Arvo Pärt – Triodion – CC4943


Arvo Pärt Triodion (Session producers: Arvo Pärt & Colin Attwell  – World Premiere Recording)

Arvo Pärt accepted the commission to write a work for Lancing College’s 150th anniversary in December 1996. Given that Benjamin Britten had written the Saint Nicolas cantata for the College’s centenary in 1948. Pärt originally planned to write a work on a text for Mary, fellow patron of the school. Searching through an Orthodox prayer-book for the suitable passage, he came across a Triodion, a group of three prayers – to Christ, to Mary the Mother of God, and to St. Nicolas (he was later to find a 15th century icon from Russia, depiciting these same three figures).


Arvo Pärt – Triodion (Session producers: Arvo Pärt & Colin Attwell  – World Premiere Recording)

Arvo Pärt accepted the commission to write a work for Lancing College’s 150th anniversary in December 1996. Given that Benjamin Britten had written the Saint Nicolas cantata forthe College’s centenary in 1948, Pärt originally planned to write a work on a text for Mary, fellow patron of the school. Searching through an Orthodox prayer-book for a suitable passage, he came across a Triodion, a group of three prayers – to Christ, to Mary the Mother of God, and to St. Nicolas (he was later to find a 16th century icon from Russia, depicting these same three figures). The shape of the work became immediately apparent: each prayer was to be set as a musical invocation, and each would conclude with an extended litany of supplication. The first opens darkly over a pedal-note in the basses: this recurs at the end of the work in the final litany to St. Nicolas. The central prayer is given to the upper voices in a slow passage of rare beauty and stillness. The climax of the work comes in the third Ode; after a series of rising phrases the tension continues to mount as the music moves towards the choral outburst, ‘that our souls may be saved.’ This gives way to the closing litany, built like the others on a gently folding figure. Scored for unaccompanied choir divided into nine parts, the work was completed in Berlin in January 1998, and given it’s first public performance in Westminster Abbey by the Lancing choir on 30th April, 1998.


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Ode I

O Jesus the Son of God,

Have Mercy upon Us.

We do homage to Thy pure image, O Good One, entreating forgiveness of our transgressions, O Christ our God: for of Thine own good will Thou wast graciously pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh, that Thou mightest deliver from bondage to the enemy those whom Thou hadst fashioned. For which cause we cry aloud unto Thee withthanksgiving: With joy hast Thou filled all things, O our Saviour, in that Thou didst come to save the world.

O Jesus the Son of God, have mercy upon us.

Ode II

O Most Holy Birth-giver of God,

Save us

Unto the Birth-giver of God let us sinners and humble ones now diligently have recourse; and let us fall down in penitence exclaiming, from the bottom of our souls: O Sovereign Lady, help us, having compassion on us! Show zeal, for we perish with the multitude of our sins; turn not Thy servant’s away empty; for we have Thee as our only hope.

O Most Holy Birth-giver of God, save us.


O Holy Saint Nicolas,

Pray unto God for Us

A rule of faith and a model of meekness, a teacher of abstinence hath the reality shewn thee unto thy flock; therewithal hast thou acquired: by humility – greatness, by poverty – riches; O Father hierarch Nicolas, intercede before Christ the God that our souls may be saved.

O Holy Saint Nicolas, pray unto God for us.


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now, and ever and unto

ages of ages. Amen.

Arvo Pärt was born in Paide in Estonia in the former USSR in 1935. A devout Orthodox Catholic, he was educated at the Conservatoire at Tallin. His Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten of 1988 earned him wide acclaim. On his election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1996, the welcoming laudation said: “Often composing with no more than basic scales and broken triads, Arvo Pärt has created a body of religious and secular music that simultaneously moves the heart and impresses itself on the mind through its purity of craftsmanship. While totally maintaining his integrity, he has nevertheless become one of the most frequently performed living composers.”

Three Renaissance Pieces (arr.for brass, organ & timpani by Neil Cox)

Susato (c.1500 – 1564)

  1. i) Intrada

Arbeau (1520 – 1595)

  1. ii) Pavane

iii) The Kong’s Morisco

Anon. (Fitzwilliam Virginal Book)

Neil Cox

Ave Maria (1997)

(Becky Knight, Tom Cherrill – ‘cellos)

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum; benedicta tu in mulieribus, et Benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

Born in Llanelli in 1955, Neil Cox was organ scholar of Downing College, Cambridge and studied organ with Gillian Weir and Flor Peeters and composition with John Rutter. He has been Director of Music at Lancing College Chapel since 1978.

Tom Young

Toccata for organ

Written for the College’s 150th anniversary concert in Westminster Abbey, the composer writes: “Following in the tradition of earlier toccatas this work is essentially a virtuosic showpiece for the player. Texturally varied between contrapuntal and more melodic writing, it is structured around a simple ABA form, the blazing chords of the opening emphatically heralding the recapitulation.”

Born in 1979, Tom Young was educated at Lancing, the Royal College of Music and Caius College, Cambridge. Whilst still at school he was a prizewinner in the television Performing Arts Channel composition competition, and in March 1998 his Sinfoniettawas played by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as part of the Young Musician of the Year series and broadcast on BBC2 and Radio3. Of this piece the critic of the Glasgow Herald commented that the “fully-fledged and strikingly original Sinfonietta is the composer’s first orchestral work, though you would not believe it.”

 Peter Davis (b.1974) was a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral, a music scholar at Lancing and organ scholar at St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he acted as accompanist and assistant conductor of the famous Chapel Choir under Christopher Robinson. He is now on the music staff at Haberdasher Aske’s school in London.

