Veni Emmanuel (with brass ensemble)
15th December 1979
Hereford Choral Society, the Choristers of Hereford Cathedral
Birmingham School of Music Brass Ensemble (director Frank Downes) Conductor Roy Massey
Organist Robert Green
Holy Communion (also known as Mass for Trebles)
Cottingham Parish Church, Bristol
I Will Lift up Mine eyes unto the Hills
27th April 1986
Choir of the Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity
Director Andrew Downes
Organist Peter Summers
Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
O Praise the Lord
17th September 1993
Choir of Birmingham Cathedral
Director Marcus Huxley
O Sing Unto the Lord a New Song
11th June 2000
Chapel Choir of Royal Holloway, University of London
Director Lionel Pike
Church of the Assumption, Englefield Green
RUNNYMEDE MILLENNIUM CHORAL EVENSONG SERVICE
Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis
Anthem: I was glad Setting of Psalm 122
29th November 2000
Chapel Choir of Royal Holloway, University of London
Director Lionel Pike
Royal Holloway Chapel
The Mercies of our Lord (with 2 optional trumpets)
8th May 2001
Princethorpe College Chapel Choir
Director Sue Francis
Princethorpe College Chapel
"Wedding March" from the Opera Far from the Madding Crowd
30th July 2005
Director Stefan Reid
Trinity Chapel, Cambridge
O be Joyful in the Lord all Ye Lands
26th October 2013
Callington Singers of Cornwall
Director Graham Williams
Organist Simon Brett
Soprano Soloist Paula Downes
Menheniot Parish Church
An account by Andrew's wife and publisher, Cynthia Downes, posted on April 29th, 2021
VENI EMMANUEL (1979) 6'
Arrangement of 'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel' for SATB choir (also SSAB version), Organ and Brass Ensemble (2 trumpets, horn, 2 trombones, tuba).
Read Cynthia Downes' acount of the premiere
This beautiful arrangement was commissioned by the Choir of Hereford Cathedral and first performed there on 15th December 1979 by the Hereford Choral Society, the Choristers of Hereford Cathedral, Robert Green (organ) and the Birmingham School of Music Brass Ensemble (director Frank Downes), conducted by Roy Massey. Our daughter Paula was born on December 13th. I write an account of the day of her birth and this premiere here.
21 years later the work resurfaced. It was included in the Birmingham Festival Choral Society's 'Towards the Millennium' concert series, for their concert on 4th April 1998, featuring music of the 1970s. In this performance the BFCS were accompanied by Gemini Brass and Carleton Etherington (organ) and conducted by Anthony Bradbury.
In December 2018 (repeated in 2019) the arrangement was performed at the Meridian Singers' Christmas Concert in St Mary's Church, Bluntisham, and Holywell Church, Cambridgeshire, with Hextura Brass, Olga Elbourn on the organ, and conducted by our daughter Paula. This performance can be heard here. Andrew was not well enough to travel to Cambidge by this stage, so, leaving him with his carer, I took a train to Cambridge and was picked up by Paula. We ate in a delightfully Christmassy rural pub on the way to the concert and I then stayed at Paula's afterwards, travelling back next morning on the first train, which was so overcrowed I was rammed against the door all the way to London. Such pre-Covid scenes soon became a thing of the past.
That same December I conducted my Hagley Community Orchestra in a performance of the arrangement in St Saviour's Church, Hagley, Worcestershire. Andrew played a stunning rendition of the brass parts on keyboard and our vicar, Reverend Newton, gave a dynamic performance of the intensely moving organ part. Anna and our grandsons Oscar and Max also played in the service.
Meridian Singers Christmas Concert
The instrumental arrangement by me, performed on 23rd December 2018,
by Hagley Community Orchestra, with Rev Richard Newton (organ) and
Andrew (keyboard), at the Christmas Carol Service in St Saviour's
Church, Hagley, Worcestershire, can be watched here.
Paula created a multitrack recording and music video in 2020/21 with her husband David Trippett, as part of Andrew's 70th birthday year.
HOLY COMMUNION (1980)
Setting for Church congregation with organ accompaniment.
Also known as Mass for Trebles
This setting of the Holy Communion service was commissioned by Cottingham Parish Church, Bristol.
A concert performance of the Holy Communion setting was given by the Meridian Singers, accompanied by Paul & Isabelle Galluzzo (violins), Claire Stevenson (cello) and Sinon Kirk (organ), directed by Paula, in March 2019 in their Spring Soiree concert at St John the Baptist Church, Somersham, Cambridgeshire.
Paula Downes conducting the Meridian Singers performing Andrew Downes' Holy Communion
I WILL LIFT UP MINE EYES UNTO THE HILLS Opus 35 (1986) 5'
Setting of Psalm 121 for SATB choir and organ.
This Anthem was commissioned by Peter Summers and the Choir of the Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon, for Shakespeare Sunday. The first performance took place on April 27th 1986 at Holy Trinity Church (the actors' church), with Peter Summers, organ, and directed by Andrew.
