a Garland for Linda

Paul McCartney
Garland For Linda - Front cover Garland For Linda - Rear Cover
Garland For Linda - Front Cover Garland For Linda - Rear Cover
Garland For Linda - Note in Booklet Garland For Linda - Paul in Booklet
Garland For Linda - Note in Booklet Garland For Linda - Paul in Booklet
Label E.M.I. Classics
Catalogue No. CDC 5 56961 2
Release date 14th February 2000
Total time 55:15
U.K. Album Chart Detail : Did NOT Chart.
Detail : A commemoration of the life of Linda McCartney.
Featuring muic by nine contemporary composers, including :
Paul McCartney, John Rutter and John Tavener.

In the C.D. booklet Stephen Connock, the Chairman of the Garland Appeal, describes the origins of "a Garland for Linda" :

In Britain cancer affects one in three people at some time in their lives. Around 750 people are diagnosed with cancer each day. Against this background, there are few families in the country not touched by cancer. In December 1995 when Linda was diagnosed with a malignant lump, Sir Paul McCartney's family became one of those.

With Linda's sad death on Friday 17th April 1998 I hoped that Sir Paul McCartney, perhaps the greatest song writer of our time, would welcome the opportunity to create an everlasting musical tribute for her, to be known as "a Garland for Linda". This would then launch The Garland Appeal which is a registered charity (No. 1075007) to raise money for cancer research and British music.

The precedent was A Garland for the Queen in 1953 whereby ten leading British composers, including Vaughan Williams, contributed mew works as a musical celebration of the Coronation. Sir Paul and a number of leading composers were approached and the nine listed below submitted appropriate works.

A Garland for Linda was premiered at the Charterhouse Chapel, part of Charterhouse School in Surrey on Sunday 18th July 1999 by The Joyful Company of Singers, at a concert at which all nine living composers were present. The performance officially launched the Garland Appeal.
(Reserved seats were 75 with a champagne reception, unreserved tickets 25)

The launch of the album took place on 27th January 2000 at St. Andrew's Church in Holborn, London, where a special concert featured all the works on the album, and was attended by Sir Paul McCartney and several of the other composers.

Side 1

No. Composer Title Summary of Booklet Information Time
1 Ralph Vaughan Williams
Silence And Music Composed to words by Ursula Vaughan Williams (printed in the booklet), this piece was the fourth of ten works in A Garland for the Queen in 1953, the year of her coronation. 4:50
      a Garland for Linda
2 John Tavener Prayer For The Healing Of The Sick The text for "Prayer for the Healing of the Sick" is by Mother Thekla and is taken from the Russian Orthodox Service of Holy Unction, a service performed for the composer when he underwent open heart surgery in 1991. It is a contemplative piece that the composer intends to be "almost inaudible, just like the gentle touch of a hand". 8:45
3 Judith Bingham Water Lilies The poem and the music to Water Lilies was written in March 1999, drawing on the composer's experience of swimming through a raft of water lilies in a mountain lake in Bavaria the previous year. She thought of the flowers during the winter and realised that they were undoubtedly frozen, the buds suspended in ice. But she also knew that they would bloom again the following summer and she saw this as a parallel with people who are ill, in that hope is possible, even in one's darkest moments. 7:35
4 John Rutter Musica Dei Donum Musica Dei donum is taken from a text known only from the musical setting of it by Lassus, which was first published in 1594. Originally commissioned by Clare College Cambridge, the composer wanted to contribute it to a Garland for Linda because of its theme of the power of music, to "uplift sad minds". 5:36
5 David Matthews The Doorway Of The Dawn David Matthews met Paul in 1995 and worked with him on Standing Stone. He also met Linda, whose optimism and determination to live life to the full made a deep impression on him. He wanted to write for her something which reflected her fighting qualities, rather than an elegy. By chance, a friend sent him a Pima Indian poem found in Phoenix, Arizona, which coincidentally was an area Paul and Linda loved ... the composer thought it was like a gift from Linda. 4:53
6 Sir Paul McCartney Nova Nova was written for a Garland for Linda to a text by the composer, in the period from November 1998 to May 1999. To the question "Are You there? God where are You?" comes the answer "I am here in every song you sing". 6:28
7 Roxanna Panufnik I Dream'd This is a new arrangement for a cappella chorus of a work she had composed as part of an environmental cantata during her father's illness. It is based on a poem by Tennyson called "In Memoriam A.H.H.". It is a spiritual and uplifting piece that turns from melancholy and desolation to optimism and finally to a transcendental vision. 3:30
8 Michael Berkeley Farewell The composer has links with the original 1953 A Garland for the Queen as he is the eldest son of the composer Lennox Berkeley who was one of the ten contributors. The musical idea for Farewell, a short valedictory lullaby, preceded precise notions of a text. Fragments of literary ideas from Milton, Shakespeare and Elizabeth Speller. The mood is essentially wistful and gentle, but moments of real grief can also be glimpsed. 3:30
9 Giles Swayne The Flight Of The Swan This piece was inspired by the death of James Manson in 1996 from brain cancer. The poem, which dates from the ninth or tenth century, was intended as a Sequence - a free composition interpolated in the Mass between the Gradual and the Gospel. It tells of a swan flying across an ocean, battered by huge waves and beset by hunger and fear, it is blown off course because the stars by which it navigates are hidden by storm clouds. But the swan struggles bravely on and when dawn breaks and the clouds part, it regains confidence and soars into the open sky. The swan's plight is relevant to those looking for hope out of distress. 6:16
10 Sir Richard Rodney Bennett A Good-Night This is composed to a poem by Francis Quarles. The composer knew Linda McCartney, who he found to be always warm and spontaneous. He wanted this work to be a gentle goodbye to a remarkable woman. 2:51

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