• The Temple Church is one of the most historic and beautiful churches in London. Situated between Fleet Street and the Thames Embankment, its recorded musical history extends back to its restoration in 1841, although a church has stood on the site for over 800 years.

    The modern choir is comprised of 18 boy choristers and 12 professional choirmen – an excellent opportunity for the choristers who receive singing and theory tuition as well as generous scholarships towards their education. The programme explores three fascinating and contrasting settings of the Te Deum: A stalwart of the church liturgy (first conceived as far back as AD 387), these settings span over 300 years of English music history, composed respectively in 1694 (Purcell), 1897 (Elgar) and 1944 (Howells).

    This disc is complemented by the release of James Vivian’s English Organ Music from the Temple Church. 

     

     

     
  • "The B minor". That phrase alone resonates with gravity in the hearts and minds of those who love as no other the music of J.S. Bach. This disc sees the Rodolfus Choir at their best, as renowned Bach interpreters, having played his works across the UK to great acclaim. Following a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and performance at Holy Trinity Guildford at the end of 2009, this disc, recorded in the chapel of Charterhouse School continues their evergrowing catalogue of extraordinary recordings. Performance ★★★★ Recording ★★★★ The soloists are a fine team. In 'Domine Deus', Sophie Bevan and Ben Johnson match perfectly in imitation... Highly recommended- BBC Music Magazine There is uncanny vocal empathy between Sophie Bevan and Clint van der Linde, which, in 'Et in unum Dominum', results in the most extraordinary complementing of vocal lines... both stimulating and refreshing - International Record Review If some forty young singers can produce a recorded account of the B Minor Mass of this quality then the future for British choral music is bright indeed - MusicWeb International
  • Another highlight of Scotland's musical life comes from the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) National Girls Choir. Joined by Claire Jones, the official harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, Christopher Bell leads performances of Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, An English Day-Book - an exciting rarity by English composer Elizabeth Poston - and two contemporary works by Scottish composer Oliver Iredale Searle and Irish composer Stephen Deazley. ★★★★★ This debut recording by Christopher Bell's NYCoS National Girls Choir could so easily have been just another recording of Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, but for two things: the wholesome confidence of the choir itself … and the successful partnering of Britten's masterpiece with Elizabeth Poston's edgy and colourful An English Day-BookThe Scotsman The voices are rich toned, well-balanced and powered by developing teenage musculatureClassic FM Magazine Clear as a jingle-bell, the NYCoS National Girls Choir take Britten’s unadorned carols without fear or sentiment in a translucent readingLa Scena Musicale
  • The composer Patrick Hawes has established a reputation as one of the most popular contemporary English composers working today. This new disc of choral and organ works centres on the mystery and beauty of the words of the Old Testament, with stunning performances from Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and Patrick’s own choral group Conventus, as well as accompaniment from The English Chamber Orchestra. Taking the Old testament as his inspiration, Classic FM's former composer in residence has come up with a new choral disc of mystery and beauty - Classic FM Magazine
  • The BBC Singers, led by David Hill, are the UK's only full-time professional chamber choir, and their repertoire and virtuosic versatility are almost boundless. The BBC Singers regularly work with the BBC's own orchestras as well as a number of period instrument and contemporary ensembles both in concert and in the recording studio. This disc features the compositional talent of one of the BBC Singer's former members, Judith Bingham. Bingham is considered a talented all-round composer, having written for a variety of different ensembles including symphonic wind ensembles, brass bands and solo instrumentalists, Despite this she is best known for her choral work, in which she has been commissioned by such ensembles as The King's Singers, the BBC Symphony Chorus and King's College Choir, Cambridge, She has won numerous awards including the Barlow Prize for a cappela music and three British Composer awards.
  • 'I Love all Beauteous Things' explores a great collection of works by the British Composer Herbert Howells, featuring performances of some of his lesser-known choral and organ music. The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin have had a long and prosperous history: they were recorded as having taken part in the first performance of Handel's 'Messiah' in 1742. Since 1972 the new mixed voice choir, lead by Judy Martin, has been highly active with concerts tours and regular broadcasts for the RT? and BBC, as well as continuing worship in the cathedral.
  • A new disc of works by the world renowned choral composer Bob Chilcott. Bob has been involved in choral music for most of his life and since he became a professional composer in 1997 he has had over 100 works published by Oxford University Press. He was hailed by Gramophone magazine as “one of the finest choral composers at work in Britain today.” This CD includes tracks with The Sirens, an ensemble of young professional women's voices specially created for this recording. Also featuring are a jazz trio with Alexander Hawkins on piano, Michael Chilcott on bass and Dereck Scurll on drums. The works included here reflect the strong support and interest that Bob’s vocal music generates, with commissions from a wide variety of choral societies, children & youth choirs and professional choruses.
  • The Flemish-born Giaches de Wert was one of many foreigners to dominate the Italian music scene in the mid to late sixteenth century, therefore to this day his music is largely unknown to many. It is the second of three books of Motets which appears on this disc, written when his skill as a madrigalist had reached its height. As part of the Kings College Choir, the choral scholars of Collegium Regale perform independently of the choir, singing a repertoire that encompasses 15th Century sacred music, jazz, folksongs and pop. Directed by Kings College’s and the BBC Singer’s renowned director Stephen Cleobury.
  • A Christmas album you’ll want to return to year after year, from the fabulous Swingle Singers... There are few music lovers in this world who haven’t heard heard the name the Swingle Singers. Since the release of their ground - breaking debut album Jazz Sebastien Bach in 1963, this eight-voice a cappella group has performed in every continent and in the world’s most famous stages, sustaining over four decades a level of international popularity beyond the dreams of its founder, American born Ward Swingle. The current line-up of young, gorgeous and talented singers is, of course, several incarnations of “Swingles” younger than the original team. Ward Swingle affectionately refers to them as his “grandchildren”. What defines this unique group is not the personnel, nor even the choice of music, but the intimate, close microphone, quasi-instrumental sound with which they stunned the world all those years ago. They continue to do so today both live and in the studio. unwrapped will help to make Christmas an even more special occasion, Swingles-style. The quality of these vocal arrangements here is splendid ... A wonderful record, for home listening in intimate surroundings - International Record Review
  • Man I Sing

