Wells Cathedral Choir Recordings

Wells Cathedral Choir Recordings


Wells Cathedral Choir was recently hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “probably the finest English Cathedral choir at the moment” in “world-class form”. See below find out more about the choir’s CD releases and to listen to extracts.

Awake, My Soul: Choral Works by Gary Davison

Rachael Lloyd (mezzo-soprano), Philip Dukes (viola), David Bednall (organ), Wells Cathedral Choir, Matthew Owens (conductor)

Wells Cathedral Choir and director Matthew Owens are joined by violist Philip Dukes and mezzo-soprano Rachael Lloyd for this exploration of choral works by the American composer Gary Davison.

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John Joubert: St Mark Passion, Missa Wellensis & Locus iste

Peter Auty (tenor), Benjamin Bevan (baritone), Richard May (cello) David Bednall (organ), Wells Cathedral Choir & Matthew Owens (conductor)

In celebration of John Joubert’s 90th birthday, Wells Cathedral Choir with its director, Matthew Owens, presents a new recording of recent choral works from this prolific veteran composer.

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A Wells Christmas

Wells Cathedral Choir, Jonathan Vaughn (organ) & Matthew Owens (conductor)

Named as one of the world’s finest choirs by Gramophone, Wells Cathedral Choir and their director Matthew Owens make their Resonus Classics debut with a programme of carols typically performed during the Christmas season in Wells – A Wells Christmas.

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Missa Wellensis & other sacred music

Wells Cathedral Choir, Matthew Owens (conductor), Jonathan Vaughn (organ), Sir John Tavener (composer)

Wells Cathedral Choir celebrates the life and works of the late British composer Sir John Tavener. The programme is centred around his Missa Wellensis and includes several premiere recordings of works commissioned especially for the choir.

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The Armour of Light: The Choral Music of Gary Davison

Wells Cathedral Choir, Matthew Owens (conductor), Jonathan Vaughn (organ), Matthew Souter (viola), Simon Jones (trumpet)

‘The pieces are very accessible and I’m sure will appeal to choirs and congregations alike, which is surely what Gary Davison intended: this is music written for practical use in the liturgy. His music is given splendid advocacy by Matthew Owens and his fine choir – one would expect nothing less – and Jonathan Vaughn makes an expert contribution at the organ’ MusicWeb

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Bob Chilcott: St John Passion

Chaconne Brass, Darren Jeffrey, Ed Lyon, Jonathan Vaughn, Laurie Ashworth, Matthew Owens, Matthew Souter, Neal Davies, Nick Baron, Richard May, Wells Cathedral Choir

Chilcott’s mighty setting of words from St John’s Gospel is a dramatic yet optimistic retelling of the Passiontide story. The work combines thirteenth- and seventeenth-century English poetry with texts from the King James Bible and, as with Bach’s great Passion settings, the role of the Evangelist is taken by the tenor soloist, who provides a melodious narrative throughout.

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Judith Bingham: Choral Music

Wells Cathedral Choir, Matthew Owens (conductor), Jonathan Vaughn (organ), Judith Bingham (composer)

Under the inspirational direction of Matthew Owens, Wells Cathedral Choir has made a speciality of the performance of contemporary sacred music, and has commissioned works from many composers including Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, James MacMillan and Judith Bingham herself. This album features first recordings of a number of Bingham’s sacred choral works. The living relationship between the composer and the musicians is clear from the vivid, committed performances given by the children and gentlemen of the choir.

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MacMillan: Choral Music

Wells Cathedral Choir, Matthew Owens (conductor), Jonathan Vaughn (organ), James MacMillan (composer)

James MacMillan is renowned for his highly original yet accessible choral music. His prolific output displays an intrinsic understanding of the human voice and his music will undoubtedly stand the test of time. MacMillan’s work is inseparable from its composer’s committed adherence to Roman Catholicism. A sense of this religious belief imbues much of his work, which seeks to combine the sacred with the everyday. This disc highlights the  astonishing variety prevalent in his music.

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Jingle Wells

Wells Cathedral Choir, Matthew Owens (conductor), Jonathan Vaughn & Owain Park (organ)

Wells Cathedral Choir’s latest release is an eclectic selection of Christmas music that has met with much critical praise. Recorded in aid of Wells Cathedral Chorister Trust.

