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An English Requiem

‘An English Requiem’ 2017

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The newest recording from the Choir of King’s College London (Joseph Fort, director), titled ‘An English Requiem’, revives the first English setting of Ein Deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms, as it would have been performed in nineteenth-century Britain. 

Since its London premiere in 1871, Brahms’s Requiem has enjoyed immense popularity in Britain, in both its orchestral and chamber versions. But the setting we know today is not the one that nineteenth-century British audiences knew and loved. They would have been unlikely to have heard the work performed in German; rather, it was almost always sung in an English translation, which the writer G. A. Macfarren even christened ‘An English Requiem’ in 1873. 

This is the first recording of the nineteenth-century English setting in which the Requiem was known by its earliest British audiences. Just as at the 1871 London premiere, the choir here is accompanied by piano duet instead of orchestra, with dynamic pianists James Baillieu and Richard Uttley performing this role. Soprano Mary Bevan and baritone Marcus Farnsworth complete the stellar cast of young soloists. 

This recording is not just a revival of a nineteenth-century artefact; it should also make its listeners think. For listeners and critics today who are used to mainstream recordings of this piece sung in German by a massed chorus with full orchestral accompaniment, hearing the Requiem sung in English with piano accompaniment will certainly feel strange. But this strangeness is merely a result of an inflexible performance culture today that prioritises a single, ‘ideal’ version of a piece over its arrangements. 


Blessed are they that mourn

Behold, all flesh is as the grass

Lord, make me to know the measure of my days

How lovely is Thy dwelling place

Ye now are sorrowful

Here on earth have we no continuing place

Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord


'This disc deserves a place in the catalogue to itself' 

- Peter Quantrill, Gramophone


'An intimate, highly charged chamber performance' 

- Stephen Pritchard, The Observer


'Utterly uplifting' 

- Norman Lebrecht, La Scena Musicale


'It's modest, unshowy. Brahms without grandeur. Brahms translated' 

- Helen Wallace, BBC Music Magazine


'It’s been superbly recorded with well-judged tempos and commanding playing from James Baillieu and Richard Uttley, impressive soloists (Mary Bevan and Marcus Farnsworth), and superb choral work under conductor Joseph Fort.' 

- Apple Music


In Memoriam 2016

In Memoriam   Buy your copy here!                         






The choir which David Trendell directed for twenty-two years pays tribute in a collection of specially chosen pieces by David's colleagues, friends and former students, interspersed with the Renaissance polyphony which was Trendell's area of  scholarly expertise.

His deep love for the Song of Songs has inspired many of the inclusions, and its nature imagery threads through the disc, adding a suggestion of renewal and rebirth to the memorial tone of works written in the difficult months after his untimely death.

The composers' affection for David and gratitude for his life and musical achievements is matched by the intelligence and deep musicality of the choir he raised to an international reputation, and which here takes on a sophisticated and challenging programme in his memory.


William Byrd  Laudibus in sanctis

Matthew Kaner  Duo seraphim

Gareth Wilson  Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Collegium Regale)

Silvina Milstein  ushnarasmou - untimely spring

Francis Pott  Nigra sum sed formosa

Jean Lheritier ed. David Trendell  Nigra sum sed formosa

Rob Busiakiewicz  Ego sum resurrectio et vita

Rob Keeley  Magnificat & Nunc dimittis

Antony Pitts  Pie Jesu (Prayer of the Heart)

Matthew Martin  An invocation to the Holy Spirit

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina  Quam pulchri sunt gressus tui

Jacob Clemens non Papa  Ego flos campi

Francis Grier  Panis angelicus

Desenclos  Poulenc  Villette 2014

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Alfred Desenclos Messe de Requiem

Pierre Villette O sacrum convivium

Vilette Hymne a la Vierge

Vilette Attende Domine

Desenclos Salve regina

Desenclos Nos autem

Francis Poulenc Litanies a la Vierge noire

Deutsche Motette 2013

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Deutsche Motette Op 62

Vier doppelchorige Gesange Op 141

Gott ist mein Hirt D706

O Heiland, reiB die Himmel auf Op 74 No 2

Abendlied Op 69 No 3

Liebe Op 18

Gregorio Allegri 2012

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Missa in lectulo meo




Motet: In lectulo meo Pierre Bonhomme (Bonomi)

Sanctus & Benedictus

Agnus Dei


Missa Christus resurgens




Motet: Christus resurgens ex mortuis

Sanctus & Benedictus

Agnus Dei

Simon Hogan organ continuo

Sebastian de Vivanco 2005

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Crux fidelis

Missa crux fidelis & Motets



Circumdederunt me


Pater dimitte illis

Sanctus and Benedictus

O sacrum convivium

Agnus Dei

Surrexit pastor bonus

O rex gloriae

Two Funeral Motets

De profundis clamavi

Versa est in luctum

Two Marian Motets

Veni dilecte mi

Assumpta est Maria

Voix d'ete en creuse 20 ans 1986 > 2005


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Thérèse of Lisieux 2001



The Centenary Office of St Thérèse of Lisieux

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My Vocation is Love (Entrance Hymn)

The Death of Therese (Reading part 1)

As you know (Antiphon & Ps 112-146)

The Death of Therese (Reading part 2)

Bells & Introduction to the Office

After Therese (Invitatory antiphon & Ps 94)

Graft me on you, O Vine (Chorale)

How happy I've been (Antiphon & Ps 15)

True Life is a treasure (Antiphon & Ps 26)

I feel my mission (Antiphon & Ps 83)

A Reading from the Manuscripts (1)

What do death and life (Responsory)

A Reading from the Manuscripts (2)

Whoever is a little one (Responsory)

Alleluia & Gospel (Matthew 18:1-5)

The litany

Concluding prayer

Remember, Lord (Final chorale)

John Taverner and William Byrd 2000



Nominated for the Gramaphone Early Music Award (2001)

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Laetentur caeli: William Byrd

Missa Corona spinea: John Taverner




Agnus Dei

Tristitia et anxietas: William Byrd

Audivi vocem de caelo: John Taverner


17 Choir Sing 2

Photograph by Kaupo Kikkas

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