Audio CD, 77 minutes,
with 28-page commemorative booklet
A CD featuring exciting contemporary choral music written for the choirs of Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal. The recording, directed by Patrick Wedd, includes works by Canadian composers John Burge, Robin Davies, Donald Hunt, Patrick Wedd, and Jonathan Wild, as well as a Toccata for organ by Lynwood Farnam and a motet composed for Farnam's funeral by his eulogist, Healey Willan. Patrick Wedd writes:
"2009 marks the 150th anniversary of the dedication of our present Cathedral building, modeled on a 14th-century parish church in Snettisham in England. Here, week by week, we provide liturgical music for a varied and vibrant congregation, people of lively intellect and inquiring minds. The music we offer ranges from the earliest plainsong to the most recent compositions. Our hope is to keep alive the great tradition of Cathedral music in an age when it seems endangered in many places.
On this special anniversary we present, then, music written by and for us – music that somehow reflects the contemporary culture in which we find ourselves. Here you will find music which echoes traditional styles, music which expands that tradition, music which even literally quotes the environment around us.
In the accompanying booklet, we have invited the composers themselves to provide some personal reflections on their works. We hope, then, that you will find something here to challenge and to soothe, something to surprise and confirm, above all something to inspire."
consist of the Choir of Trebles and Adults, including boys and girls aged 8 to 18, and the Cathedral Singers, a mixed adult choir of both professionals and amateurs. The proceeds from the sale of this recording support the music program of Christ Church Cathedral, which offers children a free musical education and an annual bursary while singing a choral repertoire from every musical period from ancient to modern. The Cathedral Singers may be heard each week in a service of Choral Evensong at 4:00 PM EST, streamed live on the web by Radio Ville-Marie.
PATRICK WEDD was born in Simcoe, Ontario, and began his professional career in Vancouver as Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral. Since September 1996 he has held the same position at Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal.
Well-known as both an organist and composer, Mr. Wedd has played recitals in Canada, the United States, Australia and England. He has appeared as soloist with the Vancouver Symphony, the Montreal Symphony and the CBC Orchestra. He has presented cycles of the complete organ works of Messiaen, Alain, Duruflé, de Grigny, Ligeti and Kenneth Leighton, and received the Opus Prize of the Quebec Music Council for the best contemporary music concert of 2004/5, a complete performance of Messiaen’s Livre d’Orgue. His most recent recording is a Naxos CD of the major organ works of Healey Willan, recorded on the magnificent Casavant organ of L’église St-Jean-Baptiste in Montreal.
(all photographs (c) 2009 by Jonathan Sa'adah)