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Track(s) taken from CDA67853

The fear of the Lord

September 1976; SATB + organ; composed, to mark the occasion of the 650th anniversary of the college, for John Rutter and the choir of Clare College, Cambridge, who gave the first performance in the college chapel in 30 October 1976
author of text
Ecclesiasticus 1: 11-13

Winchester Cathedral Choir, Andrew Lumsden (conductor)
Recording details: March 2010
Winchester Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: June 2011
Total duration: 5 minutes 46 seconds

Cover artwork: Golden Days by Lee Campbell (b1951)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'The performances of Winchester Cathedral Choir are so good you hardly register the need to 'assess' them—exactly as it should be in devotional music. That's a huge tribute to the state of the singing at the cathedral, and to Andrew Lumsden, who directs it. A marvellous CD, beautifully planned and executed' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Howells's later works have failed to find their way into the regular repertoire but this recording by a radiant Winchester Cathedral Choir urges a thorough reappraisal. The long, fluid lines, startling cadences and massive chords which are so unique to Howells are all here in 'their' service' (The Observer)

'These are uniformly excellent performances and the recording quality is detailed yet superbly spacious. It's the first release from a renewed relationship between Winchester and Hyperion and, although I will hope for more rare Howells, I look forward to whatever else is on the cards. I highly commend this disc' (International Record Review)
The catalyst for The fear of the Lord, a setting of words from Ecclesiasticus, one of the apocryphal books of the Bible, seems to have been a service of choral evensong in the chapel of Clare College, Cambridge, on 23 May 1976, when the music sung by the choir under its director John Rutter was exclusively by Howells. The composer attended and afterwards noted in his diary his delight at a ‘wonderful evensong’. This occasion clearly sparked a desire to write music specifically for the choir that had so impressed him, because a few days later, on 6 June, he wrote in his diary that he ‘began anthem for Clare College’. The fear of the Lord was completed by mid-September and was sung for the first time in the College Chapel on 30 October. Howells’ late choral style—fearsome on the page, but perhaps less so in performance—is much in evidence here too. The optimism and hope expressed in this valedictory text seems to have inspired a man who in a long life had suffered the death of those closest to him, and was now perhaps anticipating his own ‘happy end’.

from notes by Paul Andrews © 2011

Il semble que The fear of the Lord, sur des paroles de l’Ecclésiastique (un livre biblique apocryphe) ait eu pour catalyseur un service d’evensong choral célébré en la chapelle de Clare College (Cambridge) le 23 mai 1976, où le chœur, placé sous la direction de son chef John Rutter, chanta exclusivement du Howells. Après y avoir assisté, ce dernier nota dans son journal qu’«un merveilleux evensong» l’avait ravi. Cet événement l’incita manifestement à composer spécialement pour ce chœur qui l’avait tant impressionné car quelques jours plus tard, le 6 juin, écrivit, toujours dans son journal, qu’il commençait «un anthem pour le Clare College». The fear of the Lord fut achevé à la mi-septembre et créé en la chapelle du collège le 30 octobre. Le style choral tardif de Howells—effrayant sur le papier, mais peut-être moins quand on le chante—s’y montre, là encore, bien en évidence. L’optimisme et l’espoir exprimés dans ce texte d’adieu semblent avoir inspiré cet homme qui, dans sa longue vie, avait vu mourir ceux qui lui étaient le plus proche et anticipait peut-être, désormais, sa propre «fin heureuse».

extrait des notes rédigées par Paul Andrews © 2011
Français: Hypérion

Der Auslöser für The fear of the Lord, eine Vertonung eines Texts aus dem Buch Ecclesiasticus, ein deuterokanonisches Buch des Alten Testaments, scheint eine Abendandacht mit Chorgesang in der Kapelle des Clare College in Cambridge am 23. Mai 1976 gewesen zu sein, als die Musik, die von dem Chor unter ihrem Leiter John Rutter gesungen wurde, ausschließlich von Howells war. Der Komponist wohnte diesem Gottesdienst bei und äußerte sich später erfreut in seinem Tagebuch über die „wundervolle Abendandacht“. Offenbar regte dieser Anlass Howells dazu an, Musik speziell für diesen Chor zu komponieren, der ihn so beeindruckt hatte, denn nur wenig später, am 6. Juni, trug er in sein Tagebuch ein, dass er mit einem „Anthem für Clare College begonnen“ hatte. The fear of the Lord wurde Mitte September fertiggestellt und am 30. Oktober das erste Mal in der Kapelle des Colleges gesungen. Howells’ später Chorstil—auf den ersten Blick furchterregend, weniger vielleicht jedoch in der Praxis—tritt auch hier deutlich hervor. Der Optimismus und die Hoffnung, die in diesem abschiednehmenden Text ausgedrückt werden, scheinen den Mann inspiriert zu haben, der während seines langen Lebens immer wieder den Tod der ihm am nächsten stehenden Menschen erleiden musste und nun möglicherweise sein eigenes „glückliches Ende“ erwartete.

aus dem Begleittext von Paul Andrews © 2011
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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