Sword in the Soul

Crucifixion scene in stained glass

During Holy Week 2015, seven short films were released online, juxtaposing footage of the Chapel’s stained glass windows with the music of contemporary composer and King’s alumnus Francis Grier (b.1955).

The films feature Philharmonia Voices in a specially recorded performance of Grier’s Sword in the Soul, a seven-movement Passiontide sequence for choir, organ and virtuoso cello solo.

Interwoven with the footage of the Grier performance, and using it as a driving narrative force, the films explore the Passion story as portrayed in the famous stained glass windows.

The films focus on the majestic sequence of windows at the East end of the Chapel, which depict a dramatic succession of scenes including Christ before Pilate, Christ carrying the cross, his nailing to the cross, the crucifixion on Golgotha, and finally the deposition from the cross.

By exploring the windows in high resolution, the films will show the extraordinary detail of the stained glass in a way that is almost impossible for anyone viewing the windows from the floor of the Chapel.

The seven films last between two and five minutes, each one exploring a different aspect or episode of the Holy Week narrative.

Download the Sword in the Soul text

The project was part of the Chapel 500th celebrations in 2015.

Francis Grier, a former Organ Scholar of King’s College, is one of the UK’s most distinguished choral and liturgical composers. The performance on the films also features David Goode, another former Organ Scholar, as organist, and Aidan Oliver, a former Choral Scholar as conductor. Sarah Suckling, a former Instrumental Scholar of Cambridge University, plays the virtuosic cello solo part which runs throughout the work.

Chapel | Back to the top