The Salisbury Vespers
was first performed in 2009 in Salisbury Cathedral by a choir of more than 500 singers from seven different city-based choirs. ‘They realized they had a huge number of choirs who never had the chance to come together’, says Chilcott. ‘At the premiere, the choirs were situated at separate points in the Cathedral—it was a difficult concept to make work, but it was very successful. The main thrust of the work was a number of large-scale psalm settings, and I interspersed these with the four motets.’
Chilcott set Marian texts suitable for different times of the year, reflecting the dedication of the Cathedral to St Mary the Virgin; each is dedicated to a different Salisbury choir. I sing of a mayden is a reflective meditation on a medieval Christmas text that shows Chilcott’s talent for the deceptively simple melody.
from notes by Jonathan Wikeley © 2012