Press Release

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THE FRENCH ALBUM

London Choral Sinfonia
Michael Waldron, conductor
Nick Pritchard, tenor
Miriam Allan, soprano
James Orford, organ

Catalogue Number: ORC100317

Release Date: June 28th

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“Fast becoming the go-to champions for contemporary British choral music” (Gramophone), the London Choral Sinfonia presents a captivating blend of French choral music under the direction of Michael Waldron, with soloists Nick Pritchard and Miriam Allan.

THE FRENCH ALBUM
Jean Langlais (1907-1991)
Messe Solennelle
1. I Kyrie
2. II Gloria
3. III Sanctus
4. IV Benedictus
5. V Agnus Dei

Déodat de Séverac (1872-1921)
6. Tantum Ergo

César Franck (1822-1890)
7. Panis Angelicus*
Nick Pritchard, tenor
Arranged by Owain Park

Charles Gounod (1818-1893)
8. Ave Verum

Jean Langlais
Two Songs
9. Ave Maria*
10. Pie Jesu*
Miriam Allan, soprano

Marcel Dupré (1886-1971)
Quatre Motets
11. I O Salutaris
12. II Ave Maria
13. III Tantum Ergo
14. IV Laudate

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
15. Tantum Ergo
Nick Pritchard, tenor

16. Pavane*
Arranged by Owain Park

Jean Langlais
Two Songs
17. A la Vierge Marie*
18. O Salutaris*
Miriam Allan, soprano

Jean Langlais
19. Fête
James Orford, organ

Gabriel Fauré
20. Cantique de Jean Racine

César Franck
21. Psalm 150

London Choral Sinfonia
Michael Waldron, conductor
Nick Pritchard, tenor
Miriam Allan, soprano
James Orford, organ
*World Premiere Recording

The catalyst for this project was something of an accident. In passing, I had mentioned to the LCS Chairman, Craig Barrett, rumours of a wonderful French organ in a church off Leicester Square, alleged to have Cavaillé-Coll bones. I had never seen or heard this organ but knew about it. Likewise, my organist friends had all heard rumours, but those I spoke to had never seen or played it. Craig revealed that he knew Donald MacKenzie – organist a few doors down at the famous Odeon cinema – and he would get him on the case. Not long after, Donald had set up a visit for the three of us at Notre Dame de France. The organ is truly mind-blowing (and ear- blowing): the heft and weight of the ‘foundation’ stops, topped off with fiery reeds, sets it utterly apart from English organs. It wasn’t long before the delightful staff at Notre Dame had helped us secure dates to record in early January 2024.
Top of the repertoire list for this project had to be Langlais’ Messe Solennelle. A wonderful recording of Langlais’ music from Westminster Cathedral was released the year I was born. I must have been very young when I first heard it, and the music has had a lasting impression on me to this very day. It wasn’t just the now-famous top Cs at the end of the Hosanna which thrilled my young musical ears. I learned subsequently these were not actually written by Langlais but introduced as something as an ‘ad lib’ by George Guest’s choir at St John’s College, Cambridge, when the piece was first performed in the UK (in the presence of the composer, who apparently much approved of their inclusion). They now appear in the printed edition, with this recording giving something of a nod to this continued ‘ad lib tradition’ at the end of the Benedictus. No, it’s not just the top Cs, but the relentless rhythmic drive and persistence dominating this music which really captivates me. The harmonic language perhaps isn’t as advanced as Messiaen – his almost exact contemporary – but this music is just as groundbreaking in its own way. It’s grand, austere, robust, and relentlessly driven. The moments of calm – the opening of the Benedictus, for example – are all the more intoxicating and beautiful because of their rarity. Indeed, Messiaen himself described Langlais’ mass as, ‘beautiful, severe, serious, and truly liturgical.’
The mass became the centrepiece of the disc, around which various other pieces were an obvious fit. The Four Motets of Dupré are often overlooked, but I consider each one a gem and hope they may be performed more frequently in the future. They exploit extreme demands in their organ accompaniments, alongside similarly virtuosic vocal writing. Franck’s setting of Psalm 150 was completely unknown to me prior to the research and planning for this project, and I’m delighted we included it. It’s somewhere between the grand finale of a choral symphony and a quasi-national anthem, and I absolutely love it.
Alongside championing the lesser-known masterpieces on this album, the LCS continues its mission to record celebrated works alongside. Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine and Pavane must be amongst his best-known works. Franck’s Panis Angelicus also needs no introduction, but heard here – along with the Pavane – in new arrangements by Composer-in-Residence, Owain Park, gives fresh perspective to these classics.
Special mention goes to James Orford, who probably had the most work of all during these recording sessions. His superlative playing and accompanying speaks for itself, and I am so grateful to him for introducing Miriam Allan to this project with the wonderful, living connection to the Langlais legacy.
My final thanks go to Craig, Donald, and Anne-lise Gaillac at Notre Dame de France. This whole project has deepened my supreme admiration for the late Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, who is truly at the heart of all this.
Michael Waldron