    £12.00
    The world-renowned choral composer and conductor Bob Chilcott leads the BBC Singers, as well as the internationally recognised soloists Simone Rebello and Paul Silverthorne, in these new performances of some of his best and most loved choral works. ‘He has the knack of exploring highly effective uncomplicated choral devices, and providing both singers and listeners with a complete cycle that leaves them fulfilled yet still prepared for more ... It is all splendidly entertaining.’

    Choir & Organ

    The Making of the Drum The Modern Man I Sing
    My Prayer Beach
    Advent Antiphons And Every Stone Shall Cry
    The Shepherd's Carol Simple Pictures of Tomorrow
    Pange Lingua Weather Report
  • In their debut disc on Signum, the Caius choir celebrates the relationship between seven British contemporary composers and their influences drawn from the Medieval period. Fascinating stuff - Classic FM Magazine One or two surprisingly mature voices step out for solos from this young choir, and the blend and tuning are generally of a very high standard - Choir and Organ The Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge is impressively at home in this consummately difficult repertoire - Classics Today
  • Signum Records is delighted to announce the debut disc of Cantabile - Lullabyes and Goodbyes. The disc has been long in preparation and is the first to be recorded by Cantabile since On the Tracks of the Comedian Harmonists. Cantabile, are one of Britain’s longest- established vocal ensembles. Since they became widely known in the early nineteen-eighties they have mastered a wide array of musical styles and their flair for the stage continues to keep them in demand in theatres and cabaret as well as in concert halls and at festivals. The four voices blend beautifully and there isn't a sour note to be heard. Diction is consistently crystal clear [and] the contribution of Malcolm Martineau is first rateMusicWeb International
  • On The Vasari Singers' debut disc with Signum Records we present a deeply intimate recording of personal and moving works by Herbert Howells and Frank Martin. In 1935 Herbert Howells’ son died at the age of nine. Howells sought release and consolation in his writing, and composed the a cappella six-movement Requiem as a private document to his son. Indeed, Howells considered his Requiem so personal an outpouring that he felt the need to withhold it from publication. It was not released until 1980, only three years before the composer ’s own death. The motet Take him, earth, for cherishing has the dedication "To the honoured memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President of the United States of America", and was composed for the commemoration in Washington on 6th June 1964. Frank Martin was a deeply religious man. He composed the Mass for Double Choir, early in his career. The work embodies the profound nature of his beliefs, and was the only work that Martin wrote purely for liturgical purposes. Such was the intensely intimate nature of the work, that, like Howells, the composer withheld it, and kept the manuscript safely in a drawer for over forty years. As Martin himself wrote, "This was something between God and me, that concerned nobody else". Over the last two decades, The Vasari Singers has built up an enviable reputation for excellence, versatility and sensitivity in both live performances and recordings. They perform these pieces with passion and devotion, and capture the very private and deep-rooted feelings contained within each work.
  • The King's Singers present a disc of some of their best and most requested repertoire. We are all shaped, perhaps unconsciously, by the landscape and time in which we live. This evocative and spiritual programme, which contains five King's Singers commissions, explores the links between human life and it's surroundings through the different personal languages of poets and composers.
    Richard Rodney Bennet The Seasons of His Mercies
    John McCabe Scenes in America Deserta
    Cyrillus Kreek Taaveti laulud
    Jackson Hill Remembered Love
    Peter Maxwell Davies House of Winter
    Jean Sibelius Rakastava
    Zoltán Kodály Esti Dal
    Bob Chilcott Even Such is Time
     
  • The debut disc of world-renowned early-music ensemble Charivari Agréable on Signum Records. Music for Philip of Spain and His Four Wives is complementary to SIGCD004 and presents secular music associated with Philip II from the four European countries of his wives - Portugal, England, Austria and France. Bravo!Gramophone Highly recommendedEarly Music Review Exquisite performances ... a highly intelligent programmeEarly Music Today
  • Piangete

    £12.00

    Signum Records is delighted to announce that the ensemble Concerto delle Donne will release their first disc on Signum Records in 2003. The disc will feature the cantatas and motets of Giacomo Carissimi.

