The Choir of Farm Street Church, Mayfair, David Graham & Duncan Aspden | Both God's and Mary's Son

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Both God's and Mary's Son

by The Choir of Farm Street Church, Mayfair, David Graham & Duncan Aspden

A musical portrait of Farm Street Church, Mayfair, celebrating 50 years as a Parish of the Archdiocese of Westminster. This collection includes favourite selections from the choir’s repertoire, with special commissions composed by Gabriel Jackson.
Genre: Classical: Choral Music
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Jubilate Deo
3:50 $0.99
2. I Say That We Are Wound With Mercy
8:01 $0.99
3. Tantum Ergo
2:19 $0.99
4. Tribulationes
3:41 $0.99
5. Dextera Domini
2:49 $0.99
6. Eripe Me
4:12 $0.99
7. Ave Regina
3:16 $0.99
8. Angelis Suis
3:26 $0.99
9. Veritas Mea
2:32 $0.99
10. Kyrie
2:08 $0.99
11. Gloria
4:25 $0.99
12. Credo
6:25 $0.99
13. Sanctus
2:16 $0.99
14. Benedictus
1:55 $0.99
15. Agnus Dei
3:37 $0.99
16. De Profundis
3:53 $0.99
17. Ave Maria
5:00 $0.99
18. Pater Noster
4:05 $0.99
19. Tota Pulchra Es Maria
7:24 $0.99
20. Laudate Dominum
4:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A musical portrait of Farm Street Church, Mayfair, celebrating fifty years as a Parish of the Archdiocese of Westminster. This collection includes favourite selections from the choir’s repertoire, along with special commissions composed for the choir by Gabriel Jackson, for which the choir gave the premiere performances.

For the past fifty years, the music at Farm Street Church has continued a tradition dating back to the 1920s when the music there had a great reputation. Then the choir was under the direction of Fr John Driscoll SJ, succeeded in 1940 by Fernand Laloux (1901 – 1970). Driscoll had trained an exceptionally good choir of men and boys at Wimbledon, and from 1928 undertook the direction of the choir at Farm Street as well. He was an expert in voice-production and both the Farm Street, and Wimbledon choirs, received frequent praise in the press. The music critic Ernest Newman wrote of “the perfect singing of the Farm Street choir” which “must be one of the finest choirs in the country”. Fr Driscoll’s greatest difficulty was in keeping a regular team of boy choristers, and as there were no local Catholic schools, he had to recruit from across London. With the choristers having to travel from various parts of the city for rehearsals there was great difficulty in keeping a consistent group, yet the quality of the singing was such that one of the Farm Street Choristers sang in a production of Tosca at Covent Garden in 1938. After the Second World War, it was decided to introduce a fully professional mixed voice choir, with the aim of regaining the reputation the music had at Farm Street before the war. (From 1943 – 45 a quintet of male voices had been responsible for all the singing.) A period of change followed in 1964 when the professional choir was briefly disbanded, partly as an overreaction to the Second Vatican Council, and also with the aim of encouraging more congregational singing. From the early 1970s the mixed-voice fully professional choir was reinstated to sing at the main liturgies, as well as at weddings and memorial services.


The setting of Ave Maria by Max Bruch (1838-1920) is a real Farm Street curiosity. The copies of this motet have been handed down to us in the handwriting of Fr Driscoll SJ. He often took pre-existing instrumental and choral music, reworking and arranging them himself. In this case, acknowledging Max Bruch as the composer, Fr Driscoll has taken a German language setting of Jubilate-Amen (Op 3), and set the Ave Maria to Bruch’s music and making an idiomatic reduction of the orchestral accompaniment for organ. This ‘arrangement’ has always been a popular motet at both Farm Street and at the Sacred Heart church in Wimbledon. (The authenticity of this piece was only recently discovered.)

Fr Driscoll was a prolific collector of contemporary church music, and his collections of ‘Modern Motets Sung at Farm Street Church’ from c. 1929–1933, span around eight volumes of hand-written scores. Perhaps because of ‘copyright’ issues, in these volumes he never credits composers, and today we only understand that the music to the words Jubilate Deo from the sixth volume (1932) of the Modern Motets series are by Karl Koch because the late Nicholas Danby (Director of Music at Farm Street from 1967–1997) knew the identity of some of the composers Fr Driscoll used. This motet is the Offertory for the 2nd Sunday of the Year and for the 4th Sunday of Easter. It is probably true to say that this motet is unique to Farm Street (and the Sacred Heart church in Wimbledon), and it is highly unlikely that you will hear this piece performed anywhere else. Over the years this piece has become a kind of ‘Farm Street lollipop’. It is a very vibrant setting of the words, typical of late nineteenth century German Romanticism, and has a very characteristic Alto solo, as well as ample opportunity for the organist to use the loud trumpet stops.