Neil Cox

Corpus Christi Sequence (1998)

Lancing College Brass:

Jonathan Perry, Michael Bunting (trumpets), Peter Lewis, Andrea Napper (horns), James Ware, Adrian Lane (trombones), Tom Young (timpani), Peter Davis (organ).

(Becky Knight, Tom Cherrill / ‘cellos; William Ings, Anna Knauer, Michael Knowlden, Nick

Perry / percussion)

  1. i) Prelude: Pange lingua gloriosi
  2. ii) Hymn at the Communion

He fed them also with the finest wheat flour, and with honey from the rock he satisfied them: Alleluia. My flesh is Meat indeed, and my Blood is drink: he that eateth my Flesh and drinketh myBlood, dwelleth in me and I in him. Alleluia.

iii) Interlude I

  1. iv) Corpus Christi Carol
[words: anon., 15th century]

(Sarah Stobart / soprano)

He bare him up, he bare him down.

He bare him into an orchard brown.

Lully, lullay, lully, lullay,

The Falcon hath born my make 1 away.

In that orchard there was an hall,

That was hanged with purple and pall,

And in that hall there was a bed,

It was hanged with gold so red,

In that bed there lieth a knight,

His woundes bleeding day and night,

By that bedside kneeleth a may 2;

And she weepeth both night and day,

And by that bedside there standeth a stone,

‘Coprus Christi’ 3 written thereon.

1 mate 2 maid 3 the body of Christ

  1. vi) Interlude II

vii) Sacris solemnis / Panis angelicus

[words: St. Thomas Aquinas]

(Anna Bolton / soprano)

Sacris solemniis iuncta sint gaudia,

Et ex praecordiis sonent praeconia,

Recedant vetera, nova sint omnia,

Corda, voces et opera.

Panis angelicus, fit panis hominum,

Dat Panis coelicus figuris terminum,

O res mirabilis manducat Dominum,

Servus, pauper et humilis. Amen.

Let joy be joined to sacred solemnities,

Let praises sound from our hearts;

Let old things pass away, let all be new –

Hearts, voices, deeds.

The bread of angels becomes the bread of men;

The heavenly bread makes an end to types;

O thing of wonder! The slave, poor and humble,

Partakes of his Lord.

viii) Postlude: Pange lingua gloriosi

Recorded in St. Bartholomew’s Church, Brighton, on 19th of April 1998, 21st June 1998

and 17th May 1999. Over the course of the three recording sessions the Choir was taken from:

Joseph Acheson, Toby Adams, Tristan Adams, Jonathan Allen, Sophie Allen, Toby Armstrong, Andrew Belbin, Anna Bolton, Emma Brunjes, Eric Brunjes, Harry Brunjes, Tom Bryant, Michael Bunting, Emily Carter, David Corbett, Shelley Dartnell, Oliver Dashwood- Quick, Matthew Duncan, Rebecca Emerson-Keeler, Stuart Evans, Sarah Jane Fleming, Sam Hare, Jonathan Hay-Campbell, Nick Heppenstall, Paul Holland, Chip Horne, James

Howard, Jake Howe, William Ings, Richard Jones, Angela Kang, Anna Knauer, Rebecca Knight, Emily Lait, Tom Lavin, Eduardo Lees, Peter Lewis, Alastair Lowry, Peter Lynch, Catriona Macrae, Alex Mahoney, Iris Mar, Jessica Morgan, Laura Peacock, George Pierce, Daniel Proctor, James Rawdon-Mogg, John Rawdon-Mogg, Tom Record, Stephen Ryde-Weller, Angie Sibley, Holly Siddons, Jonathan Simmons, Artie Smith, Tom Speight,

Andrew Stevens, David Tanner, Henry Ward, Paul Warran, Nick Watts, Sarah Wilson,Philip Womack, Tristan Wright.

Ex Collegio is a group of former choristers of the College, many of whom have continued their singing as choral scholars at university:

Adam Brownson, Emily Cox, Jo Dartnell, Kathryn Davies, Mark Edgar, Tory Fea, Alan

Foster, Xavier Iles, Emily Marsh, Richard Milne, Michelle Moyes, Andrea Napper, Sophie

Peters, Sara Sheldon, Merit Stephanos, James Ware, Tom Young.

**Arvo Pärt – Website


Arvo Pärt: Triodion (1998)

Neil Cox: Three Renaissance Pieces for Brass and Organ/Ave Maria/Corpus Christe Sequence Tom Young: Toccata for Organ Lancing College Choir/Brass Ensemble/Neil Cox conductor Peter Davis, organ ★★★★ Claudio CC 4943-2 [51 mins] Recorded in the presence of the composer

Arvo Pärt’s haunting Triodion was commissioned by Lancing College to mark its 150th anniversary in 1998, and this first recording was made that same year in the presence of the composer. Consequently, it has a significance which places it to one side of all subsequent recorded versions, not least that in Colin Attwell’s superbly balanced sound, the work exerts a very moving effect that is, quite frankly, unique.

It is exciting news that Claudio Records have decided the reissue this unique recording the sound appearing clearer and more beautifully balanced and recessed that before.

The accompanying music by Neil Cox and Tom Young is highly appropriate to go with Part’s masterpiece, and all in all one welcomes this new version of this magnificent issue with considerable enthusiasm. It has a validity that no other version possesses.

Robert Matthew-Walker.