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This recording is a personal collection, selected by the composer, representing a number of favourite compositions, many of which have never before been recorded. The list of the music’s dedicatees is personal too; mentors and teachers, former musical colleagues and choirs, and family.

Those lucky enough to have sung under Richard Lloyd's direction grew up on a healthy diet of the best of centuries of church music stretching back to Tallis and Byrd, through Wesley, Wood and Stanford to Bairstow, Darke, and of course Herbert Howells. And how could these great influences not seep through into the music of a composer who has spent his life immersed in the music of the church?

 Richard Lloyd’s music is a joy to perform and a delight to hear. It enhances the worshipper’s experience in being ‘accessible’ to all. His skill is to make what may appear on the page as tonally or rhythmically challenging sound effortless to the ear.

During the recording sessions with The Bede Singers - a group especially assembled for this project - spontaneous applause broke out at the end of some pieces, and a buzz of something special surrounded others. It is hard to single out individual items, but the ethereal All so still stands out as having being unjustly neglected in the 40+ years since its composition. Richard Lloyd has en eye for the fine texts which offer much to the creative mind, and here is one such gem. A Song of the Passion is another hidden treasure, unperformed since its composition in 1985. The music cascades downwards, like the tears in the text, supporting a beautiful beseeching dialogue between tenor and soprano solo.

Melody is always key, underpinned by rich harmony. Vocal scoring is assured - use of divisi, chord spacing and musical ‘grammar’ all add subtly to the polished final result. Humour is evident in the scores, with a penchant for more obscure musical directions (stinguendo, zelosamente, vezzoso, and the oft-used tempo comodo). The is always great warmth in the music; chords are coloured at every opportunity by added notes and suspensions. Joy and optimism are always present, even when the text may not suggest it. The composer's strong faith underpins everything.

“Music from the heart, to the heart” is how Ian Shaw memorably described the music of Richard Lloyd. This collection, spanning a truly impressive 60 years of compositions, perfectly illustrates that notion. The music is heartfelt in its conception and its creation. It touches the hearts of those who perform and those who listen.

Simon Anderson

Illumine Me.mp3

Illumine Me - Choral Works by R. Lloyd

REGCD455

£10.-

Click the cover to the left to hear a sample of the CD

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The Lichfield Service (2008)

Magnificat

Nunc dimittis

Open my heart, illumine me (2013)

The fairest flower (1994)

The Windows (1986)

A Song of Passion (1985)

Adoro te devote (1954)

Chichester Mass (1992)

Kyrie eleison

Gloria in excelsis Deo

Sanctus

Benedictus

Agnus Dei

Thankful of heart for days gone by (2011)

Adam our father (2009)

All so still (1969)

I wonder as I wander (1976)

Now glad of heart (2010)

Keep me, O Christ (2014)

What songs are these? (1980)

Rejoice and sing (1990)