Fr Driscoll’s skills in training boys’ voices had influences beyond Farm Street. When George Malcolm (1917–1997) was appointed Choirmaster at Westminster Cathedral (a position he held from 1947 to 1951) it is reputed that the ‘Farm Street sound’ was the source of the vibrant, perhaps more continental sound, of the choristers at the cathedral, in contrast to the typical sounds of an Anglican cathedral choir. Malcolm’s setting of Veritas Mea (Offertory for the Feast of St Ignatius) owes something to this influence.

The Marian music of this collection includes two recent works by Gabriel Jackson (b.1962). Jackson is one of Britain’s leading contemporary composers: he was the winner of the 2003 British Composer Award for liturgical music and from 2010–2013 was Associate Composer to the BBC Singers. Jackson’s music is noted for its contemplative style. The motets were commissioned by Farm Street Church. The setting of Tota pulchra es Maria (Antiphon for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception) was given its first performance, directed by David Graham, at Farm Street on the Feast Day in December 2012. A second motet – I say that we are wound with mercy – with words taken from The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe by Gerald Manley Hopkins SJ, was commissioned to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus. This was given its first performance in Westminster Cathedral on 1 March 2014, again directed by David Graham.

The Belgian, Fernand Laloux’s (1901–1970) work at Farm Street Church is celebrated with his setting of Tantum ergo. This comes from a collection of pieces he composed for Benediction. It was regularly sung during the 1950s and early 1960s. Laloux was choirmaster at Farm Street from 1940 to 1964.

The rest of the music also reflects our traditions. There was always a tendency to favour ‘continental music’ and the music lists going back over a hundred years or so show a preference for German and French 19th and 20th century composers otherwise rarely heard in London churches. The music of Rheinberger suits the ‘Farm Street sound’ so well. Josef Rheinberger (1839 – 1901) became the organist at Vaduz Parish Church when he was only seven years old. He was a professor of piano, organ and composition at the Munich Conservatoire. The Five Hymns (Op 140) use a variety of texts, and also include a setting of the Marian antiphon, Ave Regina caelorum. Other continental composers include Meyerbeer (1791–1864) who spent most of his life working in Paris, though he was born in Berlin. Best known for his operas, he did write church music including oratorios. He was influenced by Rossini, and his music was frequently discussed, and at times bitterly attacked, by Wagner. The Missa Festiva of Alexander Gretchaninoff (1864 – 1956) is often sung at major Feasts in Farm Street, but has only been included in the repertoire for the past ten years or so. Gretchaninoff was born in Moscow and died in New York. He studied composition with Rimsky-Korsakov at the St Petersburg Conservatoire, but left Russia in 1925 to live and work in France. He settled in the USA in 1939, becoming an American citizen. This mass was written during his stay in Paris and represents a fascinating fusion of Russian and French liturgical traditions.

Finally two pieces have been included for rather ‘sentimental’ reasons. Mozart’s setting of Laudate Dominum is a favourite. It gives opportunities to sing music of the very highest qualities at the many weddings held each year at Farm Street Church, and this famous motet is often sung as a psalm or during the signing of the register at these ceremonies. Legend has it that there was considerable hostility between Antonio Salieri (1750–1825) and Mozart. Salieri was Court Conductor at Vienna from 1788 to 1824, and was a famous teacher with Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt among his students. His setting of De profundis (offertory for the 33rd Sunday of the Year) is remarkable for its simplicity, and yet it makes a huge impact on the listener. Over the years this has become a much-loved motet of the congregation at the 11am Sung Latin Mass on Sundays.


Jubilate Deo
Sing joyfully to God all the earth; let the entire earth cry out with joy to God; sing a psalm in honour of his name. Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what the Lord has done for my soul, alleluia.

I say that we are wound with mercy

I say that we are wound
With mercy round and round
As if with air: the same
Is Mary, more by name.
She, wild web, wondrous robe,
Mantles the guilty globe,
Since God has let dispense
Her prayers his providence:
Nay, more than almoner,
The sweet alms' self is her
And men are meant to share
Her life as life does air.
If I have understood,
She holds high motherhood
Towards all our ghostly good
And plays in grace her part
About man's beating heart,
Laying, like air's fine flood,
The deathdance in his blood;
Yet no part but what will
Be Christ our Saviour still.
Of her flesh he took flesh:
He does take fresh and fresh,
Though much the mystery how,
Not flesh but spirit now
And makes, O marvellous!
New Nazareths in us,
Where she shall yet conceive
Him, morning, noon, and eve;
New Bethlems, and he born
There, evening, noon, and morn¬¬—
Bethlem or Nazareth,
Men here may draw like breath
More Christ and baffle death;
Who, born so, comes to be
New self and nobler me
In each one and each one
More makes, when all is done,
Both God's and Mary's Son.

