Philip Stopford. Vivid choral music in world premiere recordings.

‘Philip Stopford's musical style is imbued with the spirit of Howells and Vaughan Williams, and his choral works lie firmly within the Anglican Church tradition. His harmonic language is uncomplicated and his choral writing beautifully crafted.’ (Gramophone)

Philip W.J. STOPFORD (b. 1977)
Sacred Choral Music

Grace Davidson, Soprano
Choir of St Luke’s, Chelsea • Chelsea Camerata
Rupert Jeffcoat, Organ
Jeremy Summerly

Philip Stopford is admired in Britain and America for his beautifully crafted music, rooted in the Anglican tradition. His works are memorable and colourful, as these world premiere recordings demonstrate. The biggest piece on this album is the Missa Deus nobiscum, a sacred concert work with a scintillating role for soprano soloist that displays Stopford’s compositional skill, creating a journey rather than a sequence of set piece movements. Elsewhere, in pieces for a variety of locations and occasions, his music is evocative, filmic and vividly celebratory.

Listen to an extract from Missa Deus nobiscum:
Gloria in excelsis
About the Artists

Jeremy Summerly, founder-conductor of Oxford Camerata and director of music at the London church of St Luke’s, Chelsea, has been conductor of the Mayfield Festival Choir and artistic director of the Mayfield Festival of Music and the Arts since 2021. Director of music at St Peter’s College, Oxford from 2015 to 2019, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music in 2017. In 2019 he began a three-year tenure as visiting professor of music history at Gresham College in the City of London, and since 2022 he has been director of studies in music at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge.

Soprano Grace Davidson is noted for her ability to project vivid contrasts of mood in her favourite Baroque repertoire, notably in works by Monteverdi, J.S. Bach, Handel and Vivaldi. Her purity of tone has attracted many contemporary composers, and she has notably featured as soloist in music by Eric Whitacre, Ola Gjeilo, John Rutter, Joe Hisaishi, Harry Gregson-Williams, Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings Symphony) and Max Richter (Sleep).
Born in Edinburgh, organist Rupert Jeffcoat was appointed music director of Coventry Cathedral in 1997, leading its choirs on tours to Russia, Japan, South Africa and across Europe, before moving to Brisbane as organist of St John’s Cathedral. He has recorded as a continuo player with Emma Kirkby, broadcast as an accompanist for the BBC Singers, and works extensively with Ex Cathedra and the University of Birmingham. He also holds a doctorate in composition, and has served at St Luke’s, Chelsea since 2011.
In 1824, an all-male choir was founded at the new parish church of Chelsea in south-west London; in 1986 the choir was re-established as a mixed-voice ensemble. In addition to its liturgical duties, the Choir of St Luke’s now performs evening concerts and undertakes two cathedral tours per year. It is featured in all ten episodes of BBC Radio 4’s A Cause for Caroling and, on St Luke’s Day 2023, it broadcast Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3.
Chelsea Camerata was founded in 2012 in order to support the work of the Choir of St Luke’s, Chelsea. The orchestra, which also appears as a standalone ensemble, is a modern instrument orchestra that, since its foundation, has concentrated on the performance of music by composers as diverse as Mozart, Fauré, Brahms, Orff, Warlock and John Rutter, with a particular focus on works composed over the last 30 years.
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‘The Vasari Singers do a sterling job with all this material, and they have been afforded excellent sound and balance within the Chapel of Tonbridge School in Kent... This is certainly recommendable.’
‘Soprano soloist Grace Davidson floats effortlessly above the Oxford-based chamber choir Commotio, adding her seraphic poise to their perfect intonation... this is a powerful disc of important music.’
At First Light

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‘An extraordinarily powerful, unflinching addressing of grief’s complexities, Francis Pott’s texturally and harmonically rich and varied music seducing ear, mind and heart. Joseph Spooner plays the moving solo cello part magnificently.’
The Sunday Times, London

The Choirs of St Albans Cathedral
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‘The excellent singing of the St Albans Cathedral choirs combines brightness of sound with crystal-clear diction. The two soloists are also very good,… The singers are well matched by the brilliantly executed accompaniments of the RPO, whose splendid playing highlights Rutter’s colourful and glittering orchestration.’
Browse the Naxos Sacred Choral Music Catalogue by following this link.

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