Brian Morton
Choir & Organ
April 2015

Kenneth Leighton's best-known church work Crucifixus pro nobis is wisely placed last here, giving full prominence to the early and overlooked Magnificat and Nunc dimittis for Magdalen College Oxford, a contrasting work in that form from a dozen years later headed the Second Service, and the lovely Missa brevis from 1968. The remaining material includes a very early motet, God's Grandeur (after G.M. Hopkins) from 1957, and an anthem Give me the wings of faith from 1962. The most recent works are 'Ite, missa est' from Missa de Gloria, played solo by Jeremy Cole, and another anthem, What love is this of mine? Heard together, they significantly reposition Leighton's religious writing, remarkable in a man who had no overt religious belief beyond a kind of nature spiritualism. The Trinity Choir responds to the music's energetic, often muscly feel, and Stephen Layton's direction declines to prettify.