    Carissimi is sometimes thought of as a "one-work composer" known to the average music-lover only for his oratorio Jephte. Choral Societies looking for 17th century music earlier than Purcell are therefore likely to choose Jephte.

    Alastair Ross first became interested in Carissimi’s music for the 3-soprano Concerto delle Donne line-up when he was asked to prepare a programme “Handel and his predecessors in Italy” for the 1977 Göttingen Festival. A review of Carissimi's oeuvre showed that there were several pieces by Carissimi in the library of Christ Church Oxford just waiting to be performed by the group! He chose the cantata Siam tre miseri piangenti which has become a regular item in their concerts and which is central to this recording. It’s a marvellous piece, full of pain, suffering and anger. The three voices really are equal in the way they intertwine and react to one another. Donna Deam’s solo Piangete and Gill Ross' and Elin Thomas’s duet Ahi, non torna are similar in mood. Maybe in our cynical 21st century we find it difficult to relate to these highly emotional, self-obsessed, texts, but there’s no denying that they inspired some wonderful music! Va dimanda al mio pensiero’ and Si dia bando, alla speranza are lighter in mood – both attractive, tuneful pieces.

    There is plenty of variety in the church music as well. Cum reverteretur David, which begins the CD, is brilliant and virtuosic, a dramatic account of the rivalry between David and Saul. The duet Exulta, gaude, filia Sion is a joyful celebration of Christmas. In Benedictus Deus et Pater the voices weave rich dissonances to convey the suffering of the text; there’s something of the mood of Allegri’s Miserere here.

    In addition to the vocal pieces the disc includes a set of variations by Frescobaldi and Michelangelo Rossi’s flamboyant and chromatic Toccata Settima for harpsichord, together with Kapspereger’s charming improvisations for chittarone.

    We believe that only one of the Carissimi pieces on this CD, Exulta, gaude, filia Sion, has been recorded before, so the disc will be an important event in the recorded-music world, and one which we hope will revive interest in this unjustly neglected composer.

