• A glorious collection of Christmas music spanning over 900 years, centered around Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols – a work seen as both a signal of Britten’s turn back towards English musical and cultural traditions and as a distinctly modern composition. Owen Rees and the Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford present this alongside works that alternate between the early 17th century – by that most prolific composer and arranger of Lutheran Christmas music, Michael Praetorius – and the present: music by Judith Weir (1984), David Blackwell (2011), Jonathan Dove (2000), Dobrinka Tabakova (2018), Toby Young (2017), and Cecilia McDowall (2007). At one point the pattern is paused to look back half a millennium further than Praetorius, with Hildegard of Bingen’s O virga ac diadema. ‘An undoubted jewel in Britain’s choral scene’ (BBC Music Magazine), the Choir of The Queen’s College Oxford is among the finest and most active university choirs in the UK. Previous releases with Signum A New Heaven (2017) and The House of the Mind (2018) both went straight to no. 1 in the Specialist Classical Chart in their first week of release.
  • Pious Anthems & Voluntaries

    £12.00 Available August 14, 2020.
    Michael Finnissy was born in Tulse Hill in 1946. He studied at the Royal College of Music with Bernard Stevens and Humphrey Seale, and in Italy with Roman Vlad. Much of his early work was first performed in France and the Netherlands, while he was working as a freelance repetiteur and pianist for dance-classes. He taught at the Royal Academy of Music, at the universities of Sussex and Southampton, and at the Katholiek Universiteit in Leuven. He has also given summer courses at Dartington, and been resident artist at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne (Australia). He has been featured composer at the Huddersfield Festival several times, at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and many other places across the world, most recently at SICPP in Boston USA. Here, The Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge perform Finnissy’s deep, rich and fulfilling music in what has been a four year process. It has taken Conductor and Director Andrew Nethsingha, four years to gradually learn the pieces on this recording. He says it “has been a deeply enriching experience which I want others to share”.
  • Be All Merry

    £12.00 Available October 16, 2020.
    The Choral Scholars is an internationally acclaimed chamber choir of gifted student singers led by founding Artistic Director, Dr. Desmond Earley, based at University College Dublin College of Arts & Humanities. Scholars come from various academic disciplines and commit to an intensive programme of choral study. Be all Merry is one of three new pieces especially composed for the Choral Scholars. This lively carol for choir, orchestra and violin by Irish composer Eoghan Desmond evokes the joyful play of Christmas in the lines ‘Be all merry in this house/Exultet celum laudibus!’. The recording contains a remarkable setting of the Advent plainsong hymn Christe Redemptor Omnium for tenor solo, chorus, violin and violoncello by Ivo Antognini, crafted for Choral Scholars with the kind support of the Swiss Embassy in Dublin. The Adoration of the Magi by American composer Timothy Stephens is a breathtaking setting of W. B. Yeats’ poetry. A beautiful Irish-language lullaby – Cró na Nollag – set by father and son, Adhamhnán and Uinseann Mac Domhnaill, and the much-loved Scottish tune simply titled Suantraí, are also included. The Irish Chamber Orchestra are also featured on a number of tracks including The Wexford Carol and Carol of the Bells. The choir closes the album with the song most associated with friendship, hope and the promise of a new year, Auld Lang Syne. The post-production phase of this recording project took place as the world grappled with the outbreak of COVID-19. American composer Linda Kachelmeier’s piece – We Toast the Days – serves as a reminder of the strength, love and hope that resonates throughout the world not simply at Christmastide but also during periods of hardship.
  • The Library Volume 2

