CD of the Month: Music for a Devoted Gardener
We have chosen ‘Music for a Devoted Gardener’ as our CD of the month for August, to coincide with the time we are all spending in our gardens this summer (weather permitting!). This CD forms part of our Westminster Abbey garden range, a collection of products inspired by the gardens here at Westminster Abbey.
The cover of this CD has a beautiful image of Little Cloister Garden, one of the three original gardens within Westminster Abbey. Little Cloister is surrounded by houses inhabited by the clergy and staff of the Abbey, and stands on the site of the original monastic infirmary. The garden within the middle of Little Cloister was an area set aside for recuperation after illness and would have included seats for the monks to rest. These seats may well have been turf topped ones, common in medieval times. The borders would have been filled with scented plants to create a peaceful atmosphere to aid their relaxation. The central fountain of the garden was a later addition erected in 1871, adding to the relaxing feel of the space. On the east side of the cloister are the ruins of the 12th century chapel of St Catherine where many important meetings were held in the Middle Ages and where the sick monks recuperating in the infirmary would have attended services. Today the gate to the garden remains closed during visiting hours so the garden is now admired from afar rather than being a place for visitors to sit and rest.
The music on the CD has been inspired by the themes of peacefulness and reflection, prevalent within the cloisters and gardens of Westminster Abbey. Flowers, birds, insects and the beauty of nature all provide the inspiration for these orchestral and chamber pieces. From the well-known melody of Fantasia on Greensleeves to the delicate piano playing of For the Roses, each track celebrates the wonder of nature and joy of being in the garden.