Marguerite L. Brooks, conductor
U.S. premiere of Philip Moore’s Requiem. Thomas Murray, organ.
About the Requiem, Mr. Moore writes:
“I sometimes think that every composer has a requiem waiting to be composed, in the same way, perhaps, as the book we all have waiting to be written. Many well-known requiems contain some of the finest music of a composer’s output. Certainly this is the case with Mozart, Fauré, Duruflé, Brahms, and Britten, to name only a few. Even some lesser-known requiems are of a very high quality; works by Dvořák, Cherubini, and Stanford come to mind.
During the twentieth and twenty-first centuries there has been an outpouring of requiems. Some modern composers have chosen to set parts of the standard text. Others have taken Brahms’s example and chosen religious texts that have relevance to life beyond the grave. Some have combined the two approaches.
My own effort has taken time to come to fruition. For some years I considered writing a large-scale work. Eventually I felt that a work that could be sung liturgically, with organ accompaniment, might be the most useful approach. Having taken part, either as a chorus member, conductor, or player, in no fewer than twelve requiems, I have been guided by their influence. I have dedicated my Requiem to the memory of my Mother and Father. They were both talented amateur musicians who gave me every encouragement to pursue a life in cathedral music.”
Note by the composer
Philip Moore, born in 1943, studied organ, piano, composition, and conducting at the Royal College of Music. There he won the Walford Davies prize for organ playing as well as the Limpus, Turpin, and Read prizes in the Royal College of Organists’ diplomas. He also holds a Bachelor in Music degree from Durham University. During his student years he was organist and choirmaster at St. Gabriel’s Church, Cricklewood, and after graduation was appointed to the music staff at Eton College. In 1968 he became assistant organist at Canterbury Cathedral, and in 1974 he succeeded Barry Rose as organist and Master of the Choristers at Guildford Cathedral. In 1983 Moore became organist and Master of the Music at York Minster, a post he held until 2008. He was also conductor of the York Musical Society for 27 years.
To mark 50 years of service to church music, the Archbishop of York awarded Moore the Order of St. William. Moore has also been awarded honorary fellowships by the Royal School of Church Music, the Guild of Church Musicians, and the Academy of St. Cecilia. In 2014 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of York. His work in cathedrals was recognized in 2016 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who awarded him the Cranmer Award for Worship. In 2015 he became president of the Royal College of Organists.