    ★★★★ An impressive release - Choir & Organ An important and rewarding release - Early Music Review
  • Recorded in the beatiful church of Notre Dame, Rozay-en-Brie, by Concerto Delle Donne, this CD celebrates 300 years of Marc-Antoine Charpentier, whose works ranged from simple settings of hymns composed for unaccompanied solo voice to works of great complexity and virtuosity for soloists, double choir and double orchestra. Here, the focus is on the sacred works that Charpentier composed for two and three solo women's voices. The three principal sopranos of of Concerto delle Donne all feature as soloists. Other composers included on this disc are Jean-Baptiste Lully, Nicholas-Antoine Lebègue & Guillame-Gabriel Nivers. The singers' delectably pure, sweet sound, rhythmic liveliness and stylish ornamentation perfectly capture the spirit of some beautiful and inventive music, ideally suited to its very specific purpose - The Daily Telegraph Ravishing music draws some exquisite singing in response... [a] superb disc - Gramophone There is much stunning music here... [an] essential for lovers of the most sublime composer of the French Baroque - Early Music America These are charming performances of charming music. Warmly recommended - MusicWeb International
  • Described by The Times as "thrilling. contemporary, and original... impressive and profoundly affecting", Francis Pott's  writing provides a treasure-trove of astonishingly beautiful composition. Meditations & Remembrances is a new collection of choral and organ pieces of extraordinary tenderness and masterly technique. Francis Pott began his musical life as a chorister at New College Oxford. He held open music scholarships at Winchester College and Magdalene College, Cambridge. Francis was appointed Administrative Head of Music at London College of Music and Media in 2001, subsequently becoming its Head of Composition and Research Development on Music, Media and Creative Technologies. He was also a member of Winchester Cathedral Choir under David Hill from 1991 until 2001. Francis remains an active pianist and accompanist, uniting both compositon and academic research. Christ Church Cathedral Choir enjoys an enviable reputation as one of Ireland's most outstanding choirs. Under the direction of Judy Martin, Director of Music at the cathedral, the present choir is a mixed ensemble of 20 adult singers. In addition to the full part it plays in the worship in the cathedral, the Cathedral Choir is active with concerts, tours and regular broadcasts.
  • This disc is the second in a series of nine covering the complete works of Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585). As the 1540s developed, the Reformation began to take hold and the style of music required from composers such as Tallis altered radically. The large-scale melismatic votive antiphons (for example those on disc 1) were no longer required; the emphasis moved away from Marian devotion to a more syllabic and compact style and, eventually, to settings of English rather than Latin texts. Disc two traces this development from the Jesus antiphon Sancte Deus, to the mass for four voices, the three early English anthems including If ye love me, the Te Deum for meanes and the Elizabethan Magnificat and Nunc dimittis. A stimulating second volume in this distinguished series - Penguin Guide to Compact Discs A beautiful homogeneous quality and are pure and uncomplicated - Footloose Magazine
  • This disc is the third in a series of nine covering the complete works of Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585). Not for nothing is Tallis known as the "father of church music" – with his colleagues at the Chapel Royal he created most of the church music genres that we take for granted today. In chronological terms Volume 3 follows on quickly from the Edwardine music of Volume 2 with repertoire written for the Marian reversion to Catholicism in 1553. Here we meet Tallis the composer of music for the old English liturgy in both a modern “continental” style and a self-consciously old fashioned English style. The music includes the extraordinary seven part mass Puer natus est nobis of 1554 and the similarly-scored motet Suscipe Quaeso. A speculative reconstruction Beati immaculati opens the disc and it concludes with the monumental six part votive antiphon Gaude Gloriosa. Alistair Dixon, the conductor and founder of Chapelle du Roi, has shaped a remarkably beautiful CD here - Evening Standard The sound is finely honed and balanced, in the British tradition ... this is wonderful music, wonderfully sung - Goldberg
  • This disc is the fourth in a series of nine covering the complete works of Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585). Not for nothing is Tallis known as the "father of church music" – with his colleagues at the Chapel Royal he created most of the church music genres that we take for granted today. Volumes 4 and 5 both focus on music written for the office hours – the daily services found mainly in the monasteries that eventually suffered at the hands of Henry VIII’s dissolution. Here we have a selection of hymns and Responds from the Henrician and Marian periods, each matched with their accompanying plainchant taken from contemporary sources.
  • Signum Records are delighted to release the seventh volume of their celebrated nine-disc series, presenting the Complete Works of Thomas Tallis (1505 - 1585). Queen Elizabeth’s reign (1558-1603) was a golden age for the arts. England enjoyed a growing cultural exchange with continental Europe. England’s rich, but essentially conservative pre-Reformation heritage was infused with increasing continental influence and innovations. Elizabeth I was the fourth monarch to sit on the throne in Thomas Tallis’s lifetime. From the outset of her reign Elizabeth allowed considerable freedom of practice and belief. She was firmly in favour of a vernacular liturgy for the general population, although in her own chapels she preferred a more lavish ceremony to music. Tallis had witnessed the wholesale destruction of much of England’s church music tradition, however the ever adaptable composer met the challenges of a new liturgy, its new styles and genres, with the imaginative force of a man half his age. The years of Reformation, and Elizabeth’s protestant settlement, freed the Latin-texted tradition of liturgical propriety, allowing composers to reinvigorate the language and harness it to new, expressive and personal ends. This recording presents Tallis’s Elizabethan Latin motets (which number fifteen). The mighty occasional piece, the forty-voice motet Spem in alium, concludes the disc. The Tallis complete works is one of the most exciting projects currently underway on any early music label. Thoroughly recommended - Early Music Scotland Alistair Dixon paces and balances the voices of his vocal group Chapelle du Roi beautifully - The Evening Standard  
  • Signum Records are proud to present the eighth and penultimate volume of Chapelle du Roi’s recording of the Complete Works of Thomas Tallis. This volume brings together Tallis’s two masterly settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah and English adaptations of several of his best-known Latin motets. Thomas Tallis was one of many continental and English composers who composed settings of texts from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, the opening five verses of which formed part of the office of Matins (or Tenebrae) during Holy Week. Tallis’s two settings could have been performed ritually but in all likelihood they are Elizabethan works intended for use at the private devotions of staunch Catholic sympathisers. The statutory introduction of the First Book of Common Prayer on Whitsunday, 9th June 1549 precipitated an urgent need for a repertory of service music in the vernacular. One straightforward solution to the predicament was to adapt existing Latin motets to English texts, a genre of composition that has come to be known as a contrafactum. Contrafacta survive of liturgical music by pre-Reformation English composers as well as by several composers whose working life spanned the period of Reformation. During the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods contrafacta and their models assumed several forms of dual existence, and were performed not only within a liturgical setting but also in a domestic context for recreation or private devotion. Usually there is no textual relationship between the model and the contrafactum. Indeed the finale of this disc, Sing & Glorify heaven’s high majesty, an adaptation of Tallis’s celebrated eight-choir (40-part) motet Spem in alium was adapted to celebrate Prince Henry’s investiture as Prince of Wales in 1610. Chapelle du Roi succeed in conveying a sense of spaciousness and grandeur - The Daily Telegraph
  • Phillip II of Spain died at first light on Sunday 13th September, 1598. Released in his 400th anniversary year this disc commemorates the death of this most catholic king with music associated with him during his lifetime, and with the sumptuous six part Requiem mass of Jean Richafort that may well have been used at his obsequiries The programme begins with a motet written by Gombert for the birth of Philip; other motets include one of Infantas' finest works Domine Ostende, and within the context of the mass is included the celebrated Versa est in luctum by Lobo.
  • The BBC Singers continue their series of releases featuring works by their official Associate Composer – a unique chance for some of the most talented artists to create compositions for the ensemble – with a new collection of world premiere recordings of works by British composer Gabriel Jackson.

