Lullay my liking
by Francis Pott (born 1957) is a carol written specifically for St John’s. Pott is known both as a pianist and a composer, in particular of choral music—his oratorio A song on the end of the world
, for example—as well as music for organ such as his Passion Symphony Christus. Lullay my liking
was first heard in the Advent Sunday service in 2004 and is dedicated to David Hill and his wife Alice. The composer has written that the carol ‘seeks to evoke a plausibly medieval sensibility, to match the words, whilst also remaining detectably of its own time’. This is achieved partly through Pott’s retention of the text’s verse and refrain structure with solos and duets alternating with the full choir. The music surges to a climax as the angels sing of the birth of the Christ Child, then slowly fades with the words set against hushed humming, until finally everything comes full circle with the return of the music of the opening.
from notes by Andrew Burn © 2006