I was delighted to be commissioned to write two compositions for the University of Chester 175th Anniversary Founders' Day service. The self-imposed challenge was to inherently link them to the celebrations. In recent years I have been exploring the concept of parody in music, not in any sense caricaturing the music of others, but in the 16th century sense of musical borrowing as practised by such composers as Josquin, Victoria and Palestrina. Through using pre-existing musical ideas as source materials I was able to create a frame of reference directly linking the new works to the University of Chester.
The borrowing in this instance is the Hymn Lord, for the Years included in the service. But this is not where the musical connections with the University of Chester end. This hymn was composed by the Rt Rev Michael Baughen, a previous Bishop of Chester (1982-1996) and Chairman of Chester College (as the University was then known). In this piece, Rev Baughen's augmented melody gradually unfolds from the depths of the organ's pedals accompanied by a moto perpetuo, an almost constant feature from the outset of the composition. Lord, for the Years is used with the very kind permission of the composer.
Chorale Prelude: Lord for the Years