    £12.00 Available October 2, 2020.
    This is the second volume in the EP series ‘The Library’. The idea behind this series is to explore both the history, and the new horizons, of The King’s Singers close-harmony repertoire. Close-harmony is the part of their work for which they are best known, and their library of thousands of arrangements is one they’re determined to explore, maintain and develop. The track -listing is designed to celebrate some old favourites from the library alongside brand new arrangements and adaptations, created especially for these recordings, which may perhaps become ‘old favourites’ of the future. Volume 2 was recorded in the beautiful surroundings of Snape Maltings, Suffolk (UK) - a place most famous for its association with Benjamin Britten - and it proved to be a relaxing and inspiring place to work for two beautiful wintry days. The King’s Singers were founded on 1 May 1968 by six choral scholars who had recently graduated from King’s College Cambridge. Their vocal line-up was (by chance) two countertenors, a tenor, two baritones and a bass, and the group has never wavered from this formation since.
  • Described in The Guardian (2019) as one of today’s leading composers for voice, Joanna Marsh is a British composer who since 2007 has divided her time between Dubai and the UK. Her life in the Middle East has lead to many unique musical opportunities including writing an orchestral work to celebrate the building of the Burj Khalifa. Most recently she was commissioned by Dubai Opera to write an orchestral work for the first BBC Proms in Dubai in March 2017. This lead to her writing the 6 minute work Flare, for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, based on a short story called Oil Field, by Saudi writer Mohammed Hasan Alwan. Joanna has been Composer in Residence, at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge from 2015 through to 2020 and during that time has written a number of choral works for the college choir and the college organ. She is a Co-Founder of ChoirFest Middle East in Dubai, an annual celebration of the region’s choral music scene which is reached its eighth edition in March 2020. She is also Founder and Artistic Director of the Dubai Opera Festival Chorus a large body of singers that was set up for the BBC Proms in Dubai and continues to undertake concert performances of various types across the UAE.   Available as a disc on demand from Presto Classical.
  • Crouch End Festival Chorus presents two Britten classics: Saint Nicolas and A Ceremony of Carols. Full of vibrancy and drama, Saint Nicolas is performed alongside the fabulous BBC Concert Orchestra and features tenor Mark Le Brocq as well as Coldfall Primary School Choir, members of Hertfordshire Chorus and Hannah Brine Choirs. The ever-popular A Ceremony of Carols is performed with harpist Sally Pryce, and both works are conducted by David Temple.
  • A Winter’s Night

    £12.00 Available October 16, 2020.
    The addition of a brass ensemble to Christmas concerts and carol services, combining with the more traditional sounds of choir and organ, has become increasingly popular in recent years. This recording brings together a number of works for the specific forces of choir, brass quintet, organ and percussion, some of which have been arranged specially for this release. Interspersed amongst these works are a selection of popular Christmas carols which have formed and integral part of Winchester College Chapel Choir’s core repertoire for many years. Winchester College was founded by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, in 1382, and Winchester College Quiristers have for over 625 years sung services in Winchester College Chapel. In modem times they have formed a choir renowned for its excellence. Having celebrated its 25th anniversary in the 2017-18 season, Onyx Brass continues to be the leading light in establishing the brass quintet as a medium for serious chamber music, inspired by the pioneering early years of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. To this end, the group has commissioned and performed the world premières of over 200 new works, with many more in the pipeline for performance and recording.
  • Rupert Gough and The Choir of Royal Holloway release a new single with soprano Laura Wright, raising awareness of mental health and encouraging people to seek support and donate to mental health charities if they feel able to. The track, written by composer Thomas Hewitt Jones and lyricist Matt Harvey, speaks of the loneliness and despair felt by many around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the musicians involved gave their services for free and hope that the song can be an anthem for kindness, bringing hope all around the world to those suffering with their mental health. Proceeds from the single will be donated to a number of UK-based mental health charities. The music video for Can You Hear Me? can be found HERE.
  • Cantos Sagrados

    £8.00£14.00
    The National Youth Choir of Scotland is an outstanding choir for young people aged 16 to 25, directed by world-renowned conductor Christopher Bell. Membership is granted by yearly auditions to singers born, resident or studying in Scotland. In 2012 the choir was presented with the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Ensemble Award. Formed in 1891 as the Scottish Orchestra, the company became the Scottish National Orchestra in 1950, and was awarded Royal Patronage in 1977. The Orchestra’s artistic team is led by Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård, who was appointed RSNO Music Director in October 2018, having previously held the position of Principal Guest Conductor. NYCOS and RSNO join forces to create an eclectic mix of recordings, performing some timeless classics, as well as exploring some contemporary repertoire. The excellent stadards of both ensembles makes for an exciting listen in what is NYCOS’ first recording with Signum. Booklets included with all downloads. 
  • All Things Are Quite Silent

    £8.00£14.00 Available September 25, 2020.
    Anna Lapwood is a trailblazing musician. As a broadcaster she is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3 and hosts a live, weekly classical music show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. This year she makes her TV presenting debut, hosting BBC Four’s coverage of BBC Young Musician 2020. Alongside her work as a conductor, Director of Music and public speaker, she performs an extensive number of organ recitals on some of the greatest instruments across Europe each season. Directed by Anna Lapwood, The Chapel Choir of Pembroke College has one of the most exciting and varied ranges of choral endeavours among Oxbridge choirs. Alongside their primary responsibility of contributing to worship in the College’s Chapel, they engage in regular artistic collaborations, media appearances and outreach work. The Pembroke College Girls’ Choir was founded in October 2018 and has quickly gained a reputation as one of the UK’s leading girls’ choirs. Made up of 18 girls aged 11–18, the Choir sings twice a week in the College Chapel, as well as regularly singing alongside the Chapel Choir. This album is the first commercial release for these choirs and Anna Lapwood as a conductor. It is a recording of some of the Choirs’ favourite music, some of which happens to have been written by women and some by men. It is the hope of all involved that the music on the record becomes more well-known and is performed more throughout the UK and worldwide.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Ben Parry: The Hours

    £8.00£14.00
    This recording made by the Royal Holloway Choir celebrates the music of Ben Parry. His compositions and arrangements include the popular Faber Carol Book and a burgeoning catalogue of choral music for Peters Edition and Oxford University Press. He has enjoyed commissions from, among others, St John’s College, Cambridge, The Cathedral Choral Society of Washington DC, VOCES8, the BBC Singers, Chelmsford, Ely, Norwich and Worcester cathedrals, and his music has been heard at the BBC Proms and on the TV and radio. In this recording, he sets the words of poems by Garth Bardsley, who says about Ben’s work “all of my poems stand alone but given the Parry treatment, I know that they take flight.” The Choir of Royal Holloway is considered to be one of the finest mixed-voice collegiate choirs in Britain. Their recordings on the Hyperion label have attracted top reviews from all major music publications. The choir gives 50-plus concerts a year with a particular specialism in collaborating with living composers. The choir has collaborated, performed and recorded with many prestigious ensembles, including The King’s Singers, BBC Singers, London Mozart Players, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Onyx Brass, Fretwork, and the Britten Sinfonia.   All downloads include booklets.
  • The Sacred Veil

    Available August 28, 2020.
    The Sacred Veil - a project led by Eric Whitacre and Charles Anthony Silvestri - was created following the passing of Charles’ wife, Julia in 2005. It represents a journey towards the answer for many questions, including whether departed loved ones are truly gone, and how can we mourn those we have lost whilst still moving forward? In Charles’ own words, the project became “a significant part of my journey toward healing and wholeness after great loss.” Poet, author, composer, and speaker Charles Anthony Silvestri has worked with other artists from all over the world to create texts tailor-made for their commissions and specific artistic needs. He enjoys the challenge of solving these creative problems and has provided custom choral texts, opera libretti, program notes and other writing for composers including Eric Whitacre, Ola Gjeilo, Kim Arnesen, and Dan Forrest, and for ensembles ranging from high schools to the Houston Grand Opera, from the King’s Singers to the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, from Westminster Choir College to Westminster Abbey. Grammy® Award-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is one of the world’s most performed living composers. His works have been programmed worldwide by millions of amateur and professional performers, while his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from over 120 different countries. Eric, a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, is presently Artist in Residence with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, following five years as Composer in Residence at the University of Cambridge, UK.As conductor of the Eric Whitacre Singers, he has released such chart-topping albums including Light and Gold and Water Night. In high demand as guest conductor, he has drawn capacity audiences to concerts with the Netherlands Radio Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, Flemish Radio Choir, and Minnesota Orchestra.
  • Messiah…Refreshed!

