One of LA’s most respected church music programs turns out spectacular music year after year, but you usually have to journey to the border between Hancock Park and Koreatown to hear it. While that’s not so terrible, wouldn’t it be better to have a little piece of St. James’ of your very own?
The Episcopal News announced this week that St. James’ Episcopal Church (aka “St. James in the City“) has released a new album of mostly contemporary sacred works, including three by the church’s longtime music director, James Buonemani. This church has long championed traditional and contemporary classical music in the high Anglican style that seems to be dying elsewhere, but is in full force in this impressive Gothic sanctuary. Learn more below and from the church’s website, and get your copy directly from the church, or from various retailers, including Amazon. (If you choose the latter, don’t be spooked by the categorization into “Christian Pop & Contemporary”. Whatever the thinking was when this listing was set up, that label ain’t accurate.
Congrats to Jim and all the gang at St. James — we’d love to hear from you more often.
News release follows.
Music of contemporary composers highlights new choral CD from St. James’, Los Angeles
Echoed from the weekly newsletter from The Episcopal News (Los Angeles), 1/30/19
The choir of St. James in-the-City Church, Los Angeles, has released its first commercially available CD, titled O Beauty Ever Ancient, Ever New, on the Gothic label. Featuring the contemporary music of Baltic composers Miškinis, Ešenvalds, and Geilo alongside established Anglican composers Walton and Bairstow, the CD also includes Poulenc’s Lenten masterpiece “Timor et tremor” and three compositions by conductor James Buonemani, including the title work, written in 2011 for the 100th anniversary of St. James Church and premiered in May of 2012. Anchoring this mostly contemporary selection of music is “Salve Regina” by the 16th century Spanish composer Cristóbal Morales. Regarding the title work, Buonemani writes: “Humans have always celebrated the cycle of life, where death is the gateway to birth, and birth to death, in ritual and song – a retelling of ancient stories in new and immediate ways. These are the ineffable mysteries of Christianity, and indeed, of all life: a beauty ever ancient, ever new.”