CD A0112: Messyah

Messyah by Queldryk Chamber Choir & Solaris String Quartet

CD Cover: MessyahA live concert recording of Paul Ayres's amazing re-working of Handel's Messiah - fresh, invigorating, thought-provoking and entertaining. Early Music Today magazine praises "the excellent Queldryk Chamber Choir" and its "ravishing choral support".

Buy this album CD £10.00 +p&p

Audio Samples

Track Listing

1 And He shall purify
2 Surely He hath borne our griefs 2:49
3 And with His stripes we are healed 2:42
4 All we like sheep 1:19
5 All they that see Him 1:17
6 He trusted in God 2:26
7 Thy rebuke hath broken His heart 1:48
8 Let us break their bonds asunder 2:14
9 The Lord gave the word 2:13
10 Lift up your heads 3:04
11 Hallelujah! 2:36
12 Since by man came death 2:39
13 I know that my Redeemer liveth (Tom Raskin, solo tenor)
This movement is based on the 1998 arrangement made by Music of the Fuchsia,
the duo of Rosemary Forbes-Butler, soprano and Paul Ayres, piano
14 Blessing and honour 4:37
15 Amen 2:44
16 Sinfonia (Overture) 2:05
17 The people that walked in darkness 1:24
18 Pifa (Pastoral Symphony) / There were shepherds abiding in the field 2:41
19 And the angel said unto them
20 And suddenly / Glory to God 1:32
21 For unto us a Child is born 1:17
Total time

CD Notes & Credits


A live concert recording from St George’s Church Hanover Square London, May 2006 of Paul Ayres's amazing re-working of Handel's Messiah - fresh, invigorating, thought-provoking and entertaining.

"Each of the 25 or so movements from Handel's Messiah that I have re-arranged is treated in a different way," Ayres explains. "Sometimes there are changes to metre and rhythm, and sometimes the harmony or text has undergone a transformation. Some movements have had their essential elements distilled into a few moments' intensity, and some musical ideas have been expanded and developed along startlingly tangential lines." Asked whether this amounts to a 'PDQ Handel' send-up of one of classical music's most iconic works, he disagrees: "Messyah has been written because I have such a great love for Handel's music - not because I want to ridicule it.

Certainly, there may be a few comic moments, but equally there are some thoughtful and considered responses to the text. Every performance of the Messiah is different - the sound of Sir Thomas Beecham's 1957 recording is worlds away from William Christie's of 1994, for example - and I would just say that Messyah is 'differenter' than most." Ayres is now assistant organist at St George's Church Hanover Square, where Handel himself was a parishioner and churchwarden. His choral, vocal and theatre music has been commissioned and performed around the world, and in 2005 The Stolen Moon was shortlisted for the British Composer Awards.

Early Music Today magazine praises "the excellent Queldryk Chamber Choir" and its "ravishing choral support".


Solaris Quartet (Matthew Elston, Neil McTaggart, Alex Welch, Nick Allen),
Alexander L’Estrange double bass, Graham Instrall percussion, Benjamin Frost piano, Simon Williams organ.
Paul Ayres composer/conductor/arranger
and the Queldryk Chamber Choir [soloist / track number]:

sopranos Hannah Allchin-Kolyszka, Jenny Bacon, Molly Carroll, Karen Crossley, Jenny Dunford, Rachel Evans, Rowan Fenner [3, 19], Rosemary Hadfield, Angela Henckel [3, 18, 19, 20], Ros Keating, Judy Liu, Rachael Mayne, Andra Patterson, Riko Tanaka, Bernadette Thompson, Sara Underwood, Charlotte Verrall, Jennifer Wemyss

altos Sarah Burston, Emma Carey, Sally Cox, Rupert Griffin [3, 17], Ruth James, Katie Johnston, Glenn Kesby, Natasha Lohan, Debra Ogden, Jen Ord, Amy Payne, Jeremy Rowe, Sarah Tenant-Flowers, Claire Underwood [3], Clare Woodham

tenors Gordon Banner, Ben Byram-Wigfield, Chris Jones, Andrew McAnerney [3, 5], Ian MacDonald, Matthew Peacock, Tom Raskin [3, 13], John Thompson, James Webb, Simon Wellings

basses Jack Bertram, Alan Bryant, Mark Denza, Chris Hunter, Andrew Kidd [3, 17], Nicholas Langston, Nick Moodie, Nigel Oram, Matthew Power, Tim Storey, Stephen Tankard, John Ward [3, 19], Richard Webber, Phillip Williams, Andy Williamson