A lot of prima donna actors where in the congregation!
Letter from Peter Summers to Andrew Downes, asking Downes to write an anthem for Shakespeare Sunday
Commission for Downes to write an anthem for Shakespeare Sunday
It was subsequently performed by the Clent Hills Singers (Worcestershire), conducted by Andrew, in St John's Church, Hagley, in May 1991; by the Chapel Choir of Royal Holloway, University of London, directed by Lionel Pike, in the Chapel of Royal Holloway (January 1995); and by the Joint Chamber Choirs of South Hampstead High School and University College School, conducted by Paula, at the Hampstead and Highgate Festival in May 2005.
Advertising and programme for performance at the Hampstead and Highgate Festival in 2005
The Anthem was recorded for CD entitled The Lord is my Shepherd (CPVP014CD)
by the Chapel Choir of Royal Holloway, University of London, with Brian
Moles, organ, directed by Lionel Pike, on 6th and 7th January 2001 in
Arundel Cathedral. Andrew and I were present at the recording and had a
wonderful time getting to know the choir of that time, particularly as I
had been a member of the choir in my student days at London University.
All the tracks from this CD have been broadcast many times on Musicians
Page Radio, Los Angeles, USA.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, together with O Sing unto the Lord a New Song from the CD were shared online in July and September 2020 during Andrew's 70th birthday year.
O PRAISE THE LORD Opus 51 (1993) Duration 4'
Setting of Psalm 150 for SATB choir and organ.
O Praise The Lord was commissioned by the Provost of St Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham, the Very Reverend Peter Berry, with financial assistance from the Bank of Ireland, whose Birmingham Branch was situated in St Philip's House, for performance by the Choir of Birmingham Cathedral, directed by Marcus Huxley, to celebrate the restoration of the Cathedral 1993. This first performance took place in a special service, attended by the Bishop of Durham, on 17th September 1993.
Listing in the Birmingham Post
Order of Service including the premiere of O Praise the Lord
Letter from The Very Reverend Peter Berry following the premiere
Letter from Andrew to The Very Reverend Peter Berry
The Birmingham Festival Choral Society, under the direction of Anthony Bradbury, performed the work in Malvern Priory in a concert entitled ‘A British Celebration’ on 25th June 2005.
O SING UNTO THE LORD A NEW SONG Opus 66 (1997) Duration 5'
Setting of Psalm 96 for SSAATTBB choir and organ.
This work was specially composed for Lionel Pike and the Chapel Choir of Royal Holloway, University of London, for their millennium celebrations. It was first performed at the Royal Holloway Thanksgiving Service at the end of the Academic Year on Sunday 11th June 2000, in the Church of the Assumption, Englefield Green.
Letter of thanks from the Dean of students
The setting was recorded for CD entitled The Lord is my Shepherd (CPVP014CD)
by Royal Holloway Chapel Choir, with Brian Moles, organ, directed by
Lionel Pike, on 6th and 7th January 2001 in Arundel Cathedral. All the
tracks from this CD have been broadcast many times on Musicians Page
Radio, Los Angeles, USA.
Letter from Lionel Pike about recording the anthem
RUNNYMEDE MILLENNIUM CHORAL EVENSONG SERVICE Opus 65 (1997)
Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis (SSAATTBB & organ)
Anthem: I was glad Setting of Psalm 122 (SSAATTBB & organ)
Small Choir versions (SATB) arranged by me are also available.
Our daughter Paula created an arrangement for SSAA in 2019.
Paula also created an SSAB version of I was glad in 2019.
The Runnymede Service was commissioned by the Runnymede Church Choirs Association with substantial help from St Mary's Trust, Thorpe, for the Association's 50th anniversary in 2000.
The full service was first performed at Evensong for the Festival of St Cecilia in the Chapel of Royal Holloway, University of London, by the Chapel Choir, conducted by Lionel Pike, on 29th November 2000.
Andrew and I went to the first performance and were invited to stay overnight at the college residence of the Principal of the college, Sir Drummond Bone. I was particularly taken by the William Morris wallpaper and curtains in his house!
Letter asking Andrew to write the Runnymede Service
Service sheet for Evensong at Bristol Cathedral
The Canticles have been performed in Bristol Cathedral by The New Birmingham Scholars, directed by Christopher Allsop (September 2002), in Exeter Cathedral (January 2003), St Jude's Church, Egham (January 2003) and in the Chapel of Royal Holloway by the Chapel Choir of Royal Holloway, directed by Lionel Pike.
