Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart)
World Premiere Performance at The Royal Albert Hall
Friday November 3rd 2006
Today Paul McCartney announces the world premiere performance of his new classical album Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart). Ecce Cor Meum is a work for chorus and orchestra in four movements.
Ecce Cor Meum will be performed by Kate Royal (soprano); Academy of St Martins In The Fields Orchestra; London Voices; Boys Of Magdalen College Choir, Oxford and Boys of Kings College Choir, Cambridge. They will be conducted by Gavin Greenaway. This is the same cast that appears on the studio recording, which is released by EMI Classics on September 25th.
Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart) is Pauls fourth classical album since his first was released in 1991, The Liverpool Oratorio. The album has been more than eight years in the making and its origins follow in the historic tradition of composers that have been commissioned to write music for the world-renowned Magdalen College Oxford. Paul was specially invited by Anthony Smith (President of Magdalen College 1998 2005) to compose something to set the seal on a new concert hall for the college. His hope was for a choral piece which could be sung by young people the world over, in the same way that Handels Messiah is.
In November 2001, the first version of Ecce Cor Meum was given its preview performance by the Magdalen College Choir, which was conducted by Bill Ives at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford. This was a great learning experience for Paul. Eventually I made it all come together through correcting a lot of misapprehensions a lot was learned before the Sheldonian performance, but a lot of it was learned afterwards. An experienced choral composer knows that children cant be given huge sustained passages; they dont have the energy and the stamina. At the Sheldonian there was some quite hard stuff that I didnt realise because Id done it on the synthesiser (which has endless stamina!), but during that first performance the solo treble couldnt come on for the second half I think Id used him up in the first half! These are things that people either learn because they are taught them immediately at the first lesson, or you learn through the years, so it was good to go through the piece a lot of times, and we took out huge choral sections and gave them to the orchestra. If it had been a Beatles song I would have known how to do it. But this was a completely different ball game.
The Royal Albert Hall performance will be a very special evening. Tickets go on sale from today.
Friday 3rd November
Royal Albert Hall
Doors 6.30pm Performance 7.30pm
Tickets available from 020 7589 8212, 0871 230 2603
Or online at www.royalalberthall.com ticketmaster.co.uk
Ticket prices for this performance will be £60.00, £55.00, £45.00, £30.00 and £20.00.