John Gardner—another composer with a distinguished career in education—was commissioned to write for the 1973 festival, perhaps following the huge popularity of his 1965 carol setting Tomorrow shall be my dancing day
. Gardner sets the first section of John Dryden’s A song for St Cecilia’s Day
with a long organ pedal and drifting ‘heavenly harmonies’ creating a stately atmosphere of reverence to the primordial power of music.
from notes by Rupert Gough © 2014