Westminster Abbey Choir


Since royal music is in the air at the moment, I'm delighted to point out a new release (on Hyperion) from Westminster Abbey's choir, which covers quite a few big cathedral occasions of recent years. Three of my own titles, written for national events commemorating World Wars One and Two, plus Commonwealth Day, are joined by exciting, challenging works by Jonathan Dove and Matthew Martin.


The performances (organ - Peter Holder) are immensely rich and fervent, somehow more than you expect from 'Anglican' worship. For this warm-hearted sound, we have to thank the Abbey's James O'Donnell, Master of the Choristers for the last 22 years. I owe him great gratitude for his support, broad musical sensibilities, and completely reliable advice whenever these big events involve my own work.


When James moves on in 2023 to the Yale School of Music/YISM, we're going to miss him in a very big way; but it's a typically decisive move, and what a wonderful institution he's moving to. In fact his old Abbey job has just been advertised, if you feel like having a shot.


Pictured - the CD's beautiful cover image is of a twentieth century alabaster statue in Westminster Abbey, Our Lady of the Pewe, made by "Scottish sculptor and Benedictine nun" Concordia Scott (1924-2014). I've visited the Abbey countless times, but as usual, "how did I miss this?".

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JUDITH WEIR

Composer