Choir of LLANDAFF CATHEDRAL
Aaron Shilson – Organ
Directed by Stephen Moore
For this latest release in Regent’s collectable ‘A Year at…’ series we travelled to Llandaff Cathedral to showcase the choir there under the expert direction of Stephen Moore. There has been a Christian presence in Llandaff from the time of Saint Teilo in the sixth century, making it one of the oldest Christian sites in the UK. Many will have heard the Cathedral’s accomplished choir in their worldwide television broadcast in the presence of King Charles and Queen Camilla following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022. This recording, like others in this series takes us on a journey through the church’s year from Advent to All Saints, reflecting the varied musical moods of each season. This selection of music mainly features works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including recent compositions by Bob Chilcott, Jonathan Dove, and Will Todd, The choir is accompanied on the new Nicholson organ, installed in 2010 – the largest entirely new instrument built in a British cathedral by a British organ builder since the 1960s. Two large-scale organ solos are played by Assistant Organist, Aaron Shilson, and Director of Music, Stephen Moore, and showcasing the full tonal and dynamic range of this impressive instrument. The music department of Llandaff Cathedral is a busy and productive one with seven choral services in a typical week. The present incarnation of the Cathedral Choirs began in 1880 when Dean of Llandaff, Henry Vaughan, founded the Cathedral School to educate the Boy Choristers. The Girl Choristers were established separately by the Cathedral School in 1996 and, until 2021, had their own director who was a member of staff there. In an historic change, the girls were formally welcomed into the Cathedral music department in 2021 and, from September 2022, parity of opportunity was realised for girls and boys. The choristers all attend the Cathedral School and take an equal share of weekly duties, usually – as on this recording – singing independently of one another and occasionally together.
Tracks 1, 8, 9, Girl Choristers | Tracks 2– 7. 11–13, 15–16 Boy Choristers | Other tracks Full Choristers
Total Playing time: 71:50
Recorded in Llandaff Cathedral 21–23 June 2022 by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter
Cover image by Mark Edwards
Recording producer and engineer: Gary Cole.
Recording assistant: Pippa Cole
Sample audio extracts
‘When it comes to grasping the essence of long-standing liturgical music, and capturing the intangible acoustical audio quality of centuries old choral singing echoing and reverberating within the immutable stone walls of a large cathedral, nobody quite does it as well as the people at Regent Records… From the uplifting power of ‘This joyful Eastertide’ to the hushed beauty of Gustav Holst’s ‘In the bleak midwinter’ (check your pulse if you don’t get goosebumps as it ends), each and every piece on this CD is expressively performed, and projected with a sense of occasion.’ Classical Music Sentinel August 2023
‘Altogether this is a splendidly eclectic mix of church music mainly from the twentieth and twenty-first century. It is magnificently sung with an outstanding ambient recording. I look forward to next releases in the A Year At… series.’ John France, Musicwebinternational.com