Bernard Rose & Douglas Guest

A tribute

Both born 9 May 1916 
Both died third week in November 1996
Both retired 1981
Both became great friends

BBC radio broadcast, April 1981

Bernard Rose and Douglas Guest in conversation on their impending retirement.
Bernard Rose, left. Douglas Guest, right
Click on photo to enlarge

Bernard Rose
Informator Choristarum, Magdalen College, Oxford  : 1957 - 1981

Salisbury Cathedral Choir
directed by Sir Walter Alcock
HMV 78rpm record : 1928

The choir was so renowned for its singing that HMV especially asked to record them, and of course, the young Bernard is singing on this record.

"There were two outstanding solo boys in the cathedral during those years, Clive Jenkinson and Bernard Rose, the former had a round, full voice and sang with great artistry, while the latter had a beautiful purity of tone, singing with fire and attack remarkable in a boy."  
Sarum Close by Dora Bryan
14 year old Salisbury cathedral chorister in 1930.  The  following year he became the assistant cathedral organist.
This highly original LP sleeve was designed by Gerald Scarfe, a great friend of Bernard Rose.

When  Scarfe was asked by Rose if he could design a record cover, he said he would  'give it a go!'     The final result delighted both of them.

BBC radio broadcasts featuring Bernard Rose

BBC radio broadcast, February 1963

Introducted and written by Bernard Rose,
with the choir of Magdalen College, Oxford
BBC radio broadcast, Janary 1970

Magdalen College, Oxford : Bernard Rose
St John's College, Cambridge : George Guest
Click on any photo to enlarge

May Morning on the Tower

Radio broadcast from the Tower, 1978
May Day 1931 : When this was filmed, Bernard Rose was still a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral
    'May Morning on Magdalen Tower'
     by Holman Hunt

     Who's Who on the Painting

Private recordings made in the chapel

Stanford held his Service in C in the highest esteem, expressing the view that it was his finest. His views on the speed of the Magnificat were also quite definite.

Bernard Rose remembers Sir Walter Alcock, a friend of the composer, telling him of Stanford's puzzlement at the speed at which most organists took the Magnificat.  

In Alcock and Rose's view, this is how Stanford wished the Magnificat to be sung.  

Stanford in C
Stainer, I saw the Lord
Stainer in Bb
Choral Evensong - Music by Rose

Douglas Guest

Salisbury Cathedral  :  1950 - 1957

On the 22 May 1957, HMV recorded the Agnus Dei, Sanctus and Benedictus from Edmund Rubbra's 'Missa Cantuariensis'  The recording was supervised by Rubbra himself.

These were part of 'The History of Music in Sound' but to gain a wider audience HMV also  issued the Sanctus and Agnus Dei on a 78rpm record but not the Benedictus as it would not fit.  Also, this happened to be the last 78 issued by a choir.

The historic photo of Rubbra with the choir standing in front of the HMV mobile recording van was taken on the day of the recording by one of the choristers on his box-brownie!
The 78rpm recording of Edmund Rubbra, directed by Douglas Guest
Edmund Rubbra with the Salisbury
€‹Choristers standing in front of the HMV mobile recording van, 1957
Douglas Guest's final BBC Choral Evensong before he left Salisbury.
26 June 1957

Worcester Cathedral  :  1957 - 1963

This recording of the Benedictus is from a BBC transcription record of Choral Matins which was never broadcast, recorded shortly after the arrival of Douglas Guest at Worcester.

This record is the only known recording of Guest at Worcester.


Westminster Abbey  :  1963 - 1981

The famous LP series 'The Treasury of English Church Music'  :  1966
Douglas Guest's hauntingly beautiful 'For the Fallen' sung by Westminster Abbey  Choir under James O'Donnell