After the honour of singing for HRH Prince Philip’s funeral, I received hundreds of emails from all over the world. Among them was one from Marie-Louise Langlais, a world-renowned organist and teacher, and the widow of the great Jean Langlais. Having spent much of my chorister childhood singing his works, I was touched to receive an email from her. Even more surprising was the inclusion of several solo songs for voice and organ – one of my favourite combinations. (See earlier note about a misspent youth as a chorister.) These songs are precious treasures: and I’ll never be able to express my gratitude to Mme Langlais for entrusting them to me. I’m extremely pleased that they are included here, next to Langlais’s epic opus, providing a deeper insight into his extraordinary musical world. James’s interpretations are steeped in his obvious love and respect for the French masters. I hope you adore them as much as I do.
Miriam Allan

The effects of the revolutionary creations of organ-builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811-99) – the most illustrious member of a long-established family firm — on the entire aesthetic underlying the development of 19th-century French organ music and of French church music generally can scarcely be overestimated.
As the fashion for his orchestrally-conceived instruments grew ever stronger during the mid- to later decades of the 19th century, few French organist-composers working in these fields — and especially those with appointments in the larger urban churches and cathedrals — escaped their influence: indeed the impact of Cavaillé-Coll’s ‘orgues symphoniques’ was felt far more widely, not only throughout Europe but as far afield as Russia, Asia and South America. To take just one important French example, César Franck said of a relatively small and early Cavaillé-Coll installation (1844) at Saint-Jean-Saint-François, Paris, where he assumed his post in 1851: ‘Mon nouvel orgue? C’est un orchestre!’
Though surviving incomplete, the authentic elements of a Cavaillé-Coll instrument at Notre Dame de France in central London offer a notable opportunity to hear music associated with these instruments and especially the composers who wrote for it: the organ’s original builder in 1868, August Gern (1837-1907), had formerly been employed by Cavaillé-Coll.
Born the son of a blacksmith in a small village in Brittany in 1907, the outstanding organist and composer Jean Langlais became blind at the age of two. He went on to attend the Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles, where his studies under the influential organist and teacher André Marchal would be on instruments made by Cavaillé-Coll; then moved on to the Paris Conservatoire, where he won prizes in organ playing and also studied composition with Paul Dukas and the great organist Marcel Dupré. Just as Dupré had done, he would go on to enjoy a major career as both cathedral organist and recitalist: his longest post was with the Parisian Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde between 1945 and 1988.
Though the composer had been pondering it for some 15 years, Langlais’ Messe Solennelle was composed in just 11 days in November 1949: its model was Louis Vierne’s work of the same title (1899-1900), written for the church of Saint-Sulpice, with its two Cavaillé-Coll organs — the Grand Orgue a reconstruction of an 18th-century instrument by François Henri Clicquot.
Vierne’s and Langlais’ works are identically scored for SATB choir and two organs — a relatively common layout in large French churches and cathedrals, with the Grand Orgue frequently placed high up on the west wall and the Petit Orgue near the east end and adjacent to the choir.
Langlais’ work drew an appreciative analysis from his friend, contemporary and fellow-pupil of Paul Dukas, Olivier Messiaen, who pointed out its inspiration in Gregorian chant and noted the occasional use of a cadence by Guillaume de Machaut (c1300-77). In France, incidentally, the Credo is traditionally sung in plainsong, with the choir and congregation alternating, and it is thus not set.
In its two-organ original form, Langlais’ mass was first performed privately at Sainte-Clotilde on October 15, 1950, with the public premiere following three years later at the Besançon Festival. The piece also exists in a version for a single organ, but although only one organ and one organist are heard on this disc, with the aid of multi-tracking (and as in the cases of two of the four Dupré motets also recorded here), both parts are played as written.
In the troubled Kyrie, for instance, the Grand Orgue alternates with the Petit Orgue in such a way that the two never play simultaneously; with the relevant stops and couplers brought into play, this movement can thus be performed by one organist at one instrument.
The Petit Orgue comes to the fore in the Gloria, though with occasional interjections from the Grande Orgue, at times with the two-responding back-and-forth.
Dating from 1920, the year before the composer’s death, the Tantum Ergo by Déodat de Séverac is an unaccompanied setting, one that combines modality with expressive chromaticism. Born in the Haute-Garonne department of the Languedoc region in 1872, the composer received his musical education from Vincent d’Indy and Albert Magnard at the Schola Cantorum – a respected alternative to the Paris Conservatoire route to musical fame and fortune. Following his studies he returned to southern France where he maintained a local career until his death in 1921, though this small but moving piece has helped keep his name more widely known.
One of Langlais’ predecessors at Sainte-Clotilde was the Belgian-born César Franck, who held the same position from the Basilica’s inauguration in 1858 until his death in 1890. The Cavaillé-Coll instrument included in the new building was considered the maker’s masterpiece to date, and undoubtedly had a major influence on Franck’s own compositional style.
In 1860 Franck wrote and performed at Sainte-Clotilde his Messe Solennelle à Trois Voix, which he revised and published in 1872. In this later version a new setting of the communion anthem Panis Angelicus was substituted for the original O Salutaris Hostia.
The original scoring of the additional movement was for tenor soloist, cello, harp, and organ. Its enormous success as a separate piece has led to its rearrangement for innumerable combinations, a mere handful of them the composer’s own. Owain Park’s new version sets it for solo tenor, choir, solo cello, and strings.
