Locus Iste

Director of Music: 
Andrew Nethsingha
Organ Scholar: 
Glen Dempsey
Release date: 
April 2019
  • Laura van der Heijden (cello)
  • William Buttery, Lewis Cobb (treble)
  • Daniel Brown (counter tenor)
  • Gopal Kambo (tenor)
  • James Adams, Piers Kennedy (bass)
Record label: 
St John's Cambridge/Signum
Catalogue number: 

Locus Iste is the 100th recording by the Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge and marks the 150th anniversary of the consecration of St John's College Chapel.

The fifteen tracks reflect the past 150 years of choral music, carefully selected by Director of Music Andrew Nethsingha to mark each of the ten-year periods since the Chapel's Consecration in 1869.

Favourites of the Anglican choral tradition such as Finzi's 'God is Gone Up' and Parry's 'Blest pair of sirens' are joined by commissioned works by Giles Swayne and Alex Woolf, a former Music student at St John's. The Choir is also joined by cellist and current St John's College student Laura Van Der Heijden, who won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition in 2012.

Andrew Nethsingha, Director of Music, says: "We are excited to be releasing the choir’s 100th album, 60 years after the Choir’s first LP for the Argo label. This new recording celebrates 150 years since the consecration of the College Chapel and contains 15 contrasting pieces across that 150 year period.”

*indicates world premiere recording

Track list
  1. Faire is the heaven (William Harris)
  2. Sing my soul, His wondrous love (Ned Rorem)
  3. God is gone up (Gerald Finzi)
  4. Hymn to the Virgin (Benjamin Britten)
  5. Justorum animae (Charles V. Stanford)
  6. The Lamb (John Tavener)
  7. Seek him that maketh the seven stars (Jonathan Dove)
  8. Salve Regina (Francis Poulenc)
  9. Jesu, grant me this, I pray* (Christopher Robinson)
  10. O vos omnes* (Alex Woolf)
  11. Jubilate in C (Benjamin Britten)
  12. Locus iste (Anton Bruckner)
  13. Adam lay ibounden* (Giles Swayne)
  14. Cherubic Hymn (Sergei Rachmaninoff)
  15. Blest pair of sirens (Hubert Parry)
'... this disc really soars, startling the ear into ecstasy with the sudden release of Rachmaninov’s Cherubic Hymn, the ‘bright Seraphim’ of Parry’s Blest pair of sirens and the ‘triumphant shout’ of Finzi’s God is gone up... Hopefully it's a fanfare that will continue for another 150 years.'

Gramophone, Alexandra Coghlan

'... beautifully recorded. If you enjoy choral music, this one is special'

Wisconsin Public Radio

**** 'A glint of sunlight, inspired and inspiring'

BBC Music Magazine

'Highly recommended'

All Music, James Manheim

'The voices are tight and perfectly blended'

MusicWeb International, Simon Thompson

'Beautifully captured'

BBC Radio 3. Record Review

'There are some polished performances under Andrew Nethsingha's direction'

The Scotsman, Ken Walton

"The Choir of St John's College continues to be one of the finest collegiate choirs in the world.'

Cross Rhythms, Steven Whitehead

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Recorded on
30 June 2019
  • Responses and Preces: Leighton
  • Psalm 148 (Robinson)
  • Fayrfax: Magnificat Regale
  • Nunc Dimittis primi toni
  • Weir: Vertue
  • Hymns 383 (omit v. 3), 401 (omit v. 3)
  • Voluntary: J.S. Bach Fugue in E flat major (BWV 552ii)​

Latest news

The Choir began work today on a recording of Michael Finnissy's Anthems and Voluntaries, to be released on the St John's label in 2020.

First premiered by the Choir at a special service in June 2019, the work has been three years in the making, Composer-in-Residence Michael Finnissy collaborating closely with the Choir on each of its nine movements.

Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer