Sunday 12 April 2015 saw a fantastic concert in St Salvator’s Chapel to launch ‘Sanctiandree’, the first CD label established by a Scottish University. The CD ‘Salvator Mundi – the Purcell Legacy’, by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir and the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, under the direction of University Organist and Director of Chapel Choirs, Tom Wilkinson goes on general release from 20 April. https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/news/archive/2015/title,256163,en.php
The Special Collections Division of the Library has been delighted to play a significant part in the lead up to this great event. ‘Sanctiandree Records’ owes its name to the phrase ‘Choristi Sanctiandree’, the Latin term for those medieval choral canons who were responsible, in the earliest days of the College of St Salvator in the mid 15th century, for the maintenance of daily sung worship in the chapel which was at the heart of Bishop James Kennedy’s College. The phrase is found in early title deeds relating to the endowment of the College within the University muniments. It is likely that choral scholars, singers chosen from amongst the young men coming to University, would also have been part of that early choral tradition. Today’s ‘Choristi Sanctiandree’ is a choir of the very best choral singers in the University that gives around five performances per semester. http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/music/perform/lessons/scholarships/choralscholarships/
The concert launching the CD featured music included on the recording, most significant of which is William Jackson of Exeter’s Hear me O God which Tom discovered in the Finzi Collection within our Special Collections when he was browsing our holdings last year. He recognised that here was a piece which had most likely not been performed within living memory and it has received its world premiere recording on the CD. The piece has three parts, made up of words from Psalms 69, 71 and 31, which Jackson says he brought together “as might naturally occur to a Mind oppressed with Affliction, and at last, deriving Hope from a Remembrance of former Mercies.”
Following the concert, we were delighted to welcome two music journalists to the Library annexe to retrace Tom’s discovery and to learn more about the Finzi Collection and the other music we hold. We look forward to seeing their articles in print! Meanwhile, work is ongoing to prepare the digitised images of manuscript music from the Finzi collection for mounting on the web. More news of that soon!