Gallery Graces - Old & New
Selected and Edited by Christopher Gardner
A compilation of 22 metrical and prose graces set to music, for use "before meat". The format is A4 portrait, spiral bound, and costs £2 (+ P&P). Please contact Charlotte Bailey, tel.01962 713392, or email:
for postage costs before ordering.
Published by the West Gallery Music Association, February, 2006
Click HERE for sample page (low resolution) and a MIDI file
Part of review by Alan Weeks:
The Tudor divines charged with translating Psalm 92 began, "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord," since when poets and musicians of all denominations have produced forms of thanks for their food. In true 17th century marketing style, Chris Gardner has thoughtfully provided his slim volume with both Foreword and Preface, containing many facts and sentiments which might otherwise have been overlooked by a reviewer. He has garnered 22 graces from around the country, contributed by WGMA's researchers and composers, and by Chris himself. In each category, familiar and less-familiar names appear, their offerings in formats as varied as one could wish, from good plain tunes, through rounds and canons, to the later West Gallery style with fugues, duets and trios: Clippers' Quay Grace and Thanksgiving are quite formal. The Feastivall Song of the Winterbourn Choir stands alone. Inevitably, yet quite properly, several have clear links with the elements of Holy Communion; the Hochzeitschoral was composed for a wedding (and an eye to the European market?); a couple have marine connotations; and the Gwehelog Grace (Y Gras Gwehelog) recalls the shape-note community's summer gathering in rural Wales. Whilst I have fortunately been at the first public performances of at least four of the modern pieces, others, both old and new, have hitherto enjoyed but local circulation, and merit wider patronage; I should particularly like to hear Philip Riley's setting of "Be present at our Table, Lord" sung at one of the WGMA's larger gatherings.
Let those Quires who sing for their suppers (or other peoples' suppers) get half a dozen copies each for SATB, fiddle and flute, and spread the knowledge of good things to their patrons. I commend a worthy addition to your music-cases.