    The central work of the programme – Airplane Cantata – explores the early days of aviation through the journals, news reports and accounts that surrounded this world- changing era. Featuring characteristically precise performances from the BBC Singers, they are joined on this disc by the world-renowned pianola player Rex Lawson.

     

  • Patrick Hawes returns to disc on Signum with the premiere recording of his Lazarus Requiem, for Choir, Orchestra and Soloists. Blending the liturgical text of the Requiem Mass with the story of Lazarus from the New Testament, the composer creates a work in which “the mystery of life and death, the pain of grief and the hope of a risen life are held in taut symmetry”.

    The work begins with an orchestral Elegy for Lazarus. This depicts the dying man and sets the scene for the first tableau where we are informed “a certain man was ill”. Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, send for Jesus and the drama of the miracle unfolds.

    An attractive, sincere and thoughtful piece. This very good first recording should bring it to the attention of a wider audience - MusicWeb International What the Lazarus Requiem does do - and to striking effect - is bring into sharp relief Hawes's unerring gift for evocative orchestral texture and beautiful melodic lineChoir & Organ
  • Continuing Signum’s new partnership with Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort following the triumphant success of Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts (SIGCD280), their latest release is a recording of the groups renowned a cappella programme of music for mourning and consolation. This is a beautifully poignant programme of British choral music, including works by composers as diverse as Morley and Dove, Sheppard and Walton and featuring Howells’ sublime Requiem. An excellent disc - Gramophone Gorgeously melancholic British funeral music for unaccompanied choir... beautifully sung by Paul McCreesh's Gabrieli Consort - The Times
    This album [serves] a vital reminder that there is more depth of feeling, emotional power and intellectual stimulation to the art of music-making than we can ever hope to truly understand. All we can do is applaudClassic FM Magazine
  • As one of Britain’s most respected and versatile musicians, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett has produced over two hundred works for the concert hall, and fifty scores for film and television, as well as having been a writer and performer of jazz songs for over fifty years. This disc of compositions and arrangements performed by the BBC Singers showcases some of his most popular and beguiling works for choir and voice, drawn from classical and jazz music and featuring his ever-popular work A Good-Night. There's not a note out of place or a phrase that seems second-handThe Guardian
    This CD offers an excellent overview of Bennett’s a cappella choral works, demonstrating the breadth of this compositional interests and versatility across a wide range of genres from contemporary classical to jazz to Christmas musicStudio Flamingo With the Singers' impeccable intonation, warm vocal blend, this CD is a must-buy for anyone interested in contemporary British choral musicChoir & Organ
  • Former King's Singer Bob Chilcott conducts a stellar array of his choral music, in a collaborative performance with the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir. Described by the Observer as “a contemporary hero of British Choral Music”, Bob Chilcott works tirelessly as a composer and choral conductor - August 2012 saw the first performance of The Angry Planet in the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, and he has recently completed commissions for The Bach Choir, BBC Singers and National Youth Choir of Great Britain.
  • Gesangbuch