Charles Gounod is a rare example of a 19th-century composer who was immensely successful both in the spheres of opera and religious music – notably in his large-scale oratorios: indeed, his religious inclinations had at one point led him to consider entering holy orders.
One of the composer’s several settings of the text, this Ave Verum was written during a period of exile in England at the time of the Franco-Prussian War and the Siege of Paris (1870-71: though in fact Gounod remained in London much longer — until 1874).
Gounod composed it for Mr Henry Leslie’s Choir – an institution of the mid-to-late Victorian period named after its composer and conductor founder. With an alternative English text, the piece was published as a supplement to the edition of The Musical Times appearing on May 1, 1871.
At the time of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh on April 17, 2021, Covid restrictions remained in place, which meant that only four singers could take part in the service. One of these was Australian soprano Miriam Allan, whose widely broadcast contribution to the service so moved Jean Langlais’ widow (and former pupil) Madame Marie-Louise Langlais – herself a distinguished organist — that she suggested that Miriam sing the four songs by her late husband that appear on this disc, some of them previously unpublished, and for which she considered the soprano ideal.
In Allan’s own words: ‘I’ll never be able to express my gratitude to Mme Langlais for entrusting them to me and am extremely pleased that they are included here, next to Langlais’ epic opus, providing a deeper insight into his extraordinary musical world.’
The songs were written at various times in Langlais’ life. À la Vierge Marie sets the composer’s own French text and is characteristic of the four in its eloquent simplicity and mostly syllabic setting. O Salutaris was composed in December 1943: with its rhythmically free, melismatic line lightly accompanied by the organ, Langlais marks it ‘like a Gregorian chant.’
Setting the standard text, the Ave Maria is for solo voice or unison choir and organ. Again dating from 1943, the Pie Jesu is once again simple in expression – though none the less potent for that.
Born in Rouen in 1886, Marcel Dupré became one of the leading organists and international recitalists of his time. He grew up with a Cavaillé-Coll organ in his home – his organist father was a friend of the organ-builder himself. Dupré would go on to occupy the post of organist at Saint-Sulpice (where Cavaillé-Coll’s rebuilt instrument is considered by some to be his magnum opus) from 1934 until his death: Messiaen was one of his many pupils.
Written in 1916, Dupré’s 4 Motets are scored for SATB choir and one organ (nos. 1 & 2), or two organs (nos. 3 & 4). Each of them was dedicated to one of the composer’s fellow organists or choirmasters: the first, O Salutaris, to Philippe Bellenot, choirmaster of Saint-Sulpice; the second, Ave Maria, to Maurice Blazy, organist at Saint Pierre de Montrouge; the third, Tantum Ergo, to the Abbé Renault, choirmaster at Notre Dame; and the fourth, Laudate, to Jean Gallon, choirmaster at Saint Philippe de Roule.
Though not himself religious, Gabriel Fauré held various church posts, as choirmaster at Saint-Sulpice and then as deputy to Saint-Saëns at La Madeleine, where a Cavaillé-Coll organ had been installed in 1845. Fauré was eventually appointed chief organist at the famous church, retaining the post until 1905, in which year he took over as head of the Paris Conservatoire.
Written around 1890, Faure’s Tantum Ergo was originally scored for tenor, with harp and organ accompaniment: alternatives for soprano, or with piano and double bass, were envisaged, though it is the original that is performed here.
Faure’s Pavane (1887) was originally conceived for chorus and piano, but the composer’s own edition for orchestra with optional chorus — premiered the following year — would become more familiar; a balletic element was envisaged early on.
In the style of Verlaine’s Fêtes galantes, the secular text is the work of Robert de Montesquiou, cousin to the Comtesse Greffulhe, to whom the work was dedicated. To many and varied pre-existing transcriptions Owain Park has added his own, scored for SATB choir, organ, harp, timpani, and strings.
Langlais’ solo organ piece Fête (1946) celebrated two things: the liberation of Paris following the departure of the German occupying forces, and Langlais’ own appointment in 1945 as chief organist at Sainte-Clotilde, which would represent his longest relationship with a particular instrument in any religious institution, in this instance the Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Parisian Basilica.
Written in 1865, the earliest of Faure’s works on this disc is the Cantique de Jean Racine, its French text by the celebrated dramatist a paraphrase of the Latin hymn Consors paterni luminis. With its rich melodic line, the result won the 19-year-old student first prize for composition at the École Niedermeyer and was premiered the following year; on publication Fauré dedicated it to César Franck.
The piece exists in numerous arrangements, a couple of them Faure’s own, others purely instrumental. On this disc we hear John Rutter’s transcription, scored for SATB choir, harp and lower strings (no violins).
In 1883 César Franck set in French Psalm 150 – a psalm of praise, also known as “the musicians’ psalm”, for its references to the trumpet, psaltery, harp, timbrel, stringed instruments, organ, and cymbals – to use the terminology of the King James version — for choir, organ, and large orchestra.
The commission came from the Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles, where Louis Vierne and Jean Langlais (among other distinguished organists) studied, and celebrated the inauguration of the school’s new organ, made by Cavaillé-Coll. (The school already possessed an earlier instrument by the same maker.)
Franck’s setting remained unpublished until six years after his death. A second edition with organ accompaniment was also published, forming the basis for the version by Armin Landgraf heard on this disc; it is scored for organ, harp, timpani, cymbals, and strings.
© George Hall

