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  Recording  •  Wondrous Love     

"The children and adults sing not only with coherence but with admirable freshness of sound." - The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians

"I don't think there's a track on this album you won't like. But get it for its title work; it's more than worth it for that alone." - Bob Zeidler, Amazon Reviews


Sound clips below

Total Album Time 53:26

1 - 5
Love Songs For Springtime

The Maypole
Words: Anon.
: P. Halley

Sheet Music LL-VG442


The Bailiff's Daughter
Words: Anon.
: P. Halley
Sheet Music LL-VG439

Soldier, Won't You Marry Me? 
Words: Anon.
: P. Halley

Sheet Music LL-VG441


The Despairing Lover  
Words: Anon.
: P. Halley

Sheet Music LL-VG438


The Lover's Arithmetic
Words: Anon.
: P. Halley
Sheet Music LL-VG443


Gloria In Excelsis Deo 

Words: 6th cent. Roman rite
Music: P. Halley

Sheet Music PEL2001

Christe Qui Lux Es Et Dies 
Words: 6th cent. Latin
and E.N. West.
Music: P. Halley

Sheet Music PEL2019

Soloists, in order:
Floyd Higgins
Nathaniel Rogers
Bruce Fifer
Peter Coulianos
Marilyn Holcomb
Julie Bickford


Jesu, The Very Thought of Thee 
Words: 12th cent. Latin,
trans. E. Caswall
Music: G. Slater
arr. P. Halley

Sheet Music PEL2007

Verbum Caro Factum Est 
Words: John 1:14
Music: P. Halley

Sheet Music PEL2012

Vanessa Halley


What Stood Will Stand 
Words: W. Berry
Music: P. Halley

Sheet Music PEL2047

Soloists, in order:
Wilbur Pauley
Bruce Fifer
Samantha Halley
Emily Werne

Wondrous Love 
Words & Music:
Southern Harmony
arr. P. Halley

Sheet Music PEL2006

Items with catalogue numbers
are linked to music available
on this site. Click on link.

All compositions by Paul Halley
© Back Alley Music (ASCAP)

Catalogue No.
JN104 CD 

Physical CDs no longer in stock.
Please order downloads from CD Baby through the music player above.



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Wondrous Love

The Battell Brass

Directed by Paul Halley

Choral works of Paul Halley performed by his own choirs with organ
and brass accompaniment.

JN104 CD 
Physical CDs no longer in stock.


Halley directs his "home team" in spirited performances of the popular suite Love Songs for Springtime, and the magnificent setting of the Appalachian hymn Wondrous Love. Also featured are several of Halley's sacred compositions, from the intricate and rhythmic Christe Qui Lux Es to the lush and lyrical hymn-anthem Jesu, The Very Thought of Thee, and the majestic "What Stood Will Stand".


from The American Organist Magazine

(Excerpt) "Paul Halley as a choral composer comes to the fore on the third disc, Wondrous Love (1996). Featuring five settings of anonymous English love songs scored for choir and brass quintet followed by six mostly a cappella settings of sacred texts, this recording manages to showcase the blended choirs in a range of moods without the jarring segues of the first disc. Of the six recordings here under review, this and the preceding title are perhaps the most consistently on-target in meeting the stated goal of "superlative performance of classical choral masterworks." Particularly successful on Wondrous Love are the humorous "Soldier, Won't You Marry Me?" and Halley's unforgettable setting of the text, What Stood Will Stand," by America's favorite pastoral poet and philosopher, Wendell Berry. The ease with which the composer moves between styles as disparate as Gregorian chant and shape-note hymnody - all the while tying it together with his own unique sound - is most impressive. Organists interested in tracking the development of one of their own rising stars will certainly want to give this disc a listen." - Jennifer Kolmes

from The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians

"The children and adults sing not only with coherence but with admirable freshness of sound."  
- Victor Hill

from Bob Zeidler, Music Critic
Amazon.com Reviews and New York Times On The Web Classical Music Forum

"Most of the choral music in this excellent anthology is new to me. The musicians, however are not. Paul Halley, for many years both the Director of Music at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York and a member, composer and arranger of the Paul Winter Consort, is very much a known - and talented - musician. And his Gaudeamus adult choir have performed with great skill on "Sacred Feast" and with humor and moving vocalism on "Pete" (the quintessential Pete Seeger album), both reviewed elsewhere at Amazon.com by me. One of the songs in this album is, on the other hand, something I've come to treasure for sentimental reasons; I'll leave that one for the end of this commentary.

