John Sanders
1933 - 2003
Great Britain, England
J.D. Sanders
John Derek [John] Sanders (26/11/1933 - 23/12/2003), a English composer, born in Woodford (Hereford). He was for many years organist and master of the choristers at Gloucester Cathedral. During this time and right up to his death last year he was also a prolific composer.
Composed in:1998
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass + English texts
In memory of:the composer's granddaughter
Label(s):Priory PRCD 831
This requiem contains:
01. Introit 3:39
02. Kyrie 1:23
03. Pie Jesu 1:41
04. Offertory 4:07
05. Sanctus 1:09
06. Agnus Dei and Lux aeterna 6:14
07. Communion 2:36
08. In Paradisum 2:24

♫ 01. Requiem - Introit
© Priory Records PRCD 831

♫ 02. Requiem - Kyrie
© Priory Records PRCD 831

♫ 03. Requiem - Pie Jesu
© Priory Records PRCD 831

♫ 04. Requiem - Offertory
© Priory Records PRCD 831

♫ 05. Requiem - Sanctus
© Priory Records PRCD 831

♫ 06. Requiem - Agnus Dei and Lux aeterna
© Priory Records PRCD 831

♫ 07. Requiem - Communion
© Priory Records PRCD 831

♫ 08. Requiem - In Paradisum
© Priory Records PRCD 831
Sanders’ Requiem (1998) is for unaccompanied choir, duration: 23'13. This is cast in eight short movements, which includes as well as the Ordinary of the Mass for the dead and passages from the Proper of that mass two additional movements. These are a passage from the Russian Orthodox Kontakion of the Departed (as the "Offertory") and the wondrous text after John Donne, "Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening". In a way these were daring choices by Sanders and his librettist, Canon Heavisides, the Precentor of Gloucester Cathedral. Would a solitary extract from Russian Orthodox liturgy fit in? Could Sanders match the memorable setting of the Donne words by Sir William Harris (a piece he must have directed often)? In both cases the answer is emphatically in the affirmative.
There are countless felicitous touches in this work which sounds to be so understandingly written for the voices. The two movements already mentioned are eloquent and original. So too is the "Pie Jesu", set as a gentle, lilting berceuse and written as a touching tribute to Sanders’ own granddaughter, who died in infancy. The concluding "In Paradisum" is marvellous. It begins with a lovely soprano solo (outstandingly sung here) accompanied by the other female voices. Many composers have set this whole text quietly but in Sanders’ setting at the words "Chorus angelorum" there’s a great outburst of joy, as if the heavenly hosts are waiting to welcome the souls of the departed.
This is a consoling and dignified requiem of great beauty. In particular I’m struck by the fact that every time there’s a reference to light in the text Sanders responds with incandescent, luminous harmonies. The other word that clearly fires his imagination is "Requiem" ("rest"). This fine, eloquent work deserves to be well known and widely performed and the wholly sympathetic advocacy it receives here should assist greatly.