If he went to Bloxham in 1966, he must have been at least 30ish, or perhaps older. So he would have been born in the 1930s or earlier.
Originally Posted by french frank
FF, my thanks for that additional clue. My own researches had revealed a possible South African link, of course, but not the Rhodes Chamber Choir reference. By implication, Judge had retired just before that 1999 season, and that fits in admirably with VodkaDilc's evidence over his age. It also means he was up at Cambridge before me, and so spares my blushes.
The current Headmaster of Diocesan College, SA, and also formerly Head of St Andrew's Prep, is an erstwhile colleague of mine. However, I think on the whole it would be inadmissible to try to re-awaken a 25-year-old association over such a trivial issue. HMs tend to be busy people. But I am now convinced that the Cambridge-Bloxham-Sherborne-Grahamstown Judge is one and the same person.
I am most grateful for the effort members have put in to helping me in this quest. I suppose what I really want is to hear those Responses again, as well as to learn something of their composer.
My own researches into the life and works of Brian Judge have largely drawn a blank, but I do have the CD in which his work is included. For the record:
The Hussey Legacy: works commissioned by Walter Hussey (1909-1985)
The Finzi Singers
Andrew Lumsden (organ)
Stephen Coombs and Christopher Scott (piano duet)
Recorded: St Alban's Church, Holborn 21/22 July, 1988
Balance Engineers: John Whiting and Mike Skeet
Produced by Jeremy Hamilton and Paul Spicer for ABCD Production Ltd
Released by Cantus Records CAN 301-2
Leighton: Let all the World in every Corner Sing (1965)
Britten: Rejoice in the Lamb Op 30 (1943)
Tavener: The Call (1988)
Howells: One thing I have desired of the Lord (1968)
Gordon Crosse: The Covenant of the Rainbow Op 24 (1968)
Brian Judge: Ambrosian Prayer (1962)
Finzi: Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice (1946)
Thank you for the above, Colonel. But are there no details at all about the composers in the liner notes? The omission would seem strange in an anthology devoted to one man's commissions. And is there any chance of my prevailing on you to give a brief description of the style or musical language of the Judge item? (J shall understand, of course, if your regimental duties demand all your time!)
I too have this CD: the Judge piece is only just over 2 minutes long, so not easy to draw out a musical language, but it is both melodic and intense - well worth taking up (needs a confident soprano soloist). The liner notes merely state that the piece was commissioned for the 1962 Festival when Judge was a young composer with a connection to the church. Unfortunately, he is the only one of the featured composers whose photograph is not included in the booklet!
Originally Posted by decantor
A quick google indicated that he died a few years ago and that the Ambrosian Prayer was considered to be the finest of the miniatures commissioned by the church - but apart from one or two arrangements I can see no reference to any other compositions, not even the responses you mentioned previously. On the (admittedly limited) evidence of the Ambrosian Prayer I would say this is a pity.
Rolmill, I'm most grateful for those further pieces for my jigsaw, though it begins to look like we will never see a complete picture. At least your tentative 'thumbs-up' to the man's music matches my impression of fifty years ago.
Isn't life like that! I found what I hoped was a 'living' link to BJ (by googling: Ambrosian Prayer "Brian Judge") who might have been able to contribute some further information, but the website appears not to be functioning. Here's the google reference anyway, in case it is of help:
Yes, life is like that! My clever old browser tells me that I've previously visited the page you refer to, FF, but I have no recollection of it. But the page is not so much malfunctioning as deliberately blocked: the archive (in this case Oct 2009, apparently) is available only to registered subscribers of the Church Times.
Originally Posted by french frank
You set me off on an amusing trail, however: I've been to America, where the Ambrosian Prayer CD is still on sale (used), I've viewed the complete piano recordings of Stephen Coombs, I've been redirected back to this FoR3 Forum, and at one stage I was invited to visit the Facebook page of a Mr Brian Jude! I also noticed that the Ambrosian Prayer never found a publisher, so I suppose the chances of my lighting upon a score of the Responses that triggered this quest are tending towards zero.
I'm most grateful for your continued interest and effort.
I've just had another notice about Brian Judge, from Bryan Robson (to whom many thanks):
He was a choral scholar of St John's Cambridge in the late 1950s. I met him
on an Ashwell Festival summer course. Subsequently it was the Wellington
(Som.) Festival. I was a choral scholar at Magdalen Oxford, under Bernard
Rose. In January 1960 Brian invited me to sing as a bass with his
Shoreham-based 'Tudor Singers' during their brief concert season. We sang
fascinating, varied and adventurous programmes in such venues as Brighton
and Petworth, including a Third Programme broadcast recorded in the Brighton
Brian was a dynamic, eclectic musician and choral conductor, a life-force.
He gathered good singers about him (Oxbridge plus girls), including Mark
Deller. He wrote incidental music for my production of Hamlet at Campbell
College Belfast (unfortunately now lost, both scores and recording).
He was an inspiration. Sadly, we lost touch - although I did meet up with
him again when he was Ass't Director of Music at Sherborne School. I got the
impression life had not gone well with him. I guess he was a depressive.
Many thanks indeed, FF, for forwarding that additional info in #19. After such a eulogy from BR, it seems all the more a pity that Brian Judge has left such a tenuous footprint on both the net and our musical heritage - perhaps the closing sentences (above) are a partial explanation. I curse myself for being so backward in coming forward at the time I heard his work - which, it seems, had a habit of disappearing. My thanks again.