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      "Your Archive of Recorded Church Music is a                            tremendous achivement.  Many congratulations!" 
       Christopher Robinson   

   "A wonderful project.  Thank you for this"
    Andrew Nethsingha

1902 - 2016

The Archive Discographies   

Want to know what's in the Archive?  Download and browse, alphabetical by choir 

        UK Choirs
       BBC Choral Evensongs
Updated  November 2016
Updated  February 2017
       Chorister Solo Recital
       Foreign Choirs
A chorister(s)  singing over 75% of the tracks, with or without a choir
Updated  February 2017
Updated  November 2016

Recordings in the Archive

As you would expect from an Archive stretching over a 100 years, every recording format is represented;  78rpm &  Vinyl records;  Reel-to-reel tapes &  Cassettes;   ​Mini discs & CDs;  VHS/Betamax videos &  DVDs.  You can even listen to a phonograph cylinder of Sir Arthur Sullivan in 1888 expressing his concerns about hideous recordings!  click to listen

Every category of recording is held in the Archive, from internation commercial labels through to the rarest of private recordings - these different categories are explained below.

Commercial labels

Small Independent labels

Issued for worldwide sale by a major international label, such as EMI, Decca or Argo or by a large  independent label, such as Abbey, Regent or Priory.

The Archive has recordings from defunct and current labels and continues to add the latest new releases to the collection. 878
Issued for UK sale, often in the locality of the choir. Many hundreds of these small labels have provided an invaluable legacy of choirs, often long gone.

Special & Private pressings

One-off Private recordings

Recorded either by the choirmaster or an enthusiastic amateur armed with a tape recorder, these one-off copies are often the only recording of a particular choir or a solo chorister.   

They represent some of the greatest gems in the Archive and are historically priceless and irreplacable.   
Some of the rarest recordings in the Archive, as only a very limited number of copies would be pressed and in some instances, just one or two.  

Videos & DVDs

Test pressings

Over the years, many commerical videos and DVDs have been issued of services, concerts, choral works, documentaries and TV & film dramas.

A test pressing of 5 or 6 copies allowed an evaluation of the recording by the record company and the Director of Music.

The test pressing would then either be put into full production or rejected.     

The Archive contains many test pressings which were never issued of choirs and solo choristers.

Making a recording

King's College, Cambridge recording a CD,
Winchester Cathedral.  Argo promo film of the recording of 'Byrd Three Masses'   1989
St John's College, Cambridge making full use of the  chapel space in this unorthodox method of making a recording, 2016
  1. Salisbury Cathedral.  1957
    Salisbury Cathedral. 1957
    HMV recording Rubbra's Missa Cantuariensis on 22 May 1957 in the presence of the composter himself. The photo, in front of the HMV Mobile Recording van, was taken by one of the choristers on his box-brownie.
  2. King's College, Cambridge. 2013
    King's College, Cambridge. 2013
    Recording session in the chapel
  3. King's College, Cambridge, 2013
    King's College, Cambridge, 2013
    Recording session in the chapel
  4. King's College, Cambridge, 2013
    King's College, Cambridge, 2013
    Recording session in the chapel
  5. Hereford Cathedral, 1927
    Hereford Cathedral, 1927
    HMV Recording van outside the cathedral making the first recording of the Three Choir Festival.
  6. Portsmouth Cathedral, 1983
    Portsmouth Cathedral, 1983
    Promoting their new recording 'Advent to Christmas'
  7. St John's College, Cambridge, 1927
    St John's College, Cambridge, 1927
    HMV Mobile Recording van outside the chapel recording their first ever gramophone record. 3rd June
  8. Holy Trinity, Barkingside.  1969
    Holy Trinity, Barkingside. 1969
    Recording tape of Christmas Carols
  9. St John's College, Cambridge.  1964
    St John's College, Cambridge. 1964
    Recording the LP 'Music for the Chapel Royal' Argo publicity photo.
  10. Portsmouth Cathedral, 1973
    Portsmouth Cathedral, 1973
    Recording 'Music for Portsmouth.
  11. Portsmouth Cathedral. 1999
    Portsmouth Cathedral. 1999
    Promoting Lord Nelson CD.
Click on photo to open Slideshow