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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67483
Recording details: March 2004
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: January 2005
Total duration: 2 minutes 42 seconds

'The performances are excellent, as are William McVicker's booklet-notes, and the great echo's presence is felt as friend, not foe' (Gramophone)

'If this is Scott's swan song with the St Paul's Choir, it is a brilliant one. The choral tone and discipline are outstanding … The Hyperion engineers demonstrate that they know how to record a choir in a highly reverberant setting. The tone is always clear but sumptuous, giving the listener a feel for the immense space involved yet never obscuring the musical textures. The audible reverberation at the pauses in Parry's Lord, let me know mine end is nothing short of breathtaking' (American Record Guide)

'Each piece in this collection—those considered first-rate, those considered perhaps less than first-rate, and those perhaps scarcely considered at all—is given added quality through the pedigree of the performers and the performances; thus many find a stature which would surprise the cynic. If this CD enables some standard works to receive reference performances, and some lesser works to receive a fresh popularity, then it will have done more than most such collections. Warmly recommended' (Organists' Review)

We wait for thy loving-kindness, O God
composer
1947
author of text
various Psalm verses

Introduction
Sir William McKie (1901–1984) was born in Melbourne. He graduated from the Royal College of Music and was organ scholar at Worcester College Oxford, where his name is recorded on the console doors of the Nicholson organ in the College Chapel. His first appointment was as director of music at Clifton College in Bristol between 1926 and 1930 when he returned to Melbourne to become city organist. He returned to England in 1938 to become Informator Choristarum at Magdalen College Oxford, and in 1941 became organist and Master of the Music at Westminster Abbey. McKie stayed at the Abbey until 1963 and during these years directed the music for the royal wedding in 1947 and the Coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953; he was knighted in the same year. He is buried in the West Cloister at Westminster Abbey. The life of Sir William McKie was celebrated in a book by Howard Hollis entitled The Best of Both Worlds. One story which does not seem to have made the pages of this publication is a public altercation in the 1930s between McKie (as city organist at Melbourne) and Horace Weber (organist of the Capitol Theatre almost opposite the Town Hall). McKie wrote a scathing newspaper article about cinema organs and how they ‘were nothing more than hurdy-gurdy, merry-go-round organs’. Weber was so infuriated that he invited McKie to see for himself that the Mighty Wurlitzer was capable of playing any kind of music and had a greater stylistic range. McKie accepted the challenge. During their musical encounter Weber apparently said: ‘Now my dear friend, I will do something you can’t do’ and played the latest popular hit in every possible tempo, a feat McKie was unable to better. McKie later graciously wrote a public apology for his remarks after hearing the virtuoso Weber play Bach, Widor and Wagner on the organ at the Capitol.

The anthem We wait for thy loving-kindness, O God was written in 1947 for the marriage of HRH The Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in Westminster Abbey. The original instructions for the marriage ceremony were that it was to be a simple service and not a state occasion. The King stipulated the service should not last more than fifty-five minutes. McKie’s response is to be heard in the simplicity of this anthem.

from notes by William McVicker 2005

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