“Fast becoming the go-to champions for contemporary British choral music” (Gramophone), the London Choral Sinfonia presents a captivating blend of French choral music under the direction of Michael Waldron, with soloists Nick Pritchard and Miriam Allan. Their new album includes Jean Langlais’ monumental masterpiece “Messe Solennelle,” accompanied by staples of the choral repertoire: Gabriel Fauré’s “Cantique de Jean Racine” and César Franck’s “Psalm 150”.
The album also features hidden gems such as Marcel Dupré’s “Quatre Motets,” as well as fresh arrangements of Franck’s “Panis Angelicus” and Gounod’s “Ave Verum” by Composer-in-Residence, Owain Park. These reimagined pieces breathe new life into beloved favourites.
Under Michael Waldron’s direction, the LCS continues its tradition of excellence, blending celebrated works with lesser-known treasures, and winning new audiences with its rich romantic colours and innovative interpretations.

London Choral Sinfonia
“Fast becoming the go-to champions for contemporary British choral music” (Gramophone), the London Choral Sinfonia was formed for a concert in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, in 2015. Since then the LCS has secured a reputation as one of the leading chamber choir and orchestral ensembles. A busy performance schedule throughout the year sees the group appearing at venues including Cadogan Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, Kings Place and St John’s Smith Square.
Aside from many of the major cornerstones of the repertoire, the LCS also seeks to champion new music, having premiered new works and recordings with numerous composers including Tarik O’Regan, Owain Park, Richard Pantcheff and Ian Assersohn. Recent premieres include former Composer-in-Residence Oliver Rudland’s Christmas Truce, with a libretto by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
Recent performance highlights include Bach Jauchzet Gott with Katherine Watson (soprano) and Crispian Steele-Perkins (trumpet), Bach Motets and Cello Suites with Guy Johnston (cello), Mozart Exsultate Jubilate with Mary Bevan (soprano), Britten St Nicolas with Nick Pritchard (tenor), and Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem with Matthew Brook (baritone).
In addition to a busy concert schedule, the extensive LCS discography includes the three-volume collection of works for choir and orchestra by Richard Pantcheff and the award-winning Christmas album, O Holy Night. Their album, Colourise, featuring baritone Roderick Williams and tenor Andrew Staples, was released to critical acclaim. Described by Gramophone as ‘intensely moving’, the album reached over a million streams within the first months of its release. Sword in the Soul – released in April 2023 – was described as ‘beautifully judged’ (Gramophone) and ‘sublime’ (BBC Radio 3). Their double-disc release of works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor in July 2023 features many world-premiere recordings, and was praised for its ‘fine recordings’ (The Sunday Times). Their recording of music by Stephen Hough was received to great critical acclaim: ‘Waldron directs his fresh-voiced choir with energising, always scrupulous ardour’ (BBC Music Magazine), and was selected as Editor’s Choir (Gramophone).

Michael Waldron
Conductor
Michael is founder and Artistic Director of the London Choral Sinfonia (LCS), and has worked with many of the top choirs and orchestras in the UK and beyond, including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Polyphony, London Mozart Players, Holst Singers and City of London Choir. He held the post of Interim Director of Music with the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2023. He is Musical Director of Islington Choral Society, Artistic Director of London Lyric Opera and Musical Director of Epworth Choir.