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Bob Chilcott: Requiem & other choral works

Wells Cathedral Choir, Laurie Ashworth (soprano), Andy Staples (tenor), The Nash Ensemble, Jonathan Vaughn (organ), Matthew Owens (conductor)

Composer and conductor Bob Chilcott (born 1955) has been steeped in the British choral tradition since he was a boy chorister. Of his most recent large-scale work, his Requiem (2010), Chilcott says he was initially ‘terrified by the idea’ of writing a work with such a weight of history behind it, but he has certainly risen to the challenge: his Requiem is characterized by a gentle, forgiving atmosphere clearly modelled on Fauré’s Requiem, with a crystalline, reflective Pie Jesu for solo soprano at the emotional heart of the work.

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Songs of Sunshine

Wells Cathedral Choir, Jonathan Vaughn (organ), Matthew Owens (conductor)

An uplifting and inspiring collection of great choral music sung in the radiant acoustic of Wells Cathedral by the critically acclaimed Wells Cathedral Choir, hailed by Gramophone magazine as ‘probably the finest English cathedral choir at the moment’ in ‘world-class form’.

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Choral Music by Jonathan Dove

Wells Cathedral Choir, Jonathan Vaughn (organ), Matthew Owens (conductor)

Jonathan Dove’s beautiful choral works have made him into a household name among professional and amateur singers alike. His writing is eminently approachable yet highly original. His music appears on cathedral music lists frequently around the UK, his distinctive voice and imaginative choice of texts creating inspirational works suitable for many different liturgical occasions.

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David Bednall: Flame Celestial

Wells Cathedral Choir, Jonathan Vaughn (organ), Matthew Owens (conductor)

“Bednall has again entrusted this music to the Wells Cathedral Choir under Matthew Owens and they have not only done him and themselves proud, they have reinforced their current poistion as one of the UK’s leading cathedral choirs; an absolutely magical performance of the Benedictus from the Mass sets the seal on their excellence… the Cathedral’s acoustic (gloriously captured in this warmly atmospheric recording) infuses every bar, and the choir responds with both affection and towering authority.” Gramophone

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Mathias Choral Music

Wells Cathedral Choir, Jonathan Vaughn (organ), Matthew Owens (conductor)

William Mathias’s ebullient, joyful choral writing, drawing on a variety of musical traditions, is immediately accessible and likeable whilst demonstrating an architectural sophistication that brings it into the top rank of twentieth-century liturgical music. He had a particular flair for brilliance, drama and display, which made his music highly suited to ceremonial and festive occasions; present too in his music is a sense of Celtic mysticism and deep spirituality which enhances such works as ‘All wisdom is from the Lord’ and ‘O nata lux’.

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Leighton: The World’s Desire & other choral works

Wells Cathedral Choir, David Bednall (organ), Matthew Owens (conductor)

Kenneth Leighton’s music is at the heart of English Cathedral repertoire, and demonstrates the composer’s happy absorption in this milieu from an early age. This disc from Wells Cathedral includes some first recordings of his major works in impeccable, lasting performances.

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Christmas from Wells

Wells Cathedral Choir, David Bednall (organ), Matthew Owens (conductor)

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David Bednall: Hail Gladdening Light

Wells Cathedral Choir, Jonathan Vaughn (organ), Matthew Owens (conductor)

” The singing of Wells Cathedral Choir – its fine eighteen-voice girl choristers on the top line – is immaculate and Matthew Owens, for whom several of the works were written, directs with flair and obvious enthusiasm for Bednall’s music.” The Organ

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Burgon: Choral Music

Wells Cathedral Choir, David Bednall (organ), Matthew Owens (conductor)

The thirteen works recorded here range from the contemplative of the Nunc dimittis to the ceremonial of an anthem such as At the round earth’s imagined corners where the familiar Donne text receives a thoroughly fresh interpretation. This is music reaching out to a modern desire for immediate accessibility masking consummate artistry.

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Howells: Choral Music

Wells Cathedral Choir, Rupert Gough (organ), Malcolm Archer (conductor)

In 1944 Howells wrote a set of Morning Canticles for King’s College, Cambridge. With the Evening Canticles recorded here coming the following year, the ‘Coll. Reg.’ settings immediately set the benchmark for twentieth-century liturgical composition and led to the composer being besieged by requests from cathedrals and collegiate chapels for other such ‘custom-built’ settings. It was the composer’s innate understanding of the individual characteristics—acoustic, architecture and choral timbre—of each foundation which made these works so successful and popular. This programme includes the Morning Canticles written for St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle and the Evening Canticles which constitute the ‘New College Service’.

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Listen to our Music

As a consequence of the national lockdown all public worship, tours, concerts, and other events are suspended in Wells Cathedral until Wednesday 2nd December 2020 inclusive. The Café and Shop are closed, but the Cathedral remains open for individual prayer, lighting of candles and quiet reflection. All are welcome.