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The angel Gabriel

author of text

Philip Moore’s The angel Gabriel was commissioned by Daniel Hyde for the 2019 Festival of Nine Lesson and Carols at King’s College. The piece is dedicated to the memory of Stephen Cleobury, who died little more than a month before its first performance. Moore, who served as organist and Master of the Music at York Minster for twenty-five years, abandons the carol’s traditional lilting Basque melody in favour of a freshly composed setting of Sabine Baring-Gould’s verse. ‘I have often felt that a more vigorous treatment of these words would also be appropriate,’ he observes. ‘“His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame”, for example, gives more than a hint of the drama of the Annunciation. My setting of the words attempts to illustrate this.’ Moore’s brief organ introduction, an aural metaphor for Gabriel’s descent from heaven, imparts momentum that carries into the choir’s shifting metrical patterns, imitative passages and declamatory ‘Gloria’s. Moore’s setting for solo treble of ‘My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name’ echoes the opening of Charles Villiers Stanford’s Magnificat in G. ‘I hope that the small quotation from this iconic work will add interest, as well as reflecting my admiration for a composer whose birthday I share,’ he notes.

from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2021


In the bleak midwinter
KGS0060-DDownload only Available Friday 5 November 2021


Track 9 on KGS0060-D [4'02] Download only Available Friday 5 November 2021

Track-specific metadata for KGS0060-D track 9

Recording date
1 December 2020
Recording venue
King's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Benjamin Sheen
Recording engineer
Benjamin Sheen
Hyperion usage
  1. In the bleak midwinter (KGS0060-D)
    Disc 1 Track 9
    Release date: 5 November 2021
    Download only Available Friday 5 November 2021
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