ST CECILIA CHOIR OF GIRLS

A THING MOST WONDERFUL

A THING MOST WONDERFUL

Music from Lent to Easter

Malcolm Archer, Johann Sebastian Bach, Thomas Foster, Cesar Franck, George Frideric Handel, John Ireland, Colin Mawby, Claude Means, Philip Moore, Giovanni Pergolesi, Henry Purcell, Charles Stanford

ST CECILIA CHOIR OF GIRLS
JAMIE HITEL, Director of Music
ALISTAIR REID, organ

Victoria Hoffmeister, flute
Richard Wyton, flute

MSR Classics Discover Series

[MS1426]

$12.95

LISTEN
REVIEWS
“This accomplished choir of girls...is one of six choirs that make up the music program of Christ Church Greenwich, Connecticut... if the singing in this release is any indication, the overall quality of the church’s program must be very fine... these gifted girls manage admirable precision of intonation, rhythm, and dynamic execution. And their overall sound is every bit as sweet and spine-tingling as a front-line boychoir... The young ladies get skilled support in the pieces with organ, and overall sound quality is very good; so is the booklet.”
Koob, American Record Guide [May/June 2015]
“[In Jubilate Deo] The choir really sounds committed and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves... This enterprising disc by MSR Classics deserves a wide hearing and will certainly please enthusiasts. The repertoire is nicely varied. The sound is balanced and even better when played more loudly. The booklet is excellent, with informative notes on the music as well as full biographies on all the main participants”
David Cutler, Fanfare [January/February 2015]
“One need do no more than listen to this excellent 16-voice chorus for a few minutes to accurately surmise that its director, Jamie Hitel, hails from England. What he has built at Christ Church, Greenwich, Connecticut since assuming the directorship in 2008 is of a quality and style that would suit any cathedral in England... this is a program of very Anglican music for the season of Lent and the Festival of Easter, performed as one might hear it sung during worship services. Plainsong is included, and shows the unanimity and flexibility of the choir’s phrasing and the accuracy of its intonation unaccompanied. Most everything else here includes support from the church’s excellent, Romantically-voiced chancel organ, played with skill and sensitivity by Alistair Reid... The St. Cecilia Choir of Girls, sweet-voiced and polished, has made significant strides since a pleasant but less accomplished live recording in 2010... Clearly the long-admired music program of this historic parish has survived and thrived under the current director’s care and tutelage. The sound, described as a Candlewood Digital 'Natural Presence' recording, lives up to its name, offering just enough space within the natural bloom of the church to create an attractive blend to the voices without losing detail or presence. The organ, usually discreetly in the background, has real bite and solid bass when called for... an exemplary, and most charming, release.”
Ronald E. Grames, Fanfare [November/December 2014]
“this choir is of such a standard that they are a match for many English collegiate choirs. The repertoire on this new disc is very well chosen... This fine choir deserves to be heard especially in the fine choice of works on this disc. They receive sensitive support from organist Alistair Reid and are finely recorded in the sympathetic acoustic of Christ Church, Greenwich, Connecticut.”
Bruce Reader, The Classical Reviewer [September 2014]
“[this disc has]17 tracks in all, all of them heartfelt and delivered devotionally by the St. Cecilia Choir of Girls... the fluidity with which the chorus approaches each piece... listeners [will be] intrigued by hearing the juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary church music, sung by an adept and well-led girls’ choir. ”
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [July 2014]
PROGRAM NOTES
JAMIE HITEL began learning piano at the age of six in his native England. Organ lessons at age twelve quickly led to church positions and eventually an organ scholarship at Cambridge University. Following Cambridge, Hitel spent three years living and working as a musician in coastal and fjord communities in western Norway. He returned to England to take up the post of Director of Music at Waltham Abbey, Essex. During his tenure, he rebuilt the choir, restored the organ, and released three CD recordings to critical acclaim. In the year 2000, Hitel relocated to the United States, where he took up the position of Organist and Choirmaster at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Akron, Ohio, where he directed multiple choirs, and maintained a busy touring schedule. Jamie was appointed Director of Music at Christ Church Greenwich in 2008, where his duties include directing the Choir of Men & Boys, The St Cecilia Choir of Girls, and several other choral ensembles. His interest in contemporary
church music inspired him to establish a Visiting Artist program at Christ Church Greenwich, which has resulted in several new commissions, most notably by leading British composer Philip Moore. Two of these are featured on this recording. When not directing choirs, Hitel maintains a busy international recital career. Recital venues include St Paul’s and Westminster Cathedrals, London, as well as Trinity Church on Wall Street, and Saint Thomas Church in New York City.
[www.jamiehitel.com]

