Michaelmas term remote choir recordings
Throughout Michaelmas term, St Peter's College Choir will continue to produce weekly remote recordings, thereby ensuring that the musical life of the college continues despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Choir begins this term’s recordings with Stanford’s setting of Beati quorum via, one of three motets with Latin texts he wrote for Trinity College, Cambridge in the 1880s, for his successor there as Organist, Alan Gray. Together they stand as perfect examples of the English partsong tradition brought to bear on liturgical texts.
Beati quorum has the shortest of texts, simply the first verse of Psalm 119 (there are another 175): Blessed are those that are undefiled in the way: and walk in the law of the Lord. It seems no coincidence that Stanford adopts the key of A flat major, with its connotations of warmth and consolation. Nor indeed the fluid polyphony of the setting, each part going its own way, but staying true to the disciplines of counterpoint.
In Covid times, there are restrictions on the size of Choir that may meet and sing in Chapel. While these restrictions remain in place, our weekly recordings provide the only opportunity to hear the work of the Choir as a whole. Each singer records his or her part independently of the other, to a backing track. Then the twenty or so independent tracks are synchronized and balanced.
The College is once again hugely indebted to John Warner (SPC 2013-17) for his work in producing the Choir recordings in Michaelmas Term.