Angel

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On this Number One selling album, Patrick explores the celestial realm of angels and their many forms.  Featuring the Choir of New College Oxford, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and soloists Grace Davidson and Robin Blaze.

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Description

The following text is taken from Patrick’s sleeve notes for the Angel album:

“I have always been fascinated by angels. For as long as I can remember, the image of the Archangel Gabriel appearing to Mary has filled me with comfort and light and sustains me now, as an adult, as much as it filled me with awe as a child.  That event marked the beginning of the Christian faith – a faith which has come to pervade my life and give true meaning to my work as a composer.  I have never seen an angel and yet my awareness of the presence of angels has grown increasingly strong over the past few years.  I never consciously set out to write an album on this subject; rather the album presented itself to me.  Musical themes flowed through my psyche and ‘coincidences’ occurred whereby I was being constantly reminded of angels.  We ended up recording, for instance, in two venues – St Michael and All Angels, Summertown and Angel Studios in Islington. And while I was writing the Archangel Suite, each of the four angels became real to me, particularly in terms of colour: Raphael, for instance, generated purple and deep reds while Gabriel was shrouded in pastel blues and greens.  The centenary of the First World War made me aware of the apparition of The Angel of Mons, and this event (when over a hundred British soldiers claim to have seen the vision of an angel in the first battle of the war) is one of the main sources of inspiration behind the music.  Through writing the choral work The Angel of Mons I have come to realise that I have my own guardian angel and that, without the protective presence of Michael and the heavenly host, we would never enjoy the many blessings that envelop us.  I feel extremely fortunate and humbled that I am able to convey my awareness of such phenomena through the medium of my music.  As a result of writing this music, I feel closer to the angels than ever before and it is my deepest wish that those who listen to it will be enriched and ennobled in a similar way.”

 

1. Prayer to a Guardian Angel (2.59)
2. Out of the Depths (4.32)
3. Angel Prelude 1 – Seraphim (2.45)
4. Quem Pastores (3.22)

Archangel Suite
5. Michael (3.18)
6. Raphael (3.12)
7. Gabriel (3.43)
8. Uriel (4.07)

9. Angel Song (5.58)
10. Angelus Domini (2.55)
11. Factum est Silentium (5.14)
12. To Thee All Angels (3.02)
13. Angel Prelude II – Cherubim (3.20)
14. The Last Lullaby (3.12)

[Total duration: 52.39]

Release date: 3 March 2014

Patrick Hawes composer & conductor

Edward Higginbottom choral conductor

Choir of New College Oxford choir
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra orchestra
Grace Davidson soprano

Anna Barry producer
Mike Hatch recording engineer (all tracks except 3 & 13)
Dave Rowell recording engineer (tracks 3, 7 & 13)
Andrew Mellor recording engineer (tracks 3, 7 & 13)
Mike Hatch mixing & mastering

Decca record label

Recorded at St Michael & All Angels, Summertown, Oxford (UK) and Angel Studios, London (UK) in March & July 2013