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Track(s) taken from CDA67909

Jesum quaeritis Nazarenum

2012; originally the fourth part of the 2002/4 dance-drama The Ivory Tree
author of text
Mark 16: 6

Finn Lacey (treble), Jonathan Vaughn (organ)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: June 2012
Wells Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: August 2013
Total duration: 3 minutes 48 seconds

Cover artwork: Cornfield by Moonlight (1830) by Samuel Palmer (1805-1881)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'This excellent disc from Wells Cathedral Choir looks back over 15 years of Bingham's choral works … there's a frankness to the Wells choral sound that suits music that has nothing precious or twee about it. It creates an underlying muscularity, even in the glowing cluster-chords of Cantate Domino and foregrounds the texts that Bingham sets with Britten-like care … this collection is the most representative yet of the composer's functional, liturgical works' (Gramophone)

'The setting of Cantate Domino memorably commingles an anxious, questing quality with glimpses of certitude and placidity, a balance sensitively struck in this assured Wells Cathedral Choir performance … Our faith is a light is a luminescent setting highlighting the bright, gleaming quality of tone the Wells top line is currently producing. The Hyperion recording is atmospheric and expertly balanced. Recommended' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Choral music is a sphere that welcomes the new. The Anglican (mainly) church is a leading source of new commissions for countless composers, among them Judith Bingham (b1952), who stands out not least because she spent her early career as a professional singer and knows the idiom. She favours rich, multilayered radiance, as heard in the two Wells service canticles—written for the excellent choir who perform here. Jonathan Vaughn provides spirited organ accompaniment and interludes. The lullaby setting of God be in my head, the abundant interpretation of Gerard Manley Hopkins's Harvest and the unexpectedness of the Bromley Missa brevis, written for an enlightened south London parish church, all play to Bingham's creative strengths' (The Observer)
The old Benedictine Abbey of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, among the richest monastic complexes in pre-Reformation England, invested much of its wealth in religious art and artefacts. One of its star craftsmen, known to history as Master Hugo, may have carved the cross of walrus ivory now housed in The Cloisters in New York City. Scenes from the ornate sacred relic were brought to life in Bingham’s dance-drama The Ivory Tree (2002–4), commissioned to celebrate the addition of a new tower to St Edmundsbury Cathedral. The composer returned to the work’s fourth motet, Jesum quaeritis Nazarenum, refashioning it for boy treble and organ in 2012. Here the lone voice reports the words of the risen Christ from within the tomb, their significance burnished in Bingham’s setting by subtle harmonic modulations, which in turn are anchored to the stable foundations of a repeated ground bass.

from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2013

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