Commissioned by the Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir, Dorchester Canticles
was first performed in St Mary’s Church, Dorchester (Dorset) in a May 2004 concert conducted by David Gostick. Although the two movements share some musical material, each is conceived as an independent entity and can be performed separately. The optional harp and percussion, heard here, are written with concert performances in mind (primarily for partnering the unusual reduced-orchestration version of Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms
). This incarnation of the Cantate Domino
grew organically from an earlier 2002 setting for Queens’ College, Cambridge, written in response to a commission to celebrate the restoration of the College’s historic 1892 Binns organ. I was mid-way through completing this work, when I moved to New York from the UK in March 2004. There is a sense that the fast toccata that closes the Deus misereatur
, being the first thing I wrote in my new environs, owes more to Manhattan’s rhythm than Dorchester’s.
from notes by Tarik O'Regan © 2006