I love all beauteous things

I was reminded that it’s been 10 years since I was involved in the recording of an album of works by Herbert Howells while I was a member of the choir of Christ Church Cathedral Dublin.

The album, called I love all beauteous things, was recorded in February 2008. The choral pieces were recorded in the church of St Bart’s Ballsbridge¬†rather than in Christ Church Cathedral itself – as the cathedral is situated right in the middle of the city, and there’s much too much traffic and other noise that would disturb a recording session.

I have very fond memories of doing the recording. I had only been in the choir for just less than a year myself, but had already made some really good friends – lifelong friends – that helped relieve the pressure of the hard work with a few laughs along the way.

The excitement in the room is evident!

Some of the organ music was pre-recorded in Christ Church using the cathedral organ, but they had to record in the middle of the night and hope that no ambulances went by at the wrong moment!

The choir recording took three days and finished on what would have been my 36th birthday.

Anyway, I was listening to the album for the first time in a very long time on Friday, and was blown away about the beauty of the music. I can’t even remember most of it, and wouldn’t have a hope’s chance of being able to sing the pieces today – but I’m very proud to have been involved in it.

If you fancy a listen, here’s the link on Spotify:

For a special bonus prize see if you can hear my tiny solo in one of the tracks!

CD Released

CD CoverThe Howells CD I Love All Beauteous Things has finally been released on Signum Records.
Those of you with long memories will recall the recording sessions back in February, when the Christ Church Cathedral choir decamped to St Bart’s in Ballsbridge.
It’s taken a long time for the CD to come out, but I hear that it sounds really good. I haven’t secured my own copy yet, but I’m looking forward to listening to it.
Buy the CD from Amazon.co.uk – £11.69

Howells CD

The choir are doing a CD recording this weekend, of lesser-known choral works by Howells. We’ve got a mass setting and a batch of anthems to record – with sessions on Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday afternoon.

However, we’re not recording in the cathedral itself. Any visitor to one of our services would be able to tell you about the traffic noise and sirens of passing emergency services vehicles – and as such, it’s almost impossible to get a ‘clean’ take of a piece. And editing together lots of bits from multiple takes gets a bit too complicated and expensive. So we’re all decamping to a church in the Dublin suburbs, which should hopefully be free of extraneous noise.

This is my first recording with the cathedral choir, and I’m rather looking forward to it. I’ve done a couple of CDs with other groups, but I guess you would call most of them vanity recordings, rather than commercial releases.
And best of all for me, I get to do a solo on it. However, it’s only about a dozen notes long, so you could possibly miss it if you cough.

Recorded Works

Here’s a list of some of the Howells works we recorded; some or all or which may make it onto the final CD, due to be released on the Signum Records label in a few months:

  • Missa Aedis Christi
  • Thee Will I Love
  • I Love All Beauteous Things
  • Sweetest Of Sweets
  • Heac Dies
  • A Maid Peerless
  • Hills Of The North

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