The opening suite of five songs ("Love Songs for Springtime") is alternately sweet and droll. Particularly humorous is "The Lover's Arithmetic"; you won't have any difficulty following the mathematics set out therein, given the crystal-clear enunciation of these singers.

The more liturgical pieces in the center of the album are all fine, and beautifully done. Of these, one stands out in particular relief: "Jesu, The Very Thought of Thee." It is simply drop-dead gorgeous, with Halley's pipe organ providing a stunning backdrop and underpinnings to the chorus.

The album ends with two selections in a more "heroic" mode: "What Stood Will Stand," set to words by Wendell Berry, the famous poet and social critic, and the title song, "Wondrous Love" (from The Southern Harmony hymn book).

This title song, with its dramatically open harmonies, had been a favorite of the late, great Robert Shaw. (In fact, at the memorial tribute given to Shaw in Atlanta shortly after his passing, this song had been prominently featured in the tribute.) Halley's arrangement, utterly dramatic in contradistinction to Shaw's a capella setting, is a tour de force and - if one is needed - the one single reason for acquiring this album. Stunningly set for chorus, brass quintet, timpani and percussion, and organ, Halley's arrangement brings forth the heroic dimension of this work. The Battell Brass are uniformly excellent in the work, Gordon Gottlieb (long a Paul Winter Consort "regular") is his usual astounding self in the vital percussion parts, and Halley of course underpins the whole work, once again, with his organ work.

I don't think there's a track on this album you won't like. But get it for its title work; it's more than worth it for that alone."
- Bob Zeidler


Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus

Directed by Paul Halley 

Paul Halley, pipe organ
Elizabeth Allyn, recording accompanist

The Battell Brass
Jay Lichtmann & Claire Newbold, trumpets
Bob Hoyle, french horn
Scott Cranston, trombone
Stephen Perry, tuba

Gordon Gottlieb, tympani & percussion

Produced by Tom Bates & Paul Halley

Margaret Race, Executive Producer

Tom Bates, Recording Engineer
Tommy Skarupa, Assistant Engineer

Choirs and brass recorded at Salisbury School Chapel, Salisbury, CT
Pipe organ recorded at St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hartford, CT

Kerry Gavin Studio, Art Design and Production
Margaret Race, Creative Supervision

Special thanks to
Elizabeth Allyn, Jim Barrett, Nell Bates, and Floyd Higgins

Chorus Angelicus

Elena Barrett
Katie Besancon
Julie Bickford
Robert Bickford
Kate Campion
Laura Gill
Nicholas Halley
Samantha Halley
Ellen Hamm
Marie Laser
Celeste Lodevole
David Lovendale
Wootie Mitchell
Liz OÂ’Meara-Goldberg
Nathaniel Rogers
Melissa Ryan
Joe Sosnicki
Julia Torrant
Keelan Watlington
Emily Werne
Burton Winn

Maribeth Diggle
Becky Goodenough
Vanessa Halley
Marilyn Holcomb
Renee Louprette
Margaret Race
Karen Sovak

Molly Ackerly
Cindy Burnham-Shaw
Gretchen Collins
Phyllis Diggle
Katherine Griswold
Maria Hislop
Teri Padua
Patricia Ryan
Deborah Storrs

Chris Best
James Boratko
Peter Coulianos
Chris Goodenough
Floyd Higgins
Robert Lovendale
Ernest Sinclair

James Barrett
Corey Bush
Starr Cole
Bruce Fifer
Philip Mees
Wilbur Pauley
C. Archer Woodward
Gregory Zabielski

© 1996 Paul Halley/Joyful Noise Inc.
Paul Halley, Joyful Noise Inc. Artistic Director
Margaret Race, Joyful Noise Inc., Executive Director

All Rights Reserved
Made in USA



  Recording  •  Wondrous Love