    £12.00
    Edward Cowie’s unique compositional voice stems from his wide-ranging interdisciplinary interests in both the sonic and visual arts, with many of his works inspired by ideas and concepts from artworks and from the natural world. The opening piece of this recording – a 2011 commission for BBC Radio 3 – creates a complex musical tapestry and soundscape from the call of the Australian bell-bird, opening with translations of choruses of several species of Australian frogs. In 2002 Cowie become the BBC Singers’ first ‘Associate Composer’, marking a relationship between the composer that began in the mid-1970s and continues to this day. A fine tribute to an underrated composer - The Guardian The BBC Singers are joined by the Endymion ensemble for the lengthy “Gesangbuch”, a four-part choral work whose wordless vocals and darting, sprite-like musical tones create a work of suitably elemental spirits animated by the changing seasonal round - The Independent
  • Britten’s powerful and masterful evocation of the North Sea in all its moods has to audiences all over the world become inextricably linked with the Aldeburgh that was home to George Crabbe (author of the ‘The Borough’ from which the story originates) in the eighteenth century and Britten in the twentieth.
    Steuart Bedford leads a vast and accomplished ensemble on this new live recording, created shortly before the group’s unique staging of the work on the beach at Aldeburgh as part of the town’s world-renowned festival. The mix here is imperceptible and the sound unobtrusive; engineer Mike Hatch deserves a credit twice the size and conductor Steuart Bedford pulls off an extraordinary feat of coherence and endurance. But it’s Oke who makes the case for Peter Grimes and steals the show. There used to be two great Grimes on record: Peter Pears and Jon Vickers. Now there are threeSinfini Music
  • Following their acclaimed recordings of Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Paul McCreesh has once again assembled the mass forces of Gabrieli Consort & Players and Wrocaw Phiharmonic Choir to record one of the iconic masterpieces of the twentieth-century oratorio repertoire.
    The work reflects Britten’s long-held and committed pacifist beliefs. Composed to mark the consecration of a new Cathedral in Coventry, Britten combines the Latin text of the Missa pro Defunctis with nine poems by the First World War poet Wilfred Owen, which vide a moving (and frequently uncomfortable) commentary on the liturgical text.
    This series has already garnered substantial critical claim and a number of prestigious awards, including a Gramophone Award, BBC Music Magazine Award and two Diapason d'Or awards.
    It’s a very well-paced performance, and Susan Gritton, John Mark Ainsley and Christopher Maltman are excellent soloists, totally engaged with Britten’s combination of the Latin Mass for the Dead and Wilfred Owen’s war poetry. It’s an outstanding recording for the Winged Lion Label from Signum ClassicsBBC Radio 3 CD Review
  • Mark Williams leads the Choir of the Jesus College Cambridge through an evocative selection of choral works inspired in varying ways by the songs of Solomon. Songs of love have been written from the earliest records of human existence. None are more passionately ecstatic than the Song of Solomon, which occupies a unique place in the Holy Bible in both style and content. It contains lyric poems of love and courtship, as might have been sung at Jewish weddings. For Christians, these poems speak to the beauty of the union of Christ and his ‘bride’, the Church. The present collection presents a diverse group of choral works written between the 16th century and the present day, with most inspired by this unique sacred text. Under Mark Williams direction, the choirs make a clear elegant and focussed sound, and clarity is very much the watchword in the performancesMusicWeb International This CD features both the Jesus College Choir (top line women) and the all-male Chapel Choir. The two sounds are well differentiated, the fresh clarity of the boys contrasting with the more mature sounds of the young womenChoir and Organ Superlative singingNorthern Echo
  • The Choir of Jesus College Cambridge present this album of sacred works which follows events in the Church calendar.  From Ash Wednesday, through to the final feast of the year – Trinity, the recording features works by Bryd, Purcell, Casals, Elgar, Stanford, Britten, Tallis and James MacMillan, all directed by Mark Williams. ★★★★★ Bairstow's The Lamentation is interpreted with marvellous subtlety hereChoir & Organ Brooding and refinedThe Telegraph Fresh, engaging performances of works spanning the church year, from a choir moving swiftly up the Oxbridge pecking order. The Rorem and MacMillan pieces get especially fine performancesBBC Music Magazine
  • 11-year-old Alice lives in the not terribly exciting town of Grimthorpe. On a boring Wednesday in the summer holidays Alice’s family, wandering around town, gets caught in a downpour. They rush into the nearest shelter, which turns out to be a pet shop – much to Alice’s parents’ delight. Alice is lost in a daydream of exotic holidays... Suddenly she is jolted out of her reverie by one of the animals – a white rabbit – who starts talking to her... Opera Holland Park’s production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a family opera by composer Will Todd and librettist Maggie Gottlieb, comes to CD for the first time after two critically praised runs in 2013 and 2014.
    The cast sing with impeccable diction, the players never drowning out the voicesArts Desk The cast, headed by Fflur Wun as Alice, and orchestra, conducted by Matthew Waldren, put on a good show - Gramophone Will Todd's Lewis Carroll-inspired opera has proved a huge success both on stage and on disc - BBC Music Magazine The recorded sound is excellent...a release of many pleasures - Opera Magazine
  • The Choir of Jesus College Cambridge’s new release on Signum blends a selection of ancient and modern works from the 16th and 20th Centuries, all centred on the theme of evening. A gorgeous blended sound... the atmospheric singing of the choristers is of a high standardEarly Music Review The choir have a delicacy and a musical responsiveness that's particularly suited to this softer-edged programme of evening musicGramophone As an unguent to tired limbs, is this gorgeously dreamy recital to the soul: calorific with comfort, it pleases with delightful contrasts, sensitive, sustained singing and shapely interpretationsChoir & Organ Most enjoyableCross Rhythms
  • Winchester Cathedral celebrate 50 years since the release of Geoff Stephen’s Winchester Cathedral – a 1966 release for the New Vaudeville Band that reached No.1 in the charts in the USA and Canada, selling over 3 million copies and subsequently winning a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Recording. For this new disc Geoff Stephens has allowed the words of his tune to be adapted by the Choristers of Winchester Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Andrew Lumsden, “to celebrate the forthcoming 50th Anniversary of the original recording and to present the Cathedral as “a beacon of light” in the dark days through which we live”.

