Five years after its first performance, Paul McCartney's latest classical work is finally ready for its premiere at London's Royal Albert Hall in November.
Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart ) is the third classical work for chorus and orchestra by the former Beatle and the first since 1997's Standing Stone topped the classical charts in the U.S. and Britain.
The concert will feature soprano Kate Royal, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Orchestra and the London Voices, the boy singers of four U.K. colleges. It will be conducted by Gavin Greenaway.
The same cast also appears on the studio recording, to be released Tuesday by EMI Classics in English and Latin.
McCartney started the composition eight years ago at the behest of Oxford's Magdalen College, which wanted to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the college's founding in 1998.
But McCartney didn't complete a version of Ecce Cor Meum until 2001, when it made its debut performance with the Magdalen College Choir at Oxford's Sheldonian Theatre.
Five years of reworking
It took another five years of reworking before McCartney decided to record the album. He said in a statement the early performance helped him iron out problems with the original.
"Eventually I made it all come together through correcting a lot of misapprehensions — a lot was learned before the Sheldonian performance, but a lot of it was learned afterwards," he said.
"If it had been a Beatles' song, I would have known how to do it. But this was a completely different ball game."
McCartney's first foray into classical music was 1991's Liverpool Oratorio. He also recorded an album of classical reworkings of his original songs such as Maybe I'm Amazed on the 1999 album Working Classical.