Birmingham Cathedral are delighted to present a Burne- Jones Stained-Glass window silk scarf.

The scarf uses photography by Alistair Carew-Cox and made at the Beckford Silk workshop in Worcestershire. The scarf shows exquisite detail from The Last Judgement window, Burne-Jones finest work stained-glass window in the world located here at Birmingham Cathedral.

If you would like to order one of the first scarves, please contact

After the Sabbath - The Choir of Birmingham Cathedral

£10 (plus £3 postage and packaging) Please email for details on how to purchase.

"This ambitious anthology, a well-filled disc, is a gallimaufry of standard repertoire and rarities clearly selected to showcase the breadth of liturgical material enjoyed by those who attend services at Birmingham Cathedral." Organists' Review Magazine - June 2017

David Hardie Organ Marcus Huxley Director

1 Dum transisset Sabbatum – John Taverner

2 Hosanna to the Son of David – Thomas Weelkes

3 Ding! dong! Merrily on high – French, arr Stuart Nicholson

4 The Souls of the Righteous – Mary L Davies

5 When I survey the wondrous cross – arr Marcus Huxley

6 Nunc dimittis – Antony le Fleming

7 The heavens are telling the Father’s glory – Heinrich Schütz

8 O clap your hands (Birmingham) – Bryan Kelly

9 If ye love me – Thomas Tallis

10 Say, where is He born? – Felix Mendelssohn

11 organ: Méditation – Maurice Duruflé

12 Kyrie eleison (8 voices) – Mendelssohn

13 Christus factus est – Anton Bruckner

14 The Lamentation – Edward Cuthbert Bairstow

15 Lift thine eyes – Mendelssohn

16 Tu Trinitatis – Antonin Dvořák

17 Beati quorum via – Charles Villiers Stanford

18 Sicut cervus – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

19 Faire is the heaven – Sir William Harris


1 Dum transisset Sabbatum– John Taverner(c1490-1545)

In 1526, Taverner was ‘head-hunted’ by Cardinal Wolsey to be the first choirmaster of Cardinal College, Oxford (later re-named Christ Church after Wolsey fell from favour at the court of Henry VIII). This beautiful five-voice responsory incorporates a slow-moving plainsong melody in the baritone register while the trebles soar above in the vaulting. The text tells of the newly resurrected Jesus meeting Mary his mother and Mary Magdalene.

2 Hosanna to the Son of David – Thomas Weelkes (c1575-1623)

Weelkes was Organist of Chichester Cathedral and one of the most brilliant of the amazingly gifted group of madrigal composers who graced the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. He was, though, frequently incapable of performing his duties through drink, and this is doubtless why he was never invited to join the Chapel Royal.

This anthem for Palm Sunday has a wonderfully declamatory opening, and the rich six-voice texture

successfully conveys the busy nature of the scene when Jesus was acclaimed by the people as he rode into Jerusalem on a humble donkey.

3 Ding! dong! Merrily on high – French, arr Stuart Nicholson (b 1975)

Stuart, now Director of Music of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, was Assistant Director of Music here at Birmingham Cathedral when he composed this lively arrangement of the well-known Christmas carol. It has since been published by Novello and widely performed.

4 The Souls of the Righteous – Mary L Davies

Mary Davies founded the Chapel Choir of Harrogate Ladies’ College c1925.This simple but effective setting of words from the Apocrypha is set for sopranos in four parts.

5 When I survey the wondrous cross – arr Marcus Huxley(b 1949)

I must confess I am often indifferent to the words of hymns, but find the words of this hymn by Isaac Watts magnificent and exactly matched by the tune Rockingham. I was first struck by its beauty when William Christie led the congregation of St George’s Paris in 1971. The scoring of the second verse, where the organ has the tune and the voices have a counter-melody is inspired by Bairstow’s hymn-anthem The King of Love. The treble soloist is Ben Thompson.

6 Nunc dimittis – Antony le Fleming (b 1941)

Antony le Fleming, Cambridge educated, cites Vaughan Williams and Howells as primary influences. To these a hint of French colour percolates into his Nunc Dimittis of 1997.

7 The heavens are telling the Father’s glory – Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)

After a spell in Venice, where he came under the influence of the sumptuous music of Giovanni Gabrieli, Schütz spent his working life at the court of Dresden.This six-voice setting of words from Psalm 19 cleverly exploits contrasts of texture. It begins with a light upper-voice trio, but very soon the rich six-part texture arrives in full-voiced splendour.

8 O clap your hands (Birmingham) – Bryan Kelly (b 1934)

Bryan Kelly came to prominence with his Evening Canticles in C, which used Latin American dance rhythms.This anthem from 2008, dedicated to the Cathedral Choir, is similarly energetic, though with a profoundly expressive middle section.

