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West Gallery Music

Aled Jones explores the revival in West Gallery music, a term first used by Thomas Hardy to describe the galleries at the west end of churches on which bands of musicians would perform. People from the end of the 17th century knew this as Psalmody, a practice which initially enabled parishioners to join in the singing of psalms. But it flourished to the point where the music was too complex for congregations to sing!

The programme's mix of music from British choirs and beyond proves that the tradition is now once again thriving.

Playlist:
Att. Anthony Greatorex
This is the day the Lord hath made
Psalmody, The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (director)
Hyperion CDA 67020, track 1

Anon:
An Hymn for Easter Day (edited by Dave Townsend)
Christminster Singers, Dave Townsend (director)
Let the Echo Fly XMS002, track 3

William Knapp:
Durweston Tune (extract)
The Christminster Singers, Dave Townsend (director)
William Knapp: West Gallery Anthems and Psalms XMS001, track 8

‘Otford’ (verse 1) transcribed from Michael Beesly’s 1746 collection by Sally Drage
Members of the West Gallery Music Association
WGMA-002-CD, track 23

‘Ipplepen’ (verse 2) Psalm 49 from the Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts
The Gladly Solemn Sound, Paul Guppy (director)
Repeat their sounding joy track 19

William Knapp
The beauty of Isr’el is slain
His Majestie’s Clerkes, Paul Hillier (director)
Harmonia Mundi HMU 907128, track 8

‘Spanking Roger’ (words by Isaac Watts)
The Madding Crowd, Mike Bailey (director)
Recorded by the BBC in June 2007

Vital Spark (setting by Edward Harwood to the words of Alexander Pope, transcribed by Sally Drage and Gordon Ashman)
Members of the West Gallery Music Association
WGMA-002-CD, track 19

‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ Medley

1. ‘Newton’s’ (verse 1)
Christminster Singers
Let the Echo Fly XMS 002, track 13

2. Tune by Charles Burney, trans. Mike Bailey (one verse)
The Madding Crowd, Mike Bailey (director)
Hark, shepherds, hark TMC-002-CD, track 6

3. Tune: Handel / Edward Miller (extract)
Psalmody, The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (director)
Hyperion CDA 66924, track 10

O for a thousand tongues to sing (words by Charles Wesley to the tune of ‘Lyngham’ by Thomas Jarman)
Maddy Prior with the Carnival Band
Saydisc CD-SDL 383, track 6

John Beaumont
The Fall of Babylon
Caarjn Cooidjagh, Anne Kissack (director)
The Promised Land: West Gallery Music from the Isle of Man MHF CD3

Joseph Haydn
Long life shall Israel’s king behold; The Lord, th’almighty monarch, spake
Psalmody, The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (director)
Hyperion CDA 67150, tracks 14 &16

The Choirmaster’s burial (Thomas Hardy) / Winterbourne tune (William Knapp)
Charles Spicer (speaker), The Mellstock Band
The Dance at the Phoenix BEJOCD-28, track 17

George Frideric Handel
Israel in Egypt (extract from Moses’ Song)
Nancy Argenta (soprano 1), Emily Van Evera (soprano 2), David Thomas (bass 1), Jeremy White (bass 2), Taverner Choir & Players, Andrew Parrott (conductor)
Virgin Veritas 7243 5 61350 2 4, CD2 tracks 8-15

1 hour, 30 minutes

Last on

Sun 25 Jan 2009 18:30
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