The Diocese of Leeds has the largest church programme of choral music for young people in the United Kingdom.
In total it maintains 55 choirs comprising some 2800 children meeting weekly. There are 43 school choirs, five boys' choirs, five girls' choirs, three mixed children’s choirs, two youth choirs, three university choirs, a choir school and an adult choir. more »
CDs can be obtained from the Music Office. Cheques should be made payable to "Diocese of Leeds Music Fund".
CD recordings include:
Gracious Groove - Organ Music of Dick Hyman
'Five stars! Throwing the spotlight on the organ music of the prolific jazz pianist, Broadway orchestrator and film composer Dick Hyman, Benjamin Saunders proves as nimble an advocate as Leeds Cathedral’s 1904 Norman & Beard. Boasting vividly contrasted textures, the three-movement jazz- and blues-accented Millennial Countdown is the most substantial work here.' Michael Quinn, Choir and Organ Magazine
'Essential listening: This CD is testament to what can be achieved when proper investment is made in music and given support from the top – there is a foreword from the Bishop of Leeds. Many who mourn the demise and disintegration of music infrastructures over the past 30 years or so will gain inspiration from – and possibly envy at – what there is here. Congratulations to all involved.' Stuart Robinson, RSCM Magazine
Released February 2016 Label: Herald AV Price £10.00
'This highly impressive disc features a selection of Pärt’s choral music and his complete output for organ. What makes the recording special is the full-throated sound of the choir, featuring both boy and girl trebles, captured in the spacious acoustics of Leeds Cathedral itself.' Gramophone Magazine 'Leeds Cathedral Choir under Benjamin Saunders share in the benefits of a successful new interpretation with the calm and contemplation that this withdrawn, deliberately simple music require.' Artistxite
Released September 2015 Label: Brilliant Classics Price £7.00
This new recording contains Elgar’s complete original works for organ, as well as several arrangements of his famous showpieces, the first Pomp & Circumstance March, the Imperial March and Nimrod from the Enigma Variations, an iconic piece of English ceremony.
Released August 2015 Label: Brilliant Classics Sold out
Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981) was one of the most important Dutch composers of the 20th century. Performed by Benjamin Saunders on the magnificent Grand Organ of Leeds Cathedral, perfectly suited to the large scale of these visionary works. 'Benjamin Saunders has an extremely sensitive ear for the different aesthetics of the music. He gives the music life and is absolutely essential listening, and performs its technical requirements effortlessly.' NMZ Neuen Musikzeitung
Released June 2015 Label: Brilliant Classics Price £7.00
Duruflé's monumental Requiem is recorded in the composer's preferred scoring of reduced orchestration and organ. Thomas Leech directs the Cathedral Choirs and Skipton Camerata Orchestra on the first disk accompanied by Benjamin Saunders and Daniel Justin. The second disk features the complete organ works played by Adriano Falcioni of Perugia Cathedral. 'Le disque coup de coeur de la semaine' Sacrées Musique, Radio France. 'Excellent, enjoyable and rewarding' Gramophone Magazine.
Released September 2013 Label: Brilliant Classics Price £7.00
All of the music of Georgi Aleksandrovich Mushel is presented on a single CD release, much of it recorded for the first time. The collection represents some of the most original organ works of the last century taking inspiration from Russian classical traditions and the folk melodies of Mushel's adopted central Asian home in Uzbekistan. Awarded five stars both in 'Choir and Organ' and 'The Listener'.
Released August 2013 Label: Brilliant Classics Price £7.00
The first recording of the new Klais organ at Leeds Cathedral, played by Benjamin Saunders. The disc features original compositions by Vierne, Guilmant, Part, Howells and Kushnariov alongside transcriptions of music by Glass, Dvorak and Britten. The CD booklet contains full details of the organ.
The Cathedral Choirs sing music by De Cristo, Palestrina, Perosi and Rheinberger. Organists Review (August 2009): "Their singing of polyphony...is sensitive and devotional...with a terrifically focussed and contrasted reading. These are performances full of spirit and commitment. The recording has excellent clarity and breadth, and it is a fine tribute to the consistent choral work undertaken in Leeds in recent decades - a shining example to other cities."
The first recording of the Bradford Boys' and Girls' Choirs, joined by children from Diocesan Schools in Bradford, Keighley and Huddersfield. Featuring 400 young voices, the repertoire draws on the cultural traditions of Europe, Africa and the Americas.
Music from across Europe including masterpieces by Pedro de Cristo, Rachmaninov, Sumsion and Mawby. Directed by Benjamin Saunders, sung by the boys', girls', adult and junior choirs, joined by the Cathedral bells and organ.
Music by Correa de Arauxo, Langlais and Lassus. Directed by Benjamin Saunders and accompanied by Christopher McElroy. A special disc of Choral Vespers released to commemorate the election of Pope Benedict XVI. The original service was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 sung by the adult and girls' choirs at the time of the papal election.
Choral and organ music by Jean Langlais including "Missa in Misericordia Domini", "Missa in Simplicitate" and "Trois Meditations sur la Sainte Trinite". Directed by Stuart Thompson and sung by the combined choirs of Leeds Cathedral.
A selection of sacred and secular music by Stuart Thompson, former Director of Music. Sung by the Cathedral Adult Choir. Includes new settings of "O for a closer walk with God", "The Holly and the Ivy" and "Christus factus est."