    £8.00£18.00
    The Goossens Messiah, recorded for the first and only time by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus under Sir Thomas Beecham, has stood as a landmark of the classical catalogue for sixty years. Goossens’ richly orchestrated version is set to reach a new audience thanks to Maestro Griffith and DCINY, New York City’s leading promoter of classical music. They gathered at Abbey Road Studios in London in July 2019, to record the work with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a chorus comprising of sixty members of The Jonathan Griffith Singers, drawn from around the world and sixty members of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. The new recording has captured the score’s vibrant tone colours in thrilling high-definition sound. An acclaimed conductor, educator and lecturer, Dr. Jonathan Griffith has led performances across North America, Europe, and Asia. Griffith is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY), which has brought together, under Griffith’s artistic leadership, thousands of musicians and choral singers in concert at prestigious venues across the United States, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Disney Hall. The founder and Music Director of the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra, Griffith also oversees DCINY’s mentoring program for conductors. Founded in 1983 as a single choir of 100 of the best singers in the nation, the National Youth Choir is now the flagship ensemble of an Arts Council England National Portfolio youth music organisation and registered charity, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain (NYCGB), which runs five membership choirs, a nationwide outreach programme for schools and Music Hubs, and provides professional training for the next generation of choral singers, composers and leaders.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Couperin and Gesualdo

    £8.00£14.00
    Some of the most atmospheric music from the numerous Liturgical settings in Holy Week is that composed for the Office of Tenebrae. Victoria’s are the most well-known, but equally beautiful and arguably more dramatic are the settings composed by Gesualdo and Couperin. The Gesualdo is intense with the Couperin atmospheric, yet both compliment each other perfectly on another world-class recording from Tenebrae. Described as “phenomenal” (The Times) and “devastatingly beautiful” (Gramophone Magazine), award-winning choir Tenebrae, under the direction of Nigel Short, is one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles renowned for its passion and precision. These are Tenebrae’s core values and with their continued dedication to performance of the highest quality, Tenebrae’s vision is to deliver dramatic programming, flawless performances and unforgettable experiences, allowing audiences around the world to be moved by the power and intimacy of the human voice.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Voce’s mission, as articulated by Artistic Director Mark Singleton, is to Serve Harmony. They strive to perform each piece as a unified ensemble – to get straight to the heart of each composition. This cooperative spirit enables them to render music that expresses, as closely as possible, the intent of the composer. Paul Mealor’s music, in turn, comes from a place of deep humility. It stirs the soul, allowing the spirit of all who hear it a direct, unconditioned experience of peace, love, compassion and a profound joy. When Paul came to work with Voce in 2017, it was obvious that Voce and Paul Mealor were a perfect pairing. Some things are just meant to be.   All downloads include booklets.
  • Ash Wednesday

    £8.00£14.00
    Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent, the forty-day period of fasting and penitence which precedes Easter. Ashes are placed on worshippers’ foreheads in the shape of a cross, as a sign of repentance. Evensong on this day has been an especially important service in the liturgical year at St John’s; the BBC started transmitting it live in 1972. For several decades the service was broadcast annually; more recently it has been biennial. 2019 was a live broadcast year, however the recording on this release uses our own microphones, permanently installed in St John’s College Chapel for webcasting, rather than those of the BBC. This recording will be released around the same time that the Dean of St John’s, Mark Oakley, releases a book on George Herbert’s poems, called My Sour Sweet Days. The book and the recording go well in tandem, as in the Deans first sermon at St. John’s, he said “I believe that when we walk here (The Chapel), we walk into a poem. The liturgy is poetry in motion, and we sometimes fail to understand its density of suggestion, the eavesdropping on the soul, the sensitive state of consciousness that its poetry can prompt.”   All downloads include booklets.