In May, the Compline Choir from St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle released a new CD entitled I Will Meditate, which not only is the first CD of the Compline Service since Feathers of Green Gold* was released in 1994, but contains a number of recording premieres of music written for the Compline Choir by Peter Hallock and Richard Proulx.
The recording is published by Loft Recordings, LLC, and is available at The Gothic Catalog, where also one may read the program notes that Jason Anderson, director of the Compline Choir, and I co-wrote. The CD is also available at Amazon and iTtunes, and via The Episcopal Bookstore or The Cathedral Shop in Seattle. You can listen to various sound bites from the recording on the Amazon site.
Several pieces by Richard Proulx (1937-2010) were written or arranged for the choir when Richard was organist / choirmaster in the Seattle area from 1970-1980; two of these are on the recording: the “Nunc dimittis,” and the arrangement of the hymn-tune Land of Rest. Another piece from this period was his wonderful arrangement of “Amazing Grace,” which we sing often, and recorded on a CD of American hymn and spiritual arrangements called Music of Faith and Longing* (Peter Hallock contributed an arrangement of the second verse in 1997). The other two Proulx pieces are “I Will Meditate” (which gives the CD its title), and “In Praise of Music.” Both pieces are dedicated to the Compline Choir, and were written in the last fifteen years (see the program notes for more information).
Peter Hallock (b. 1924), our founder and director from 1956-2009, wrote many settings of the psalms for the Compline Choir (and he still sends us the occasional new one), and the recording features eight of these gems that have not appeared on other recordings. I have included a few of these as musical examples in my forthcoming book, Prayer as Night Falls: Experiencing Compline, which will be available November 1. The examples will also include some of his other psalms that were recorded on the now out-of-print Feathers of Green Gold.
The recording was recently reviewed by Jonathan E. Dimmock in The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians (you can link to the article here, which is found on page 21 or by searching on “I Will Meditate”). I particularly appreciated his comment that “Anderson has done a great job in this recording! The diction is stellar, the intonation is impeccable, the choir’s unison blend is very beautiful.”
Let’s hope that future CDs will be forthcoming. In the meantime, you can look to more recordings of the Compline Choir on a new website, prayerasnightfalls.com, that will accompany the book when it comes out.
* No longer in print