An archival recording of the world premiere, performed by Vox Clamantis under the direction of Jaan-Eik Tulve, at the 2013 Vale of Glamorgan Festival.
For information on performing this work or obtaining a perusal score, please contact SDG.
John Metcalf is a leading Welsh composer who has composed major works in many musical forms. While his cultural roots are in the heart of Wales, his work has a broad international following and is represented in a growing catalog of recordings. In 1969 he founded the Vale of Glamorgan Festival and remained its director until 1985, when he moved to Canada to teach at the Banff Centre in. There, he was appointed Artistic Director of the program and Composer-in-residence. In 1991 he returned to Britain and resumed direction of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, which he developed into a festival presenting the work of living composers only. Alongside his composing work, he continued as Artistic Director of the Banff Centre for ten years, and was also Director of the Swansea Festival until 2007. He is presently Artistic Director of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival and also teaches at the annual MusicFest Aberystwyth. In 2012 he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year honors, for services to music.
For a complete biography, visit John Metcalf's website.
Double mixed chorus (SSAATTBB), a cappella
DURATION: 6 minutes
TEXT: Psalm 150
A contemplative work of quiet reflection, set in Latin. Psalms Project Commission
May 16, 2013
Vox Clamantis, Jaan-Eik Tulve, conductor
St. Augustine’s Church
The Founder and Artistic Director of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, John Metcalf, is well-known as a champion of new music, actively developing the Vale of Glamorgan Festival into a premier site for works of new composers. Metcalf is also one of fifteen contemporary composers commissioned by Soli Deo Gloria to write an original piece for the Psalms Project, a three-year pilot project to create a collection of contemporary choral works with new musical interpretations of the Psalms.
On May 16, 2013, Metcalf’s Laudate, based on Psalm 150, was premiered in St. Augustine’s Church in Penarth, Wales, by the esteemed Estonian choral group Vox Clamantis, under the direction of Jaan-Eik Tulve.
"Singing in front of the church's stained glass window, illuminated by the early evening light, the group gave a performance that often had the large audience listening in awed silence."—Peter Collins, WalesOnline
In a public pre-concert discussion with SDG representative Peter Bannister, Metcalf spoke of his choice to set the Psalm 150 text in Latin (the only composer in the Psalms Project, as of this premiere, to do so). He explained that, since the Psalm 150 text is familiar to many, he wanted to take it out of the territory of the ordinary. He also wanted to offer a different take on the fast, lively musical style in which Psalm 150 is usually set by shifting to “a slow and meditative setting.”
“I wanted to focus on the mystery of praise, the mysteriousness of life and a universe that’s expanding at a thousand miles per second, the limitless and impossibility of understanding what an amazing and extraordinary world we live in, however dark it may sometimes seem.”—John Metcalf
Fittingly, in his review of the world premiere, Welsh journalist Peter Collins describes Laudate as “a contemplative work of quiet reflection which the group infused with a deep sense of tranquility and invigorating spirituality.” (Wales Online)