Monday, 12 May 2008

David Hill

I came upon this fine article about David Hill in the Cambridge University alumnus magazine.

Long recognized as one of Britain's most inspiring conductors, with the gift of injecting passion and a sense of fun into the most rigorous rehearsal, David Hill began his musical life in Manchester, gaining an organ scholarship to St John's, Cambridge. In 1982 he came to Westminster Cathedral in succession to Stephen Cleobury. He writes:
'Much of the John's repertoire - gregorian chant, renaissance catholic polyphony, Mozart and Haydn Masses - was central to Westminster... And the gutsy, incisive sound they had made since the days of George Malcolm was very much to my taste - the boys were a tad tentative at first, but before long I was thinking, God, this is a marvellous machine, cruising along like a finely tuned V8 engine.'

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since you are Cantabrigiensis I wonder who your chaplain was. I found Fisher House a place of real blessing, where the Holy Spirit most definetely was at work. We were particularly blessed witha bumper crop of vocations, both to the priesthood and religious life- a perfect illustration of the two wings of faith and reason, and the crucial role which good chaplaincies can have in adult formation. St John Fisher is still working hard!

Ivo said...

...the gutsy, incisive sound....
A comment from a visitor to one of your earlier posts (http://westminstercathedral.blogspot.com/2008/05/come-holy-spirit.html) seems to suggest that the Choir sound is no longer what it used to be.

Also, the Choir hasn't recorded a new CD for almost two years - their last one was made in July 2006.
They used to make two CD's per year, but lately it was down to just one, and last year, there was none. What is the reason for this?
Can we expect a new release soon?

As I am not able to visit the Cathedral regularly to hear the Choir, I depend on CD's to enjoy their singing.

Administrator said...

Anonymous: My chaplain was Fr Maurice Couve de Murville, later Archbishop of Birmingham - a wonderful, inspiring priest. You are right that during that time there were many vocations to priesthood and religious life.

Ivo: I think most people would not draw that conclusion, and recent concert reviews are consistently praiseworthy. I understand that the rate of recent recordings is more to do with the policy of the recording company, Hyperion. I know that there is a recording week scheduled at the end of the academic year.

John the organist said...

I think the choir is every bit as good as it was! I love the Palestrina and Rheinberger CDs. David Hill is a very special person. Please give the link to the article if it is on the web.