“O Beata Trinitas” is a new composition by Professor Paul Mealor, written for the cathedrals of the Church in Wales. In this conversation, Bishop Gregory talks to the composer and the poet who wrote the words for the piece about the sources of their inspiration and the way in which words and music can create something new.
This event also features the following musical works by Paul Mealor:
• ‘If Ye Love Me’ from the album Blessing performed by Voce and Mark Singleton
• ‘A Welsh Prayer’ from the album Serenity performed by the Same Stream Choir and James Jordan
• ‘O Beata Trinitas’ performed by VOCES - premiered at the NWIMF Virtual Festival on 18 September 2020 - https://nwimf.com/voces8
Bishop Gregory became President of the NWIMF eleven years ago on becoming Bishop of St Asaph. He is a great fan and supporter of music and the Music Festival although he has little music ability himself. As he says “God gave me music in my heart but not on my lips or in my hands”
Grahame Davies is a Welsh poet, author and lyricist, who has won numerous prizes, including the Wales Book of the Year Award. He is the author of 17 books in Welsh and English, including poetry, a novel, and pioneering works of historical and social criticism. A native of Coedpoeth near Wrexham, now based in Cardiff and London. He travels internationally as a reader and lecturer, carries out many high-profile poetry commissions, and is a much sought-after lyricist for classical composers. His poetry has been translated into many languages and is widely anthologised.
Paul Mealor has been described as ‘the most important composer to have emerged in Welsh choral music since William Mathias‘ (New York Times, 2001) and his music is ‘marked by something outside of himself that is beautifully spatial and evocative of landscape… it illuminates both our past and our future‘ (The Guardian, 2011).
Topping the Classical Charts for six weeks with his bestselling album, A Tender Light in November 2011, he also broke records by being the first classical composer to hold both the classical and pop chart No 1’s at the same time in December 2011, securing the UK Christmas No 1 with his piece for The Military Wives Choir and Gareth Malone, Wherever You Are.
Born in St Asaph, North Wales in 1975, Paul Mealor studied composition privately as a boy with William Mathias and later with John Pickard, and at the University of York with Nicola LeFanu (BA Hons, 1997, PhD, 2002) and in Copenhagen with Hans Abrahamsen and Per Nørgård. His music is widely commissioned, performed and broadcast worldwide. Since January 2003 he has taught in the Music Department at the University of Aberdeen where he is Professor of Composition.
Mealor was catapulted to international stardom in April 2011, when 2.5 billion people heard his Motet, Ubi caritas performed by the choirs of Westminster Abbey conducted by James O’Donnell at the Royal Wedding Ceremony of His Royal Highness Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
Mealor is the first President of ‘Ty Cerdd’ – Wales’s National Centre for music making and Vice-President of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and the North Wales International Music Festival.
O Beata Trinitas Programme Notes
Paul Mealor (b. 1975)
O Beata Trinitas (2020)
Commissioned by The Church in Wales and dedicated to The Rt Rev‘d Dr Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph, O Beata Trinitas was intended to mark the centenary of the Church in Wales in June with performances of the anthem happening simultaneously across all of the Cathedrals of Wales; however, due to Covid-19 this had to be postponed until next year.
The anthem is a musical representation of the Blessed Trinity. It is constructed in three sections, utilises three languages (Latin, English and Welsh) and presents three musico-spiritual ideas - the joyous worshipping, the gentle prayer and the inner voice. It is music of prayer, intended to celebrate the Church’s centenary and encourage the listener to reflect upon its history. The text to the anthem was written by the distinguished Welsh poet, Dr Grahame Davies.
O beata Trinitas:
the earth, the rainfall and the grass.
bless this land through which we pass,
O beata Trinitas.
Drindod Sanctaidd ddiwahân:
gair a llais a cherdd ein cân,
dyro’th ras drwy’n henaith lân,
Drindod Sanctaidd ddiwahân.
Holy blessed Trinity:
the well, the river and the sea,
guide us to the mystery,
holy blessed Trinity.