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Track(s) taken from CDA67219

Gaudeamus in loci pace


Andrew Reid (organ)
Recording details: July 2000
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: April 2001
Total duration: 6 minutes 36 seconds

Cover artwork: Photograph by Dorothy Burrows.
E & E Picture Library


‘Powerful liturgical music from one of today's most admired composers, performed with passionate intensity … performances throughout are exceptionally fine and the recorded sound radiantly atmospheric’ (Gramophone)

‘A sublime disc’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘A striking issue well worth the investment of all interested in recent choral literature’ (American Record Guide)

‘It is hard to think of any recent music that conveys religious ecstasy as intensely as James MacMillan's Mass … music of high voltage from first to last … the singing of Westminster Cathedral Choir is electrifying’ (The Guardian)

‘This music, the Mass in particular, is virtually guaranteed a passage into the central repertoire of choirs around the world; it could hardly have had a better springboard than this recording’ (International Record Review)

‘A busy railway carriage is probably not the ideal environment in which to listen to James MacMillan’s music. But the fact that it transported me to another place is proof of the power of his music’ (Classic FM Magazine)

‘Long life to James MacMillan and a plentiful supply of pens and ink’ (Fanfare, USA)

‘Anyone familiar with the ambience of Westminster Cathedral from the sound of the choir and organ to the pungent scents of wax polish and incense will feel at home immediately and it is difficult to imagine this music sounding as good in any other place. Highly recommended, these performances of this powerful music will repay concentrated listening and repetition’ (Organists' Review)

‘Outstanding performances. Gaudeamus in loci pace is a breath-catching bonus’ (HMV Choice)

‘A programme of exceptional quality and interest, which no genuine lover of cathedral music should ignore’ (Cathedral Music)

‘From the moment this CD begins, the senses tingle with the magical, spiritual nature of the music’ (Sunday Herald, Scotland)
The first substantial organ work in MacMillan’s output, Gaudeamus in loci pace owes its existence to a location far from the metropolitan splendours of Westminster Cathedral. It was written in 1998 to celebrate the golden jubilee of the re-foundation of Pluscarden Abbey, the Benedictine community near Elgin, Moray, in the diocese of Aberdeen. The composer serenely unfolds the melodic line of a plainchant melody against a free and high-pitched ornamental line, which sounds at times like birdsong—an inescapable feature of the tranquillity of Pluscarden—and further evokes its sense of timelessness.

The melody, Gaudeamus in loci pace is sung as the introit on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the day on which the monks celebrate the anniversary of their re-foundation. The piece was written for the Scottish organist Joseph Cullen, a former Assistant Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral.

from notes by James Whitbourn © 2001

La première œuvre majeure pour orgue du catalogue de MacMillan, Gaudeamus in loci pace doit son existence à un lieu bien éloigné des splendeurs métropolitaines de la Cathédrale de Westminster. Elle a été écrite en 1998 pour célébrer le jubilé d’or de la re-fondation de l’Abbaye de Pluscarden, une communauté bénédictine située près d’Elgin, à Moray, dans le diocèse d’Aberdeen. Le compositeur dévoile une ligne mélodique sereine sur une mélodie de plain-chant énoncée sur une ligne ornementale libre écrite dans le registre aigu qui donne parfois l’impression d’un chant d’oiseau—un témoignage inévitable de la tranquillité de Pluscarden—et évoque de surcroît un sentiment d’intemporalité.

La mélodie, Gaudeamus in loci pace est chantée comme Introït de la Fête de la Nativité de la Vierge Marie, le jour où les moines célèbrent l’anniversaire de leur re-fondation. La pièce a été écrite pour l’organiste écossais Joseph Cullen, qui a été assistant du Maître de musique de la Cathédrale de Westminster.

extrait des notes rédigées par James Whitbourn © 2001
Français: Isabelle Battioni

Das erste große Orgelwerk in MacMillans Schaffen, Gaudeamus in loci pace verdankt seine Existenz einem Ort, der von der großstädtischen Pracht der Kathedrale von Westminster weit entfernt ist. Es wurde 1998 zum goldenen Jubiläum der Neugründung der Abtei von Pluscarden komponiert, einer benediktinischen Klostergemeinschaft in der Nähe von Elgin in der schottischen Diözese von Aberdeen. Der Komponist legt in stiller Heiterkeit die Melodielinie einer Choralmelodie dar, vor dem Hintergrund einer frei verzierenden Linie im hohen Register, die gelegentlich wie Vogelgezwitscher klingt—eine unüberhörbare Eigenheit der ruhigen, abgeschiedenen Lage von Pluscarden—und das Gefühl der Zeitlosigkeit zusätzlich verstärkt.

Die Melodie Gaudeamus in loci pace wird als Introitus am Festtag der Geburt der heiligen Jungfrau Maria gesungen, an dem Tag, an dem die Mönche den Jahrestag ihrer Neugründung begehen. Das Stück ist für den schottischen Organisten Joseph Cullen geschrieben, der ehemals stellvertretender Musikdirektor der Kathedrale von Westminster war.

aus dem Begleittext von James Whitbourn © 2001
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller

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