Attende Domine is an unaccompanied penitential motet for use during the Lenten season. The motet uses text from a Mozarabic Hymn dating back to the tenth century, which begins with the antiphon ‘Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi’ (Hear, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned against Thee), first heard as an ethereal alto line. The interspersed verses call for God to have mercy on us, who have been redeemed at such a great price, and explores various choral colours to reflect the text. The work was composed specifically for the East of England Singers ‘Music in Quiet Places’ concert held in St Mary’s Church, Clifton Village, Nottingham, on Saturday 6 March 2010.
Ave Virgo sanctissima
Commissioned by Neil Page for the 2014 Flower and Music Festival at Nottingham Cathedral.
Beyond the Veil
A setting of the poem by Henry Vaughan (1621-1695)
Blest by the sun
A setting of the hymn by Richard Rutt (1925-2011) itself based on an early Latin hymn. Written for and first performed by Nottingham Cathedral's Cambiata and Vivace choirs at the 2019 Chrism Mass.
Bonum est confiteri Domino
This offertory motet marks the first commission from Neil Page, the Director of Music at St Barnabas Cathedral, for the Cathedral Choir. The first performance of the piece took place alongside the first performance of Antony LeFleming’s Mass of St Barnabas during a Gala Concert in the cathedral on 31 January 2009. The text of the work is the Offertory for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
I lift up my eyes
This setting of Psalm 121 was completed in August 2008 in memory of Eveline Patterson, the composer’s grandmother, who passed away in 2006. Her fondness for this psalm is reflected in how she daily looked up to the hills of the Mourne Mountains, Co. Down from her bungalow in Clanawhillan.
A setting of e. e. cummings' poem 'if' for René and Eithne Bloice-Sanders on their wedding day.
Lead, kindly Light
John Henry Newman wrote the words of ‘Lead Kindly Light’ in 1833 after the young priest became sick at Palermo during his Mediterranean travels. He viewed his illness as providential, claiming that God had work for him to do in England. In his own words ‘I was aching to get home, yet for want of a vessel I was kept at Palermo for three weeks’. He eventually left, bound for Marseilles, but was becalmed in the Straits of Bonifacio, where he wrote the lines ‘Lead Kindly Light’.
A commission by Neil Page, Lead, kindly Light is perhaps the most personal piece written by the composer to date. It received its first performance in December 2011 by the St Barnabas Cathedral Choir, conducted by the composer and was later described as ‘radiantly beautiful’ after a performance by the joint choirs of St Barnabas Cathedral and St Mary’s Church Choirs in February 2012.
Locus Iste was commissioned by Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham for the world premiere of EXXOPOLIS, a new structure by Architects of Air, constructed to celebrate its 20th year. The luminosity of colour inside the structure is created purely by natural light shining through coloured plastic, resulting in a peacefully ethereal atmosphere. The design of the Cupola dome, where Locus Iste was first performed, was inspired by the Chapter House of Southwell Minster and why it seemed appropriate to use for the text, the Gradual at Mass for the dedication of a church.
Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis
The genesis of Missa Brevis occurred during the choir’s 2009 tour to Hong Kong, when the composer sat down to breakfast with Neil Page in the Hing Fat Restaurant. As the finer details were discussed, the waiter presented their chosen ‘western’ dish, which consisted of a fried egg and two sausages floating in a tasty noodle soup. Not as bad as you might think!
Commissioned for the St Barnabas Cathedral’s 2010 Flower and Music Festival, Missa Brevis was first performed during the Gala Opening Concert on 21 May 2010. The overall premise behind the mass is inspired by a flower blossoming, and although this idea underpins the entire mass setting, elements from Hong Kong can also be heard – the ‘pleni sunt caeli’ of the ‘Sanctus’ movement is a direct reference to the Hong Kong MTR.
Mitte manum tuam
A setting of the Communion Antiphon for the Second Sunday of Easter and the Feast of St Thomas, the Apostle. Written for and first performed by the Nottingham Cathedral Choir on the Ordination of Patrick McKinney as the Tenth Bishop of Nottingham.
‘The Good-Night’ was commissioned by Lakeside Arts Centre to celebrate the opening of their Lowry exhibition in November 2011. The piece was first performed by Viva Voce, the University of Nottingham's Chamber Choir, conducted by Tess Pearson.
