David Fisher - The Legacy

The Legacy


Three Choirs and Organ [it is possible to sing this with only one choir split into two]

Score, download - 0.15MB

David Fisher - The Legacy

Other Information

Written for and dedicated to: "Dedicated to Dr Chris Johns, Simon Headley, the Choirs of Leicester Cathedral, the Leicester Cathedral Old Choristers´ Association and the magnificent musical legacy these represent". The legacy aspect of this concert is very important to the composer as, it jointly celebrates his 60th birthday and the impact of his life of being trained under two of the great musicians who were Organists and Choirmasters of Leicester Cathedral in the 1960s: Dr George C Gray and Peter G White. He was Dr Gray´s last head chorister at Easter 1969 and Peter White´s first until the day before of the composer´s first ´O´ Level exam in the same year, retiring as a treble at 16½. It was first performed at Leicester Cathedral on 12th October 2013 under the direction of Dr Chris Johns with the choirs of Leicester Cathedral, Songmen Emeriti, Old Choristers and Kingfisher Chorale with Simon Headley on the organ.

The image to the left is the Leicester Cathedral Legacy Concert poster designed by David Calow. Below left is David Fisher at 15 as Deputy Head Chorister [to Christopher Fent] and below right is the cover of the vocal score of The Legacy. It shows the chancel of the cathedral (which is where the choir sang in George Gray´s and Peter White´s time) and it is captured before the projected reorganisation of the cathedral. This area (directly under Raphael Brandon´s noble 220´ spire) is now the new site of the high altar with the current Sir Charles Nicholson choir screen being moved back to form the reredos forming a division between the altar and the proposed site of the tomb of Richard III. The screens either side of where the choir formerly sang now form the entrance to the chapel of Christ the King incorporating the ´old´ high altar.

The whole piece in terms of words (selected and adapted by the composer) and his music reflect the development of musicians in cathedrals and other environments. This legacy begins with meandering chords [showing the beginning of the learning process] under which, in the pedals, is the tune taken from Tallis reflecting the legacy from that composer to the present day. The discords, nevertheless, suggest the keys to be used later. The young voices are contrasted with a mature choir showing both ends of the process. The next interlude is still discordant but with more shape and the Tallis melody still in the pedals is dissipating. Here the cathedral choir(s) are now contrasted with ‘older’ [generally] gentlemen of the Songman Emeriti and the Old Choristers touching on the passing on of wisdom. The next interlude shows the Tallis has almost gone and a new, more confident, style begins. This leads in to a massive section [again, like the other two sections, a cappella] in up to eleven parts. The original Tallis canon is contrasted by all the melodies used earlier with the addition of another much faster canon of my own in the cathedral altos and basses whilst the second choir sings homophonically. At the end of this section the organ and choirs come together in a coda in which the full organ (with the addition of the tuba) comes to the fore in a very noisy conclusion. The rising keys [E, G & B flat] show upwards steps of learning too.

VERSE 1 [Boys & Girls of Choir 1 with Choir 3]

CHOIR 1: Awake, my soul, and with the sun Your daily stage of duty run; Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise To pay your morning sacrifice (F.H. Barthélémon [1741-1808]) CHOIR 3: Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it … (Proverbs 22:6)… But, as for you, continue in what you have learned … because you know those from whom you learned it. (2 Timothy 3:14)

VERSE 2 [Choir 1 with Choir 2]

CHOIR 1: Redeem your misspent time that’s past; And live this day were it your last; Improve your talent with due care; For the great day yourself prepare. (F.H. Barthélémon [1741-1808]) CHOIR 3: By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established … a wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might … (Proverbs 24:3,5) … Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding. (Proverbs 14:33-15)

VERSE 3 [All voices]

CHOIR 1 [S & T] & CHOIR 2: Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise him, all creatures here below; Praise him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (Bishop T. Ken [1637-1711]) CHOIR 1 [A & B]: Awake, awake, ye heav’nly choir, May your devotion me inspire, That I like you my age may spend, Like you may on my God attend. (F.H. Barthélémon [1741-1808]) + plus ALL the previous biblical references: 11 individual voice parts singing at once.

* This melody, known as "Tallis´ Canon" was also used in the composer´s "Augsburg Elegy" nearly 10 years ago.

Extracts from the score can be seen by clicking top left above the poster of the concert. 


David Fisher - The Legacy

David Fisher - The Legacy