Ulysses Arts released two singles from Crossing the Bar - Music for Reflection and Hope, performed by the Caritas Chamber Choir directed by Benedict Preece. The first single, O Nata Lux by Philip Stopford, releases on 1 October, followed by Crossing the Bar, by Benedict Preece, on 22 October, on Apple Music/iTunes, Spotify, Qobuz, HDtracks and all other major digital service providers.
O Nata Lux is a world première recording from Philip Stopford, one of the most celebrated contemporary choral composers. It is conducted by Benedict Preece, who featured on Ulysses Arts' 2020 J.S. Bach horn and organ album with Anneke Scott. This calm but powerful work takes us from darkness to light, a theme of Advent, when this piece would normally be sung. It has musical elements that hark back to the familiar version of the same text by Thomas Tallis.
Benedict Preece writes about his motet Crossing the Bar:
'Written in 2016 as a gift to Gothenburg's HagaMotettkör for collaboration with Caritas Chamber Choir, I chose to create deliberately simple hymnlike music to allow this most powerful poem to remain the listener's focus. The 'aw' section, sung by lower voices, is intended to represent the sea. The work builds to an almighty climax: “I hope to see my pilot face to face” before finishing with an echo of the “sea”, this time as a hum, which depicts crossing the bar from this life to what comes next.'