Heaven’s Happiness


Catalogue No: DDA 25023
EAN/UPC: 809730502323
Artists: ,
Release Date: June 2004
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 57:02
Sample: The Days of an Hireling ("Vespers")

James Cook writes for voices, mainly a capella,in numbers ranging from four to forty-plus. This disc includes less complicated items, written very much in the Anglican choral tradition, and ideal for church and amateur choirs. All first recordings.

Also available: The Way to Heaven DDA 25027. See composer index for vocal, organ and harp music by James Cook.

Track Listing

    James Cook:

  1. When death cuts asunder (1:26)
  2. That which we call death (3:28)
  3. The lap of eternity (1:48)
  4. O lovely heaven (2:38)
  5. All loves excelling (4:33)
  6. He was most lovely (4:00)
  7. Christ’s matchless love (2:45)
  8. In the primrose of my days (4:00)
  9. I give to thee eternal life (3:46)
  10. Christ’s blood is heaven’s key (7:22)
  11. Run sweet babe (1:57)
  12. If this be dying (1:16)
  13. Death is my best friend (1:45)
  14. We shall meet in comfort (4:20)
  15. The way to heaven (6:31)
  16. Beyond the movable heavens (4:53)
  17. Heavenly death (3:31)


Church Music Quarterly

Voces Oxonienses sing with rich tone and expressively, with good diction and excellent breath control. An interesting disc, indeed, and definitely worth hearing.


On the evidence of this disc James Cook writes sincere, accomplished and assured music. He is obviously inspired by his chosen texts… Cook ably builds on and renews the traditions of the music that has been written for the English Church in the last few centuries and that in itself is a cause for celebration. It is hard to imagine that his music could have been better served than by the expert singers who constitute Voces Oxonienses. They are directed by Michael McCarthy in flawless performances. Tuning, ensemble and diction are all excellent and the engineers have recorded them clearly. The documentation is good and includes full English texts. I had not encountered the music of James Cook before but I hope to hear more of it in the future. I hope that this enterprising release will bring his music to a wider audience and will encourage other choirs to take it up – though they’ll have to be good! Strongly recommended

” —John Quinn
American Record Guide

The composer’s unique voice is quite discernible from one piece to the next. His harmonic schemes are varied and striking, and he adroitly explores a wide array of forms and techniques… he writes with considerable canonic and contrapuntal skill. He achieves real beauty and profundity, while displaying a sure knack for musical illumination of texts