Ecce Cor Meum

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Ecce Cor Meum
Studio album by
Released25 September 2006
Recorded13–17 March 2006
StudioAbbey Road Studios
GenreClassical, church music, gospel
LanguageEnglish, Latin
LabelEMI Classics
ProducerJohn Fraser
Paul McCartney chronology
Never Stop Doing What You Love
Ecce Cor Meum
Memory Almost Full
Paul McCartney classical album chronology
Working Classical
Ecce Cor Meum
Ocean's Kingdom
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[3]

Ecce Cor Meum (Latin for Behold My Heart) is the fourth classical album by Paul McCartney. The album was released on 25 September 2006 by EMI Classics. An oratorio in four movements, it is produced by John Fraser, written in Latin and English, and scored for orchestra and boys and adult choir. The oratorio was partly inspired by Sir Paul's wife Linda.[4] It is also the only classical album by McCartney that was not released on vinyl.


The title was inspired by the inscription McCartney noticed above a statue of Jesus in the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, New York City.[5] The reference in the church context is to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, although McCartney freely adapted the text for use in his composition. Upon Sir Paul's grant of arms, he adopted "ECCE COR MEUM" as his motto.[6]

Ecce Cor Meum had been more than eight years in the making and its origins follow in the tradition of composers commissioned to write music for Magdalen College, Oxford. Sir Paul was invited by Anthony Smith (president of Magdalen College 1998–2005) to compose something to set the seal on a new concert hall for the college.

The composition was delayed by the death of Sir Paul's wife,[7] and could not be used for the opening of the new auditorium (which was celebrated instead by a premiere of Tony Harrison's verse film, Prometheus). The project did not die: with encouragement from the then Oxford University Music Society president and perseverance by the college itself, the work was finished and eventually performed in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, in November 2001. The interlude is an elegy to Linda McCartney.[7]

Originally, it was presented in 2001 with the full Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, conducted by Bill Ives, in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford. Sir Paul McCartney expressed in the programme his hope "that this piece will carry the name of Magdalen to all parts of the globe and help to make people aware of the noble institution that it is".

Produced by John Fraser, Ecce Cor Meum was recorded at Abbey Road Studios between 13 and 17 March 2006.[8] It was performed by soprano Kate Royal, the boys of Magdalen College Choir, Oxford, the boys of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, London Voices and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, conducted by Gavin Greenaway.

Its American première was 14 November 2006 at a sold-out Carnegie Hall in New York City. Scored for choir and orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's under Gavin Greenaway joined the Concert Chorale of New York and the American Boychoir, with soprano Kate Royal and Andrew Staples as soloists. The concert was simulcast over WNYC-FM, New York Public Radio and webcast over

The Canadian première took place on 27 October 2007 at Metropolitan United Church in London, Ontario.[9] Conducted by Toronto conductor Robert Cooper, it was performed by the combined forces of the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, Chorus Niagara, London Pro Musica, the Amabile Treble Choir and Orchestra London.[10]

On 3 May 2007, Paul McCartney was presented with the Best Album Award at the Classical Brits for Ecce Cor Meum, at the Royal Albert Hall. The award was voted for by readers of Classic FM magazine and listeners of Classic FM. The album reached number 2 in the Top Classical Albums charts from the US.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All pieces by Paul McCartney.

  1. "I. Spiritus" – 12:00
  2. "II. Gratia" – 10:50
  3. "Interlude (Lament)" – 3:56
  4. "III. Musica" – 15:14
  5. "IV. Ecce Cor Meum" – 14:50

Release details[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalog
United Kingdom 25 September 2006 EMI Classics CD (limited edition) 3704232 / 0946 3 70423 2 8
CD 3704242 / 0946 3 70424 2 7
United States 26 September 2006 Angel Records, EMI Classics CD 0946 3 70424 2 7
17 October 2006 CD (limited edition) 0946 3 70423 2 8
Japan 29 September 2006 Toshiba-EMI CD TOCP70099


  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th edn). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 1257. ISBN 0-19-531373-9.
  3. ^ "Paul McCartney: Album Guide". Archived from the original on 4 July 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b "PM Wins Best Album At Classical Brit Awards". 3 May 2007. Archived from the original on 10 December 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Ecce Cor Meum at Carnegie Hall". 30 September 2006. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  6. ^ UK | England | Ex-Beatle granted coat of arms. BBC News (22 December 2002).
  7. ^ a b Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan (7 November 2006). "A Hymn to Yesterday: Paul McCartney Premieres His Choral Work, an Elegy for Linda". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 26 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Paul McCartney: Classical Music Composer". The New Classical FM. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Canadian choral groups premiere McCartney's Ecce Cor Meum". CBC News. 26 October 2007. Archived from the original on 24 July 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2017.

External links[edit]