Francis Grier: lit by holy fire (Download)


The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
King’s College Chapel Readers
Stephen Cleobury Director of Music

Recorded live in King’s College Chapel

Released 8 June 2018

Download only: available in MP3, FLAC & ALAC formats.

SKU: KGS0039

Stephen Cleobury and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge present a live world premiere recording of Francis Grier’s lit by holy fire.

A vespers service that is, in the composer’s words, ‘less traditional than most’, lit by holy fire is set for unaccompanied choir and takes seven poems by the British writer Elizabeth Cook as its base. The scoring and musical atmosphere follows the emotional sequence of Cook’s poems, leading from darkness to light, from music often of brooding intensity and simplicity towards more complex and more animated forms and tonal pictures.

The musical style overall is a nod to Rachmaninov’s soaring setting, and the full resources of the choir are utilised, from unison and homophony to complex contrapuntal configurations. Solo voices from all the different sections of the choir sing in contrast to the tutti; the dynamic range is extreme; and the tessitura in all parts covers both the lowest and highest points of those parts’ vocal ranges.

This is a live recording of the service in King’s College Chapel, which included the world premiere performance of lit by holy fire, interspersed with readings.


1 Reading: Genesis i, 1-2 00:25
2 Introit (First dark) Francis Grier 02:41
3 Reading: Jeremiah iv, 23-26 00:51
4 My feet were almost gone Francis Grier 03:46
5 Reading: Job xxxviii, 16-27 02:01
6 He made darkness his secret place Francis Grier 03:38
7 Reading: Ezekiel xxxvii, 1-6 01:37
8 Thou requirest truth Francis Grier 03:40
9 Reading: Proverbs iii, 13-23 01:50
10 Reading: Matthew vii, 13-14 00:33
11 Order my steps in thy word Francis Grier 02:36
12 Reading: Romans viii, 32-39 01:49
13 Blessed are those Francis Grier 04:05
14 Revelations xxii, 1-5 01:21
15 For with thee is the well of life Francis Grier 05:22
16 Genesis xviii, 1-8 02:01
17 Thou hast set my feet in a large room Francis Grier 02:45
18 John xv, 4-11 01:54
19 I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever Francis Grier 04:54
20 Luke i, 26-38 02:52
21 Magnificat Francis Grier 07:10
22 Magnificamus Francis Grier 03:17
Total playing time – 01:01:19

Recorded live at 44.1kHz 24-bit PCM in the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, by kind permission of the Provost and Fellows, 15 June 2014.

Producer & Editor Benjamin Sheen