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Geoff Stephens (b1934)

Winchester Cathedral

50th Anniversary EP
Winchester Cathedral Choristers, Andrew Lumsden (piano) Detailed performer information
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Label: Signum Classics
Recording details: November 2015
Winchester Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Paul Wing
Engineered by Mike Hatch & George Collins
Release date: March 2016
Total duration: 8 minutes 25 seconds

A new version of Geoff Stephens’ 1966 charting-topping Winchester Cathedral performed with admirable gusto by the cathedral's choristers to—in the words of the composer— 'celebrate the forthcoming 50th Anniversary of the original recording and to present the Cathedral as a beacon of light in the dark days through which we live'.

It was an honour to receive a letter from The Very Revd James Atwell, Dean of Winchester Cathedral, seeking permission to use my 50-year-old song for a new recording by The Cathedral Choristers. The Dean also sought to 'tweak' the lyrics to make the song more in keeping with its new usage—i.e. to celebrate the forthcoming 50th Anniversary of the original recording and to present the Cathedral as 'a beacon of light' in the dark days through which we live.

I replied to both requests with unalloyed pleasure—furthermore deciding that a complete re-write of the lyrics would be in everyone’s best interests.

My wife Pam and I were further thrilled to be invited to the recording in the Cathedral itself—a rare occasion indeed as we watched and listened to Director of Music Andrew Lumsden weave his musical magic with his stunning new arrangement of Winchester Cathedral, beautifully performed by the Cathedral Choristers.

There was more work to be done of course—editing and mixing Winchester and the other two tracks recorded that same evening. The 'heavy lifting' that ensued over the following days (with questionable contributions from yours truly) was done by the indefatigable Paul Wing, ably aided and abetted by Steve Long of Signum Records and his recording engineers.

I particularly wish every success to this new Signum EP, with special thanks to Paul and The Dean for setting the ball rolling.

Geoff Stephens © 2016

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