William Petter, director of several London choirs and a rising composer, was diagnosed with clear cell sarcoma in 2013. He died in October last year, aged 34, leaving a wife and young daughter.
Throughout his stays in hospital he continued to compose. An album of his works will be released this week, in time for Easter. You can listen to samples here.
From the sleeve notes:
William Petter, born in 1982, was a chorister in New College Choir under Edward Higginbottom. He sang with The Sixteen, the Choir of the Enlightenment, London Voices, Philharmonia Voices, Westminster Abbey Choir and Westminster Cathedral Choir, and directed the choir of St Magnus the Martyr, where he worked for 10 years as Director of Music .
The body of sacred choral works left at his death reveals a distinctive personal idiom influenced by a deep connection with the European choral tradition and his natural tendency towards romantic intensity and a deeply expressive performance style. The St. Magnus Mass for six unaccompanied voices calls to mind stylistic traits of Frank Martin and Durufle, via Walton and, in its rhythmic vitality, Leonard Bernstein; while the Vigil Mass places the plainsong Missa de Angelis alongside a richly-varied organ texture. The three motets show further aspects of Petter’s aesthetic in writing both for exuberantly large-scale choral forces (The Good Shepherd is Risen; Come Down O Love Divine) and for a more intimate dynamic (The Lord’s Prayer). The disc is particularly appropriate for Eastertide, setting texts that follow the Easter story from the Resurrection to Pentecost.