Copyright material quoted in track 21 used by permission of Oxford University Press and Faber Music Ltd.
Recording engineer: Richard Partridge.
® and © 2006. MCPS. Unauthorised copying, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcast prohibited.

Album Information

Instruments: Choral
Genre: Classical
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0112
Label: Paul Ayres
Year: 2006
Origin: UK

Arrangers Information & Contact Details

Paul Ayres
Paul Ayres

“a confident musicality and formidable technical assurance”

Choir & Organ magazine, September/October 1998

“…commanding technique resulted in performances of total clarity and precision”

Sevenoaks Chronicle, April 2000

“a player of outstanding talent and authority”

Hexham Courant, May 2000

Paul Ayres was born in London in 1970 and read music at Oxford University as organ scholar of Merton College. He graduated with a first-class honours degree in 1991, at the same time obtaining the FRCO diploma, winning the Turpin/Durrant, Harding and Samuel Baker prizes. He now works as a freelance organist, composer and choral conductor, and is Assistant Director of Music at St George’s Church, Hanover Square, London.

His first solo CD, “Passacaglia”, on the Fand Music Label (which has been broadcast on the radio in Australia, South Africa, USA and Hungary) was enthusiastically received:

“The Buxtehude and Bach pieces are given mature and yet energetic performances, whilst the Lloyd Webber and Koomans have so much vitality and bounce to them that they are quite addictive. On this his debut solo organ disc Paul Ayres shows himself to be a player of the highest calibre…” Simon FitzGerald, The Organ, August 1998

“Paul Ayres’s attractively constructed programme… playing is never less than assured…” Stephen Haylett, BBC Music Magazine November 1998

“This is an imaginative record, by a fine player on a fine instrument…the playing is splendid!” Organists’ Review, November 1998

“…an interesting programme, well played with great energy” Church Music Quarterly, January 1999

“Paul Ayres shows excellent technique and stylistic awareness throughout… a CD exploring the organ and some new music with great enthusiasm and flair.” Basil Ramsey, Music and Vision (daily internet music magazine) May 1999

Recital venues have included:

[London] St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Central Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields,

St Bride’s Fleet Street, Marylebone Parish Church, St Michael’s Cornhill, St Lawrence Jewry

[UK] Bristol, Norwich, Sheffield, Truro, Portsmouth, Glasgow and Edinburgh Cathedrals, St Alban’s Abbey,

Hexham Abbey, St Mary Redcliffe Bristol, Hull City Hall

[Europe] St Finbarre’s Cathedral Cork, St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin, Copenhagen Cathedral, St Johannes Kirke Bergen, Skt Klara Stockholm and other venues in Scandinavia, Holland, Germany and Hungary

[USA and Canada] St Thomas’s Fifth Avenue New York, Washington National Cathedral, St James’s Cathedral Toronto, Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa, Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, Adolphus Busch Hall Harvard University, St Paul’s Cathedral Boston, Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral Kansas City, St Andrew’s Cathedral Honolulu and venues in Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Michigan, Florida, South Carolina, New York, Connecticut and Illinois

[Australia and New Zealand] St George’s Cathedral Perth, Nelson Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral Rockhampton, Newcastle Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral Goulburn

Telephone 020 8632 1854
Booking Contact as above
Teaching Private pupils accepted , Grade 5 and above
Ensembles Music of the Fuchsia
Artist Web Site

Other Recordings From Paul Ayres

Also available from Creighton's Collection by Paul Ayres
Click here for details of Music of the Fuschia Click here for details of Music of the Fuschia Click here for details of Messyah Click here for details of Messyah