This magnificent work was jointly commissioned by six musical organisations from the English cathedral city of Salisbury. Showcasing Chilcott's exceptional talent for large-scale choral writing, Salisbury Vespers
pays homage to this most ancient of services, combining settings of the traditional Vespers psalms with anonymous early texts and words from the Sarum Primer of 1516. Marian motets punctuate the psalm settings, and the work concludes with a substantial setting of the Magnificat, based on the plainsong melody from the same section in Monteverdi's Vespers
of 1610. With driving rhythms, passages of reflective contemplation, and expansive, powerful textures, this is a must for all lovers of Chilcott's music, and is sure to become a cornerstone of the modern choral repertory.
Salisbury Vespers is scored for chorus, chamber choir, and children's choir, but can equally be performed by a large mixed chorus divided into smaller groups, with sopranos and altos singing the children's part.
Bob Chilcott has been involved with choral music all his life, first as a chorister and then a choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge. Later, he sang and composed music for twelve years with the King's Singers. His experiences with that group, his passionate commitment to young and amateur choirs, and his profound belief that music can unite people, have inspired him both to compose full-time and, through proactive workshopping, to promote choral music worldwide.