Kodaly's Missa Brevis was originally composed as an organ mass. He then rearranged the work for organ and mixed choir. The first performance was given in the cloakrooms of the Budapest Opera House during the siege of Budapest from 1944-45.
This service includes the first performance of Nico Muhly's St John's Service, a work commissioned by the Master and Fellows of the College with generous support from Michael McLaren QC and Caroline McLaren.
Dr Christopher Robinson was Director of Music at St John's College, Cambridge from 1991-2003. He was formerly organ scholar at Christ Church, Oxford before becoming Director of Music at Worcester Cathedral and then St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
The Introit from this service, Jesu, grant me this, I pray, was composed by former Director of Music, Christopher Robinson. The Choir also performed the work as an introit on Wednesday 27 April as part of Choral Evensong, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
A Meditation on the Passion of Christ (also known as the Lent Meditation Service) is a service of music and readings reflecting on the Passion of Christ, with music by Bruckner, Byrd, Ireland, Lotti, Morales, Robinson and Stainer.
The Choir of Gonville and Caius College was founded at the end of the nineteenth century by the celebrated composer of Anglican church music, Charles Wood. The choir became an exclusively undergraduate male choir under its next director of music, Patrick Hadley.
Following on from the Choir’s success in promoting new and exciting repertoire, its most recent festive recording features works from composers including Michael Finnissy, who’s piece John the Baptist was commissioned for the Choirs’ well-known Advent broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Bob Chilcott’s The Shepherd’s Carol was commissioned by Stephen Cleobury, who along with John Scott – composer of Creator of the Stars of Night – were once Organ Scholars at St John’s.