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Ecce Cor Meum
Studio album by Paul McCartney
Released 25 September 2006
Recorded 13-17 March 2006
Genre Classical
Length 56:50
Label EMI Classics
Producer John Fraser
Professional reviews
Paul McCartney chronology
Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
(2005)
Ecce Cor Meum
(2006)
Memory Almost Full
(2007)

Ecce Cor Meum (Latin for Behold My Heart) is the fourth classical album by Paul McCartney. The album was released on September 25, 2006 by EMI Classics. An oratorio in four movements, it is produced and orchestrated by John Fraser, written in Latin and English, and scored for orchestra and boys and adult choir.

Contents

History

The title was inspired by the inscription McCartney noticed above a statue of Jesus in St. Ignatius Church, New York City. The reference in the church context is to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, although McCartney freely adapted the text for use in his composition. Upon Sir Paul's grant of arms, he adopted "ECCE COR MEUM" as his motto. [1]

Ecce Cor Meum had been more than eight years in the making and its origins follow in the tradition of composers commissioned to write music for Magdalen College, Oxford. Sir Paul was invited by Anthony Smith (President of Magdalen College 1998–2005) to compose something to set the seal on a new concert hall for the college.

The composition was delayed by the death of Sir Paul's wife, and could not be used for the opening of the new auditorium (which was celebrated instead by a premiere of Tony Harrison's verse film, "Prometheus"). Fortunately, the project did not die: with encouragement from the then Oxford University Music Society president and perseverance by the College itself, the work was finished and eventually performed in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, in November 2001.

Originally, it was presented in 2001 with the full Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford conducted by Bill Ives, in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford. Sir Paul McCartney expressed in the programme his hope "that this piece will carry the name of Magdalen to all parts of the globe and help to make people aware of the noble institution that it is". Photographs of the premiere can be found at [2].

The piece was taken up in a later performance by soprano Kate Royal, the boys of Magdalen College Choir, Oxford, the boys of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Gavin Greenaway.

Its American première was November 14, 2006 at a sold-out Carnegie Hall in New York City. Scored for choir and orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's under Gavin Greenaway joined the Concert Chorale of New York and the American Boychoir, with soprano Kate Royal and Andrew Staples as soloists. The concert was simulcast over WNYC-FM, New York Public Radio and webcast over wnyc.org.

The Canadian première took place on October 27, 2007 at Metropolitan United Church in London, Ontario. Conducted by Toronto conductor Robert Cooper, it was performed by the combined forces of the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, Chorus Niagara, London Pro Musica, the Amabile Treble Choir and Orchestra London.

On May 3, 2007, at the Royal Albert Hall Paul McCartney was presented with the Best Album Award at the Classical Brits for his fourth classical album Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart), an album partly inspired by his late wife Linda. The award was voted for by readers of Classic FM magazine and listeners of Classic FM. Paul’s album had tough competition alongside favourites such as Katherine Jenkins, Alfie Boe and Sting. The album was a big hit in the classical world, reaching #2 in the Top Classical Albums charts from the U.S.

Track listing

All pieces by Paul McCartney.

  1. "Spiritus" – 12:00
  2. "Gratia" – 10:50
  3. "Interlude (Lament)" – 3:56
  4. "Musica" – 15:14
  5. "Ecce Cor Meum" – 14:50

Release details

Country Date Label Format Catalog
United Kingdom September 25, 2006 EMI Classics CD (limited edition) 3704232 / 0946 3 70423 2 8
CD 3704242 / 0946 3 70424 2 7
United States September 26, 2006 Angel Records, EMI Classics CD 0946 3 70424 2 7
October 17, 2006 CD (limited edition) 0946 3 70423 2 8
Japan September 29, 2006 Toshiba-EMI CD TOCP70099

External links

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