His debut album release with the London Choral Sinfonia, O Holy Night, was selected by The Guardian as one of their top Christmas albums. Together with the LCS, he has since embarked on a multi-album project for Orchid Classics recording orchestral and choral music by Richard Pantcheff. His album, Colourise, features a previously unrecorded cantata by Lennox Berkeley, and the first recording of Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs in an original chamber orchestration, featuring baritone Roderick Williams. Colourise was selected by The Times as one of their Best Albums of 2022. His album of music by Stephen Hough, Mirabilis, was selected by Gramophone Magazine as one of their Top Albums of 2023. Michael’s latest recording with LCS, Retrospect, which features many lesser-known works by Vaughan Williams was selected by Gramophone as Editor’s Choice.
Michael enjoy an extensive operatic career, including shows and projects for the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Buxton International Festival, Opera Della Luna and West Green Opera.
Michael Waldron began his musical training as a chorister at St Ambrose College, Hale Barns. After a gap year Organ Scholarship at Worcester Cathedral, he held the Organ Scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge, for four years. Here he studied under Stephen Layton, during which time he was involved with the Choir’s numerous international tours, concerts, broadcasts and recordings.
More information can be found at: www.michael-waldron.com

Nick Pritchard
Tenor
Tenor Nick Pritchard is gaining fast recognition for his performances of the music of Bach and in particular his interpretation of the Evangelist in the Passions. Described as a ‘Masterly Evangelist’ in The Guardian, he has sung the role in Bach’s St John and Matthew Passions around the world, including with St Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota and his recording of the St John Passion (Evangelist) for Deutsche Grammophon with Sir John Eliot Gardiner was nominated for a Grammy Award for best Choral Performance (2023). Recent performances of the piece include those with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra at the Concertgebouw under Jonathan Cohen, for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Polyphony and Antwerp Symphony Orchestra.
On the concert platform he has performed with Ensemble Pygmalion, Concerto Köln, Les Talens Lyriques, Les Violons du Roy, L’Orchestre du Chambre de Paris, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, English Concert, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Gabrieli Consort, Stavanger Symfoniorkester, Flemish Radio Choir, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra. In 2021 he made his BBC Proms debut with Britten Sinfonia under David Bates performing Mozart’s Requiem.
He has performed under conductors including Sir George Benjamin, Harry Bicket, John Butt, Laurence Cummings, Jonathan Cohen, Christian Curnyn, Maxim Emelyanychev, Adam Fischer, Emmanuelle Haïm, Simon Halsey, George Petrou, Raphaël Pichon, Christophe Rousset, Sir András Schiff, Ryan Wigglesworth, Richard Egarr, Peter Whelan and Masato Suzuki.
A fine actor and equally at home on the operatic stage, roles have included ‘Oronte’, Alcina for Opera North, ‘Lysander’, A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the Aldeburgh Festival’s 70th anniversary, ‘Tamino’, Die Zauberflöte for Glyndebourne on Tour and for Irish National Opera and Peter Whelan, ‘Ferrando’, Cosí fan tutte for Opera Holland Park and ‘Amphinomus’, The Return of Ulysses for the Royal Opera House. A regular performer of New Music he has also given several World Premieres, including creating the role of ‘Matthew’ in Mark Simpson’s opera Pleasure (Opera North, Aldeburgh and The Royal Opera House).

