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Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes – Bristol

First line:
Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes
1621; Psalmes
author of text

Judith Bingham, like Gabriel Jackson, served for a period as Associate Composer to the BBC Singers. An Introduction to Hark, the glad sound was commissioned for the Choir of St John’s for the 2019 Advent Carol Service and, like Jackson’s Vox clara, it features a prominent role for solo soprano saxophone, taken here by St John’s undergraduate Ignacio Mañá Mesas. The saxophone soloist is directed to begin playing ‘offstage’, arriving ‘onstage’ in the middle of Bingham’s Introduction. A sense of coming, the central concept of Advent, is paralleled in the choral parts, which begin quietly but build up in preparation for the entry of the organ and, ultimately, the congregation. According to a handwritten note by its author Philip Doddridge, the stirring hymn-text dates from December 1735. Originally in seven stanzas and entitled ‘Christ’s Message’, it was first published after the poet’s death. (As a Nonconformist minister, Doddridge would have had no need for hymn-books, instead teaching his congregations the words by call and response.) The text is sung to Bristol, a hymn-tune whose melody and bass derive from Thomas Ravenscroft’s 1621 setting of Psalm 64. Curiously, in Ravenscroft’s original, found in The Whole Booke of Psalmes, the melody appears in the tenor rather than the treble.

from notes by Martin Ennis © 2020


Advent Live, Vol. 2
Studio Master: SIGCD661Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 12 on SIGCD661 [5'28] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD661 track 12

Recording date
1 December 2019
Recording venue
St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Recording engineer
Dave Rowell
Hyperion usage
  1. Advent Live, Vol. 2 (SIGCD661)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: November 2020
    Download only
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