In November 2009 the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, directed by Sarah MacDonald, performed the work in their Evensong Service. Andrew was recovering from a spinal chord injury in Stoke Mandeville Hospital at the time, and so I went to the service with our daughter Paula. Throughout the performance I had tears rolling down my face because Andrew was not able to listen to this beautiful performance of his music. Selwyn Chapel Choir gave further performances of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in November 2010, February 2013, February 2014, October 2014, April 2016 and May 2017, all directed by Sarah MacDonald, and a performance directed by Christopher Robinson in Selwyn College Chapel (November 2011). Selwyn Chapel Choir visited Lincoln Cathedral in October 2010 and performed the Canticles there under their director Sarah MacDonald.
Service sheet for Selwyn Chapel Choir
In June 2020 our daughter Paula, created a Multitrack Video Recording of Paula’s high voice arrangement of the Canticles, which she posted on YouTube on June 3rd and 4th 2020, during Andrew’s 70th Birthday year.
The anthem I Was Glad was subsequently sung in Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge, by ex-Cambridge Choral Scholars, directed by Stefan Reid, at the wedding of Paula and David Trippett in July 2005.
The first American performance of this work was given by the choir of Harvard University Memorial Church, directed by Edward E Jones, on 16th March 2008 and a further performance on 5th October 2008. Both of these performances were broadcast live on WHRB radio, Cambridge, MA.
In March 2019, The Meridian Singers, accompanied by Paul & Isabelle Galluzzo (violins), Claire Stevenson (cello) and Simon Kirk (organ), directed by Paula, performed I was Glad in their Spring Soiree concert in the church of St John the Baptist, Somersham, Cambridgeshire.
The full Runnymede service was recorded for CD entitled The Lord is my Shepherd (CPVP014CD) by the Chapel Choir of Royal Holloway, with Brian Moles, organ, directed by Lionel Pike, in Arundel Cathedral on 6th & 7th January 2001. All the tracks from this CD have been broadcast many times on Musicians Page Radio, Los Angeles, USA. The Lord is my Shepherd (track 1) of the CD can be heard in the Czech Music Everything Radio Show, April 2016, as part of an interview with the composer.
Letter to Friends of Royal Holloway Chapel Choir following the recording
My arrangement of The Lord is my Shepherd and The Lord’s Prayer for
solo voice and strings has been performed on numerous occasions by
Paula with our Lynwood Lea String Quartet and other ensembles.
Paula Downes created an arrangement for SSAA of the Runnymede Service in 2019, which can be heard here.
ANDREW DOWNES: WEDDING MARCH from the Opera FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD Opus 87 (2005)
The final chorus of this opera by Andrew, based on the novel by Thomas Hardy, was arranged for SATB choir and organ by Andrew, and performed in the Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, by ex-Cambridge Choral Scholars, directed by Stefan Reid and accompanied by Daniel Hyde, at the wedding of Paula to David Trippett in July 2005. The world première performances of Andrew’s full scale opera, Far from the Madding Crowd, commissioned by the Thomas Hardy Society for the 2006 Thomas Hardy International Festival in Dorchester, Dorset, were given to audience and critical acclaim on July 26th, 27th and 28th, at St Mary’s Church, Dorchester.
Bride Paula Downes with father Andrew Downes, July 2005
THE MERCIES OF OUR LORD Opus 78(b) (2001) Duration 7'
Anthem for SATB choir, 2 trumpets (optional) and organ. Setting of poem by Moira Weir.
This work was specially commissioned by Princethorpe College for a special Mass to celebrate the centenary of the College Chapel, designed by Paul Pugin. The first performance took place in the Centenary Mass on 8th May 2001, sung by the Chapel Choir, with trumpeters and organist from the college, directed by Sue Francis.
Letter asking Andrew to write The Mercies of our Lord
Order of Service for the premiere of The Mercies of our Lord
O BE JOYFUL IN THE LORD, ALL YE LANDS Opus 102 (2012)
Setting of the Jubilate for soprano solo, SATB choir and organ.
This work was commissioned by Graham Williams and the Callington Singers of Cornwall, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the choir. The first performance took place at Menheniot Parish Church on 26th October 2013, with Paula as soloist, and Simon Brett organist, conducted by Graham Williams.
Letter to Andrew from the Callington Singers
Newsletter following the premiere
This choir, with soprano soloist, Dee Easton, directed by Graham
Williams, has subsequently performed the work in Exeter Cathedral
(February 2014), in Gunislake Church, Cornwall (April 2014), in Truro
Cathedral (August 2014), in Tavistock Parish Church, Cornwall (July
2018) and at St George's Chapel, Windsor (August 2018).
The Callington Singers, with the Kantorei Barsbuettel from Germany, and the Chorale Chanterelle de Guipavas, France, directed by Graham Williams, gave the first French performance on December 13th 2014 in Notre Dame de Kerbonne, Brest, and a further performance in the Eglise Paroissiale, Guipavas, Brittany, on 14th December 2014. The Callington Singers gave further performances in Guipavas Church in June 2018. Dee Easton was the soprano soloist in these French performances.
In 2020 Paula Downes created a Music Video and Multitrack recording of this work, which she posted online on May 30th 2020, during Andrew’s 70th birthday year.
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