    This special EP release also includes arrangements of Somewhere over the Rainbow and Climb Every Mountain alongside Andrew Lumsden’s new arrangement of Geoff Stephen’s Winchester Cathedral.
     
     
  • Wells Cathedral Choir under Matthew Owens explore and celebrate the life and works of the late British composer Sir John Tavener (1944- 2013), in a new programme centred around his Missa Wellensis

    The disc features several world-premiere recordings of works commissioned especially for the choir, including his Preces and Responses and They are all gone into the world of light. 

  • Now We May Singen

    £8.00£14.00
     The festival of Christmas means many things to many people. Its status as an international public holiday provides a rare opportunity for families and friends from far and wide to come together. Being creatures of habit, many communities establish rituals to prepare for and mark the occasion, finding comfort in the familiarity of an annual structure. For some, the birth of Christ the Saviour is at the centre of these practices, while others regard Christmas as a secular celebration characterised by Santa and mulled wine. These diverse, multifaceted traditions of Advent and Christmas are explored throughout Now may we singen. With works by composers of different generations, backgrounds and musical legacies, Christmas as both ancient holy day and modern, ever evolving holiday is embraced by Timothy Garrard (director), Ben Bloor (organ) and the Choir of Westminster School through bold, characterful musical interpretations.
  • The Sweetest Songs: Music from the Baldwin Partbooks III

    £8.00£14.00 Available February 5, 2021.
    Contrapunctus concludes its exploration of the music preserved in John Baldwin’s partbooks with a third album dedicated to this remarkable treasure house of English sacred music, the richest single source of Tudor polyphony to survive. This third recording opens a window on a striking aspect of the history of the English motet, and one that has been neglected: the penchant in England for setting Latin psalms as motets, the so-called ‘psalm motet’. These texts offered rich opportunity for vivid musical response, given their nature as personal and impassioned addresses to God, and led to Richard Sampson – Dean of the English Chapel Royal under Henry VIII – describing the psalms as ‘the sweetest songs’. The principal English composers born between the 1510s and the 1530s all contributed to this genre of motet, but to a significant extent this fascinating repertory has lain in obscurity and remains unfamiliar to modern audiences. More than half of the works on this album are premiere recordings, and they include such glorious motets as Robert White’s Domine, non est exaltatum, William Mundy’s Memor esto verbi tui, and John Sheppard’s Confitebor tibi Domine. Contrapunctus’s trademark combination of ground-breaking scholarship and performances that are ‘revelatory and even visionary’ (BBC Music Magazine) here brings to light and to life some of the finest musical survivals of the Tudor age.
  • Music of the seventeenth century was little known to the concertgoing or record-buying public, up until fifty years or so ago when Monteverdi’s Vespers were performed under the inspiration of figures such as Michael Tippett as part of a modern revival of early music. Subsequently, it has been one of the most celebrated works both with choral societies and early music specialists. Here, the Rodolfus Choir offer their interpretation of one of the most magnificent works of the seventeenth century. Following their highly successful release with Signum earlier this year, Choral Arrangements by Clytus Gottwald, the Rodolfus Choir perform earlymusic as sensitively and musically as they perform music of the twentieth-century.
    Title page of the 1610 edition of Monteverdi's Vespers
    The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble can be found at: www.ecse.co.uk
  • The Yorkshire Baroque Soloists and Yorkshire Bach Choir were formed in 1973 as the basis of the famous York Early Music Festival, and have built a firm reputation as one of the finest ensembles in the world in their performance and interpretation of 17th and 18th century music. Under their director Peter Seymour they return to disc with a fine selection of soloists to perform Bach’s Mass in B Minor, BWV 232.

    Their 2009 disc of Bach’s St John Passion on Signum (SIGCD209) was released to excellent reviews:

    “A coherent, articulate and engaging performance that balances well the work's twin identities as narrative and contemplation.”
    MusicWeb International