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1899)
from The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe

Tantum ergo
Come adore this wondrous presence; bow to Christ, the source of grace! Here is kept the ancient promise of God’s earthy dwelling-place! Sight is blind before God’ glory, faith alone may see his face
Funf Hymnen
The sorrows of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my troubles. Look upon my adversity and misery: and forgive me all my sin

Dextera Domine
The Lord’s right hand has shown strength, the Lord’s right hand has exalted me. I shall not die, but live; and I shall declare the works of the Lord.

Eripe me
Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, to thee have I fled; teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God.

Ave Regina
Hail, O Queen of Heav'n enthroned! Hail by Angels mistress owned! Root of Jesse, gate of morn, whence the world's true Light was born. Glorious Virgin, joy to thee, Loveliest whom in heaven they see! Fairest thou where all are fair! Plead with Christ our sins to spare.

Angelis suis
May God commend you to his angels. May his angels protect you in all your ways. May they guard you from all dangers lest you strike your foot upon a stone.

Veritas mea: Malcolm
My truth and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name he shall rise to greatness.

Missa festiva
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will towards men. We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty. O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us. For thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord; thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, Only begotten Son of God,
Begotten of his Father before all worlds. God of God, light of light, Very God of very God.
Begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father: by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven.

And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary: And was made man.
And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate: suffered, and was buried.

And the third day He rose again according to the scriptures. And ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead: His kingdom shall have no end.

And (I believe in) the Holy Ghost, Lord and giver of life: Who proceedeth from the Father and Son. Who with the Father and Son together is worshipped and glorified: Who spake by the Prophets. And in one holy catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism
for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead And the life of the world to come. Amen.

Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Agnus Dei
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

De profundis
Out of the depths have I cried to you O lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to the prayer o your servant. If you were to pay heed, O Lord, to iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is merciful forgiveness, and because of your law I have awaited you, O Lord.

Ave Maria
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Pater noster
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.

Tota pulchra est Maria
You are completely pure, Mary, and the stain of original sin is not within you. Your clothing is white like snow, and your face is like the sun. You are completely pure, Mary, and the stain of original sin is not within you. You are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you are the honoured of our people. You are completely pure, Mary.

Laudate Dominun
Praise the Lord, all nations; Praise Him, all people. For He has bestowed His mercy upon us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and forever, and for gen

DAVID GRAHAM has been involved with the music at Farm Street for over thirty years. In 1982 he became Assistant to Nicholas Danby (Director of Music 1967 – 1997) and after Danby’s death in 1997 was appointed Joint Director Music with Martyn Parry. From 2004, following Martyn Parry’s death, he has been Organist and Director of Music.

David Graham is recognised internationally as one of the UK’s leading organ teachers. As Professor in-charge-of Organ at the Royal College of Music he has taught some of the most talented young organists, many of whom have gone on to win prizes in international competitions and hold important positions in Cathedrals and Churches in this country and abroad.

As a performer he has played widely throughout Europe, the USA and the Far East. His repertoire is wide but Graham has commissioned organ works by the contemporary British composer, Huw Watkins and given premieres of his music in Notre Dame and St Sulpice in Paris. Other recital venues have included St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London, St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York and St Bavo, Haarlem.

David Graham has recorded extensively as a solo artist in music by Guy Weitz, his predecessor as organist at Farm Street Church in London, and music by Dupré, Franck, d’Indy, among others. He also features as an accompanist in a wide range of choral music, and as a conductor in works by Nino Rota and other 19th and 20th century composers.

David Graham was educated at Methodist College Belfast, where he studied organ with Desmond Hunter. In 1976 he won a scholarship to continue organ studies at the Royal College of Music in London with Nicholas Danby. Postgraduate studies included a year at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam, studying early performance practices with Klass Bolt, and further studies in organ improvisation with Naji Hakim in Paris and Peter Planyavsky in Vienna.

DUNCAN ASPDEN is a conductor, organist and continuo player. He studied at Jesus College Cambridge and at the Royal Academy of Music. Starting out as an organist, he has held posts at four of England’s cathedrals, becoming Associate Director of Music at Farm Street Church in 2007 where he shares playing and conducting duties with David Graham.

Amidst a busy freelance practice conducting and playing in and around London, Duncan is also Director of Music of the City of Oxford Choir and Musical Director of Thame Chamber Choir, two high quality chamber choirs which perform wide-ranging programmes particularly of 20th and 21st century music. In 2010 he founded Thame Children’s Choir to bring high quality choral singing to young people near his home in Buckinghamshire. In 2012 he founded Excalibur Voices, bringing together fine singers from across the south of England for festival and other performances. With these and many other ensembles he conducts a wide repertoire from unaccompanied miniatures to major oratorios with leading soloists and orchestras.

Duncan has performed in most of Europe’s great churches and cathedrals, particularly in France, Italy, Spain and throughout Scandinavia. He has broadcast numerous times on BBC Radio and Television, recorded widely, and directed ensembles including I Fagiolini, the London Mozart Players and The English Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble. Alongside dozens of premiere performances he also made the first recordings of works by composers as diverse as Francis Grier and William Byrd.



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