Hyperion Records

The clouded Heaven
First line:
Be with me Lord
composer
1998
author of text
"Be with me Lord" and "If Thy presence" sections
author of text
"I could not lightly pass" section, from On First Entering St John's Cambridge

Recordings
'Christmas at St John's Cambridge' (CDA67576)
Christmas at St John's Cambridge
Details

The clouded Heaven
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As Judith Bingham (born 1952) is both a composer and singer it is perhaps hardly surprising that choral and vocal music have featured prominently among her compositions, (including a Mass written for Westminster Cathedral). The clouded Heaven was commissioned jointly by The Dean and Chapter of Winchester Cathedral and by Ruth Daniel, a long-standing supporter of St John’s Choir. It received simultaneous premieres at Winchester Cathedral and St John’s College, Cambridge, sung by their choirs directed by David Hill and Christopher Robinson respectively, at their 1998 Advent Sunday services. Bingham’s choice of texts reflect both commissioners, a conflation of words from a prayer by the seventeenth-century Bishop of Winchester, Lancelot Andrewes, and William Wordsworth’s On First Entering St John’s Cambridge. The music has a quality of anxiousness reflecting Bingham’s inspiration behind the work: ‘I always think of Advent as the time when the Magi are making their unsafe journey towards the Nativity and so wanted to suggest a spiritual journey into the unknown. I was hugely influenced at that time by my experience of an Alpine starry landscape and wanted to try and capture my feelings of awe and wonderment in the music.’

from notes by Andrew Burn © 2006

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