9 If ye love me – Thomas Tallis (c1505-1585)

Having been one of the foremost composers of elaborate Latin church music for the Roman Catholic Church (including Spem in alium, the motet for 40 voices), Tallis, a true professional, was equally adept at writing in the new simple style favoured by the new Protestant Church of England, where the words had to be audible (so no long melismas) and understood (so using the vernacular rather than Latin).His other claim to fame is as the teacher of William Byrd.

10 Say, where is He born? – Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47)

Mendelssohn was still working on his oratorio Christus when he died, leaving it unfinished.This beautiful trio is sung by the three Magi, seeking the infant Jesus.

11 Organ: Méditation – Maurice Duruflé (1902-86)

This short work from 1964 was published posthumously, reflecting the composer’s intense self-criticism and reluctance to publish in his lifetime. It consists broadly of two themes and a coda, the main theme reappearing as the solo organ material in the Agnus Dei of his Messe "Cum jubilo" (1966).

12 Kyrie eleison (8 voices) – Mendelssohn

In this brief but elegant setting for double choir, Mendelssohn exploits both antiphonal possibilities – one four-part choir ‘answering’ the other – and the full sonority of all eight voices sounding together.

13 Christus factus est – Anton Bruckner (1824-96)

Anton Bruckner, the great Austrian symphonist, was a church organist and wrote a number of motets, of which this is surely the most dramatic.Intended for Maundy Thursday, the text sets Philippians Chapter 2: “Christ became obedient unto death….wherefore God has given him a name which is above every name” (that, at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow).

14 The Lamentation – Edward Cuthbert Bairstow (1874-1946)

During the Renaissance many composers wrote Latin settings of the Lamentations for the Holy Week services of Tenebrae.The Provençal composer Carpentras, for example wrote 25 different settings, while Tallis’s two settings are still regularly performed.Eric Milner-White, Dean of York, suggested to Bairstow, the Minster Organist, that he should compose an English setting for use as a canticle at Matins during Lent in place of the Te Deum.Bairstow’s response to the challenge was this set of four hauntingly beautiful Anglican chants.

15 Lift thine eyes – Mendelssohn

Elijah was premiered in Birmingham Town Hall in 1846 only a year before the composer died at the age of 38.The words (from Psalm 121) are sung towards the end of the oratorio by a trio of angels.

16 Tu Trinitatis – Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904)

Dvorak wrote very little liturgical music. This hymn for the morning of Trinity Sunday is a predictably characterful song-like setting, and deserves to be better-known.

17 Beati quorum via – Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)

An Irishman from Dublin, Stanford spent most of his working life in Cambridge, first as Organist of Trinity College and ultimately as Professor of Music.Along with Parry and Elgar, he is credited with the renascence of English musical life in late Victorian times.Beati quorum via is a 6-part unaccompanied setting of the opening verse of Psalm 119.It was written as a festal Grace for Trinity College and published in 1905.

18 Sicut cervus – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c1525-94)

Palestrina is often thought of as an austere composer, but the spirit of yearning in this four-part setting of Psalm 42 (‘As the deer desires the water-brooks, so longs my soul for you, O God’) is vividly portrayed in the music.

19 Faire is the heaven – Sir William Harris (1883-1973)

Harris was for many years the Organist of St George’s Chapel Windsor, having earlier been Organist of St Augustine’s Edgbaston and a Lecturer at the Birmingham & Midland Institute a couple of streets away from Birmingham Cathedral.As a composer he is particularly notable for the high quality of the texts he chose to set and also his skill in writing, as here, for unaccompanied double choir (8 voice parts).The poet Edmund Spenser is remembered for going to great lengths to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth I with his lengthy poem The Faerie Queen.

This recording was inspired by a unique collaboration

between Tony Iommi (lead guitarist of Black Sabbath),

the Dean of Birmingham, and the Cathedral Choir, gifting

the download-only track, How Good It Is to the City of

Birmingham. (Details at,

released in January 2017.

This new disc follows that with a collection of favourite

anthems for the church’s year, and includes three works

written over the last twenty years for Birmingham

Cathedral and here receiving their first recording.

The musical tradition of Birmingham’s Anglican Cathedral

is one of the city’s greatest glories. The Cathedral Choir,

comprises three sections (men, boys and girls) who

perform both separately and in various combinations, They

sing services in the Cathedral several times each week

during school term time, give concerts in the Cathedral,

and perform at other venues in the Midlands and beyond.

The Choristers attend 12 different schools around the

City, while the adult singers are either students or they

follow a variety of occupations. The Choir has toured

regularly in Britain and Europe. Their repertoire extends

from plainchant to recent compositions, some specially

commissioned for the Choir, and they broadcast regularly

live on BBC Radio 3. Other recent projects have included

a collaboration with the internationally-known artist Roger

Hiorns, which entailed singing Choral Evensong in a

recumbent position.

In 2017 Marcus Huxley, the Cathedral’s Director of Music

retires after thirty-one years. He is an Honorary Canon of

the Cathedral, and an Honorary Fellow of Birmingham