From the composer:
The Language of Birds was commissioned by RSCM Ireland for their 2015 awards service in St Mary's Pro-Cathedral on November 14th, and subsequently broadcast on RTÉ 1 on St Cecilia's Day, by the choirs of St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast, and St Bartholomew's Church, Dublin. Due to the nature of the commission, I chose lines from Christopher Smart's Jubilate Agno describing music, and the virtues of offering prayer through the medium of singing.
The title is a reference to an ancient Celtic pagan belief that animals – specifically birds – could commune directly with divinity through their birdsong. This idea seems to have been adopted by early Irish Christianity, as is reflected in much of the poetry and prayer which survives from that period.
Karg-Elert: Sieben Idyllen, Op.104
Philips: Ave verum corpus
Weelkes: Christ rising again
Voice For Life Weekly Standards Chart
Sumsion: One thing have I desired of the Lord
Rizza: Sweet dreams form a shade
Walford Davies: Jubilate in G
With saintly shout and solemn jubilee - Festival Service Book
Archer: The Lord's my shepherd
Robson: Lord, give me faith
Parry: Never weather-beaten sail
Sumsion: The Holy Birth
Bach: Ich lasse dich nicht (I wrestle and pray)
Archer: Grow in grace
Bramma: Preces and Responses (U + organ)
Halls: Mass Of St Osmund
Hewitt Jones: There is no rose
Shephard: Never weather-beaten sail
Widor: Tantum ergo
De Severac: Tantum ergo (ed. Beaumont)
Smart: Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in B flat
Mundy: Evening Canticles Ã”Ã‡Ã´ 'in C fa ut'
God so loved the world: A Passiontide Service.
Lole: Shall we not love thee, Mother dear?
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Chapple: What child is this? (SSA)
Durufle: Notre Pâ”œÂ¿re
Durufle: Tu es Petrus
Durufle: Ubi caritas
Merrily On High - upper voices (ed. Rose)
Shephard: Responses for Upper Voices (SSAA)
Archer: How can I keep from singing? (Upper voices)
Azzara: A la nanita nana SS unison
Dove: Ecce Beatam Lucem SATB/div
DuruflÃ©: Tota Pulchra es Maria
Dove: Into Thy Hands (SATB)
Rutter: O give thanks unto the Lord (SSA)