PHILIP MOORE studied at the Royal College of Music in London where he won a variety of prizes for organ playing. Also a prize-winner in the Royal College of Organists’ examinations, he has a Bachelor in Music degree from the University of Durham. Following graduation, Moore joined the music staff at Eton before moving to Canterbury Cathedral as Assistant Organist. In 1974 he became Organist and Master of the Choristers of Guildford Cathedral, and in 1983 became Organist and Master of the Music at York Minster. He retired from the Minster in July 2008 and was appointed Organist Emeritus. In addition, the Archbishop of York awarded him the Order of St William, an honor entirely in the gift of the Archbishop. In 2007 Moore received honorary fellowships from the Royal School of Church Music, the Guild of Church Musicians and the Academy of St Cecilia and in January 2014 was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of York. Much of his time is taken up with composition in all forms. Two CDs are devoted to his choral and organ music and he has also recorded as a solo organist and choir director. Other compositions have been recorded both in the United Kingdom and in the USA. His association with Christ Church has been a particular source of inspiration in his work as a composer of church and organ music.

ALISTAIR REID began his musical career as a chorister in London. He studied music at the University of Oxford and was Organ Scholar of Hertford College. He then crossed the Atlantic to serve at Christ Church Greenwich and Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis. Reid returned to England in 2003 to assume the role of Assistant Director of Music of Coventry Cathedral. During this time, he was involved with several national services for heads of state, BBC television and radio broadcasts, international tours, and concerts. In 2010, he prepared and performed Britten’s War Requiem in a concert marking the 70th anniversary of the cathedral’s bombing. In 2011, he returned to the United States to serve as Interim Associate Director of Music at Christ Church Greenwich. During that year, he directed the Christ Church Singers and Orchestra in a performance of Bach’s St John Passion. He is currently Director of Music of St Joseph’s Church Yorkville in Manhattan where he directs the church’s choir. Reid maintains an active international recital schedule and has performed in venues including Notre-Dame de Paris, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, the National Cathedral in Washington, and Harvard Memorial Chapel. [www.alistairreid.org]
PROGRAM
Lent and Passiontide
JOHN IRELAND (1879–1962)
EX ORE INNOCENTIUM

CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890)
PANIS ANGELICUS

LENT PROSE (PLAINSONG)

COLIN MAWBY (b. 1936)
BY THE WATERS OF BABYLON

PETER HURFORD (b. 1930)
LITANY TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

PANGE LINGUA (PLAINSONG)

GIOVANNI PERGOLESI (1710-1736)
STABAT MATER

CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD (1852-1924)
A SONG OF HOPE

MALCOLM ARCHER (b. 1952)
MY SONG IS LOVE UNKNOWN

Easter
VICTIMAE PASCHALI (PLAINSONG)

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759)
IF GOD BE FOR US

THOMAS FOSTER (b. 1938)
LIFT YOUR VOICE, REJOICING, MARY

HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695)
SOUND THE TRUMPET

PHILIP MOORE (b. 1943)
COME, THOU FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING

J.S. BACH (1685-1750)
ICH FOLGE DIR GLEICHFALLS

CLAUDE MEANS (1912-1999)
SAVIOR, LIKE A SHEPHERD, LEAD US

PHILIP MOORE
JUBILATE DEO (PSALM 100)



MSR Classics