Miriam Allan
Soprano
Soprano Miriam Allan’s sublime singing has resonated worldwide, from her native Australia to Japan, Singapore, and various festivals across Europe and North America, including a notable performance at the Funeral of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
In 2024, Miriam will showcase the music of Chiara Margherita Cozzolani with the Instruments of Time and Truth, join Collegium Vocal Gent for a European tour, collaborate with Les Arts Florissants for Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, and participate in concerts of Bach Cantatas at the Ambronay festival directed by Paul Agnew.
Recent engagements featured a recital tour of Haydn’s Canzonettes in Australia, Vivaldi performances with Pinchgut Opera, and a production of The Indian Queen in Caen, Antwerp, and Luxembourg. Miriam has also contributed to documentary recordings with Sir John Eliot Gardiner on Monteverdi’s life and work.
Highlights from the 2021-22 season include performances with Philippe Herreweghe & Collegium Vocale Gent, projects with Les Arts Florissants & Paul Agnew, and appearances at the Wigmore Hall with Jonathan Cohen & Arcangelo. Her diverse repertoire includes works by Stanford, Clara Schumann, Fanny Hensel. Her diverse repertoire includes works by Stanford, Clara Schumann, Fanny Hensel.
Miriam’s collaborations extend to notable conductors and orchestras, including Masaaki Suzuki & Bach Collegium Japan, Nicholas Collon & Aurora Orchestra, and William Christie with various renowned orchestras. On the operatic stage, Miriam has appeared with Pinchgut Opera, at Innsbruck Festival, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. She has performed on the prestigious stages Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Centre in New York, and the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
Her extensive discography includes award-winning recordings of Monteverdi and Gesualdo Madrigals with Les Arts Florissants. Upcoming releases feature Gesualdo Madrigals with Collegium Vocale Gent and Bach Cantatas with Les Arts Florissants.
James Orford
Organ
James Orford is a prize-winning organist and pianist based in London.  He is currently the Organist and Assistant Director of Music at St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge having previously held posts at Westminster, St Paul’s, and Truro Cathedrals, and Eton College.
James enjoys a busy performing schedule as a soloist and has given recitals and concerts at many of the UK’s most notable venues and festivals.  He has also performed in Denmark, Belgium, France, Spain, and Italy.  In 2021, his debut solo album – his own complete organ transcription of Vivaldi’s L’estro Armonico – was released on the Linn Record Label and featured on Apple Music’s Classical A-list.
As an accompanist, James has worked with a vast number of choirs, both professional and amateur.  Among these are The Sixteen, the Monteverdi Choir, Tenebrae, the London Choral Sinfonia, Sansara, and Thames Philharmonic Choir.  He has accompanied choral performances in the USA, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden, and Nigeria and appears on several choral discs as both an organist and pianist.  These include the London Choral Sinfonia’s world premiere recordings of music by Sir Stephen Hough, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Jean Langlais, Lennox Berkeley, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Francis Grier.  Mirabilis, a recently released disc of Stephen Hough’s choral music was one of Gramophone Magazine’s “Best Classical Albums of 2023”.
James is also an accomplished pianist, working primarily as an accompanist and chamber player.  He has won numerous accompanist prizes and appears on several recordings as a pianist.  Most recently, he recorded a disc of English Song with baritone Alex Bower-Brown.

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