Inspired by the knowledge that L. S. Lowry read poetry by John Donne together with his mother, I set off in search for a suitable text in which to set to music. I was immediately struck by the eleventh stanza of Donne’s Eclogue 1613, written for the marriage of the divorced Countess of Essex to Robert Carr, newly created Earl of Somerset. I became fascinated with the many ways in which to illuminate the fiery imagery depicted in the text, and set out to explore these through the music; from the ‘one lamp’ (referencing the tomb of Tullia Ciceronis, found in the fifteenth century in which a perpetual lamp was discovered supposedly still burning after more than 15 centuries) through to ‘ashes’ and my simmering interpretation of ‘joy’s bonfire’.
The Lord bless you and keep you
Written for the Baptism of Lucy Shaw on Sunday 16 June 2019.
Through the house give glimmering light
Commissioned by the Imperial College Chamber Choir and first performed by them in June 2012, conducted by Will Glendinning.
Two Pieces for Remembrance
The Two Pieces for Remembrance form perspectives on the topic of war, which is all too relevant today. ‘Dulce et decorum est’ was inspired, in part, by Wilfred Owen’s poem of the same name, but actually uses the original text by Horace. The lamenting solo soprano sparks an almost bitter response from the humming choir before returning to the atmosphere of the opening lament.
‘For the fallen’, commissioned by Neil Page and first performed on Remembrance Sunday 2010 by the Choir of St Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham, utilizes the fourth stanza of Laurence Binyon’s poem by the same name. The music offers a laboured reflection before the final repetitions of ‘we will remember them’ which fails to resolve.
Watts' Cradle Hymn
Written during the composer’s composer-in-residence period at St Barnabas Cathedral, this work was premiered by the cathedral choir at the Family Christmas Concert of 2009.
The piece is nestled in a lush lullaby-like harmony with some obvious rocking allusions. The lullaby idea runs throughout and is highlighted through the numerous sparsely harmonised sections, as if a parent was singing to their child in a cradle.
SATB + organ/piano
Brother, Sister, Let me serve you
This setting of the popular hymn 'Brother, sister, let me serve you' was written specially for Chris and Leah Burton on their wedding day in July 2012, in an arrangement for SATB, piano and two cellos.
MAss of St Barnabas
Written to mark the 175th Anniversary of Nottingham Cathedral and first performed on Tuesday 11 June 2019, the Feast of St Barnabas.
My love is like a red, red rose
SATB + orchestra
On the idle hill
SATB + string orchestra
SATB + cello
Lux in tenebris
SSA + piano
He wishes for the cloths of heaven
This setting of Yeats was commissioned by Ann Miller for the Voices Youth Choir and Derby Youth Choir for their tour to Belgium and the Rheinland in August 2012. The piece was first performed in Brussels Cathedral on Monday 20 August 2012.
Commissioned by the Ripley Music Festival for the Sonara Singers and first performed by them on Friday 15 July 2011.
My heart is like a singing bird
Advent responsory: I Look from afar
In excelsis gloria
This work was written for the girls of Coro Sorelle, the Nottingham University’s unauditioned female choir, and their manager, Jennie Lambert. The piece is in the style of a jig with some rhythmical alterations and uncertain harmonic and melodic inflections adding musical interest.
Unison + organ/piano
Robin Hood MasS
Written in 2011 for the Choirs of St Barnabas Cathedral and first performed by the Schola Cantorum on Sunday 29 May 2011 as part of 'Alex Patterson's Big Weekend'.
Robin Hood Mass has become a staple congregation mass used at most 10am and 6pm Masses on Sundays at St Barnabas Cathedral.
The mass is written for unison voices with organ and contains an optional part for mixed choir during the Sanctus movement. It uses the new English translation of the Roman Missal which was introduced in September 2011.
Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis
These settings of the Evensong canticles, Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis came about after a commission by Christopher Burton for a Nunc Dimittis setting for the Radcliffe-on-Trent Male Voice Choir, of which he is the musical director.
After writing the Nunc Dimittis in April 2010, the composer wished to explore the variety of musical colours set up in the setting in another work, logically, the Magnificat, also including a Gloria to be sung following the Magnificat and also the Nunc Dimittis, if sung liturgically. (NB. The Nunc Dimittis may be sung on its own without the Gloria if desired.)