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John the Baptist

First line:
When I have, in the name of the Baptist
author of text
Adapted from York Mystery Plays, No 21 'Barbours'
translator of text

Michael Finnissy composed John the Baptist for St John’s Choir in 2014, and it went on to win a British Composers’ Award. The text is predominantly from the Gospel of St Matthew, the Middle Eastern folk music inflections refer to the location of Christ’s baptism in the Jordan river by St John. The setting’s soft, rapt central chorale forms a visionary moment, interspersed by more lively sections, written in the style of the songs of sixteenth-century Spanish pilgrims from the Jewish diaspora—‘raucous, happy pilgrims’ as the composer put it! The organ interludes are direct transcriptions from Moroccan Berber recordings.

from notes by Charlotte Gardner © 2016


Christmas with St John's
Studio Master: SIGCD458Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 16 on SIGCD458 [3'26] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD458 track 16

Recording date
10 January 2016
Recording venue
St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Chris Hazell
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Christmas with St John's (SIGCD458)
    Disc 1 Track 16
    Release date: November 2016
    Download only
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