Hyperion Records

In a monastery garden

'Organ Dreams, Vol. 3' (CDA67317)
Organ Dreams, Vol. 3
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA67317  Archive Service   Download currently discounted
Track 2 on CDA67317 [5'17] Archive Service

In a monastery garden
Born in Birmingham, Albert Ketèlbey had a certain early success as a composer, winning a scholarship to Trinity College, London, at the age of thirteen. But it would not be until he was in his thirties that he would follow this up with the series of works, including Bells Across the Meadow, In a Persian Market as well as In a Monastery Garden, which would allow him to live very comfortably in later life. He was appointed organist of St. John’s Church, Wimbledon, at the age of sixteen, but left only a handful of original compositions for the instrument. He quickly moved into the world of theatre and light music, establishing for himself a niche providing music to accompany silent films. He was an expert orchestrator and several publishing houses employed him to produce arrangements for the many spa and municipal orchestral ensembles active at the time.

Ketèlbey’s first major success as a composer came in 1912 with Phantom Melody for cello and piano. He followed this up, in 1914, with In a Monastery Garden. According to the composer’s synopsis, the initial warm theme represents the tranquillity of a monastery garden where, to the accompaniment of birdsong, a young poet contemplates his life and woes. His musings are expressed in a darker, more agitated, second theme. Monks are heard singing the Kyrie eleison in the distance, after which the opening theme returns, now even more heart-warming and consoling. The monks’ chant sounds out a final time, gaining in intensity and leading to a conclusion ‘in a glow of exultation’.

from notes by Stephen Westrop © 2002

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA67317 track 2
Recording date
26 October 2001
Recording venue
Truro Cathedral, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Paul Spicer
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Organ Dreams, Vol. 3 (CDA67317)
    Disc 1 Track 2
    Release date: June 2002
    Deletion date: January 2013
    Archive Service
   English   Français   Deutsch