50 choristers from cathedrals across the UK joined forces with St Paul’s Cathedral Choir for a new album entitled ‘Jubilate: 500 Years of Cathedral Music’, released by Decca Classics and Classic FM on 17th March. Since we featured an article about the CD back in February, it has since been released and shot to the top of the classical music charts.
Our very own Astrid Rose-Edwards (pictured above singing in her blue cassock with the massed choir), then Head Girl Chorister, was the representative from Wells. Astrid said:
'In January, I went to Saint Paul's Cathedral with 50 other choristers from around Britain, as well as the choristers from Saint Paul's Cathedral. I made friends with a lot of the choristers there, because we all had something in common! With Andrew Carwood conducting we soon finished the recording and were all tired after working so hard. It was a great opportunity and I'm so glad that i made so many friends there as well.'
Every copy of the album sold will raise money for the ‘Diamond Fund for Choristers’, which aims to help young choral singers and secure the future of cathedral music. It is supported by Classic FM presenter Alexander Armstrong – a former choirboy himself – who hails becoming a chorister as “the greatest leg-up a child can be given in life”. Alexander spoke to Andrew Carwood about his chorister years and you can watch this interview in the video below (apologies for the poor sound quality!).
The album, which celebrates 500 years of cathedral music with a host of famous choral tunes, was recorded in the astonishing acoustics of St Paul’s Cathedral – with its 8-second echo! St Paul’s Cathedral Choir has been performing in London’s iconic venue for nearly 900 years, making it one of the world’s oldest and most illustrious cathedral choirs.
The songs on the album span five centuries – from Thomas Tallis’ Salvator Mundi to Paul Mealor’s Ubi Caritas, with Handel, Mendelssohn, Vaughan Williams and more between. There is also a special arrangement by John Rutter of A Gaelic Blessing, sung by fomer chorister, Aled Jones. Most of the music chosen for the album was written by composers who themselves were former choristers, from William Byrd and Henry Purcell (Westminster) to William Walton (Christ Church, Oxford).