Press Release - Ecce Cor Meum

Press Release - Ecce Cor Meum

Paul McCartney To Release New Classical Work Ecce Cor Meum

Release Date: 25th September 2006

Paul McCartney releases his new full-length work of classical music
Ecce Cor Meum through EMI Classics on 25th September 2006. Ecce Cor
Meum (Behold My Heart) is Pauls fourth classical album since his first
release in 1991, The Liverpool Oratorio. Ecce Cor Meum has been more
than eight years in the making and its origins follow in the historic
tradition of composers commissioned to write music for the
world-renowned Magdalen College Oxford.

Paul was 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. Ecce Cor Meum is a work for choir and orchestra in four movements.
The text combines both English and to a lesser degree, Latin. Pauls
knowledge of Latin comes from his classical education at The Liverpool
Institute High School for Boys, where he had learnt three languages by
the time he was 12. Paul says: Not all of this has been retained over
the years as my path went in other directions, but my love of language
remains, and as Latin is known and sung by choirs all over the world,
I felt it would be appropriate to use at times during the piece. Paul
started with the music and then looked for a subject. Several ideas
for lyrics occurred to him, but they only gelled when he took part in
a concert of John Taveners music in the Church of St Ignatius Loyola
in New York. While I was waiting to do my bit, I was looking around
the church and I saw a statue, and underneath it was written Ecce Cor
Meum. I had done some Latin at school and I always had a fondness for
it. So I worked it out. I believe it means Behold My Heart.

In November 2001, the first version of Ecce Cor Meum was given its
preview performance by the Magdalen College Choir, 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.

Produced by John Fraser, Ecce Cor Meum was recorded this year at
the legendary Abbey Road Studios between March 13th and 17th. It was
performed by EMI artist Kate Royal (soprano); The Boys of Kings
College Choir, Cambridge; The Boys Of Magdalen College Choir, Oxford;
London Voices and The Academy Of St Martin In The Fields and conducted
by Gavin Greenaway.

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