In Wednesday’s (6/29) Los Angeles Times, Marcia Adair writes, “In a game of word association, Abbey Road equals the Beatles and nothing else. But the Fab Four are but one part of this illustrious studio’s history. For the first 20 years of its life, Abbey Road Studios was home to classical music recordings made by EMI. … To mark its 80th birthday, Abbey Road has a devised a competition that gives composers of all ages and abilities the opportunity to have a piece recorded at the studio with the London Symphony Orchestra and some of the U.K.’s best singers. The challenge? Compose an anthem scored for choir that has not been previously published or commercially recorded. … Anthems can by polyphonic (Byrd — ‘Dilectus meus’), homophonic (Mozart—‘Ave verum corpus’), lyrical (Mendelssohn—‘I Waited for the Lord’), powerful (Stainer—‘I Saw The Lord’), have a solo (Mozart—‘Laudate Dominum’) or not. Any period of music from Renaissance to contemporary is fair game. The style is less important than the length (shorter than six minutes) and language (English). … After the contest closes on July 15, up to 10 anthems will be chosen by judges Eric Whitacre and Harry Christophers, conductor of the Sixteen, film composer George Fenton and arranger Rob Mathes.”

Posted June 29, 2011