    "… as dramatically coherent and satisfying as I've heard for a while … this is a St John which carries open-hearted conviction and character before it."
    The Gramophone

    http://www.yorkshirebaroquesoloists.org.uk/

  • This 3CD set comprises a selection of great albums by the Rodolfus Choir, made up of singers aged from 16 to 25 who have been chosen from past and present members of Eton College's summer choral courses for prospective choral scholars. The disc devoted to Francis Grier is an exceptionally fine one … The performances are generally excellent, so too the recordings - Musicweb International Recommended without reservation and, as they say, the further volumes are eagerly awaited - Musical Pointers
  • J.S. Bach’s ‘Passions’ have been said to employ the word with more than one meaning – as well as telling the story of Christ’s sacrifice, they are simultaneously a celebration of human feeling in the joy and suffering of man’s pilgrimage on earth. The expert early music chamber orchestra Yorkshire Baroque Soloists bring all of these feelings to life in a dramatic and resonant performance of Bach’s Passio Secundum Johannem (St John Passion). Joined for this recording by the excellent Charles Daniels, Stephen Varcoe and Stephan Loges, the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists have been a leading light in the world of Early Music performance since their formation in 1973. As dramatically coherent and satisfying as I’ve heard for a while… this is a St John which carries open-hearted conviction and character before it - Gramophone Charles Daniel’s level-headed Evangelist anchors the narrative thrust with suave sagacity - BBC Music Magazine A coherent, articulate and engaging performance that balances well the work’s twin identities as narrative and contemplation - MusicWeb International
  • Prayers for Mankind celebrates the life and writings of Father Alexander Men, a Russian Orthodox Christian priest who, whilst being little known outside of his home country during his lifetime, has come to be hailed as a saint and martyr by thousands all over the world. 2010 marks the anniversary of what would have been his 85th Birthday, as well as 20 years since his brutal assassination on the way to a Sunday morning service.

    Following years of religious suppression under the communist regime, Father Alexander Men emerged as a leading Christian and humanitarian figure in Russia, through radio and TV broadcasts and his prolific written works. These prayers, set by Russian composer Alexander Levine, capture the beauty and humanity of Men’s view of the world, and is brought vividly to life by Nigel Short’s professional chamber choir Tenebrae.

    A recent review for Tenebrae (from their June disc - Figure Humaine, SIGCD197)

    “… they seem to have an extra gear, a kind of choral over-drive that allows them to soar almost serenely over corners that have some of the finest vocal ensembles showing the strain.” BBC Radio 3, CD Review, Andrew McGregor, May 2010

     
  • Signum Records are proud to present the first release in a new series of live orchestral recordings featuring the illustrious St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, led by their chief conductor Yuri Temirkanov. These new recordings have been made possible thanks to the recent refurbishment of their home concert venue, the Grand Philharmonic Hall, allowing many of us to hear for the first time the excitement of the Philharmonic’s performances in their resident city of St Petersburg. This release will be followed later in the year with their live performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 (Leningrad). The orchestra moved like a single unit, swelling and surging, natural rubato raising tension, pacing and placing impeccably judged - The Independent This is a full-blooded performance of Verdi’s late work … Full marks for passion - The Daily Telegraph [Temirkanov] has been in charge of the St Petersburg Philharmonic since 1988 and the orchestra plays splendidly for him here. What particularly marks out the performance is his attention to dynamics - Classic FM Magazine Yuri Temirkanov’s mature and considered performance wears its own character with pride, rather than complying with any perfectionist norm. The reading sounds Russian: dark and edgy - The Sunday Times
  • Yanomami

    £12.00
    Coro Cervantes is a unique professional chamber choir. Through its perforamances and recordings it aims to bring the music of Iberia and Latin America to audiences everywhere. This disc of 20th century music for the unusual yet fabulous combination of choir and guitar coincides with the 70th birthday of Brazilian composer Marlos Nobre, whose work Yanomam, inspired by the death rituals of the indigenous Yanomami people, gives the album its title. The choir is accompanied by the Brazilian Fabio Zanon, one of most all embracing talents in the international guitar scene.
    Julian Stocker Fabio Zanon Carlos Fernandez Aransay
    The Yanomami The Yanomami are one of the largest relatively isolated tribes in South America. They live in the rainforests and mountains of northern Brazil and southern Venezuela, and today their total population stands at around 32,000. At over 9.6 million hectares, the Yanomami territory in Brazil is twice the size of Switzerland. In Venezuela, the Yanomami live in the 8.2 million hectare Alto Orinoco - Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve. Together, these areas form the largest forested indigenous territory in the world. The Yanomami live in large, circular, communal houses called yanos or shabonos. Some house up to 400 people. The Yanomami believe strongly in equality among people. Each community is independent from others and they do not recognize ‘chiefs’. Decisions are made by consensus, frequently after long debates where everybody has a say. Like most Amazonian tribes, tasks are divided between the sexes. Men hunt game, often using curare (a plant extract) to poison their prey. Women tend the gardens where they grow around 60 crops and also collect wild honey nuts, shellfish and insect larvae. The spirit world is a fundamental part of Yanomami life. Every creature, rock, tree and mountain has a spirit. Sometimes these are malevolent, attack the Yanomami and are believed to cause illness. Shamans control these spirits by inhaling a hallucinogenic snuff called yakoana. Through their trance like visions, they meet the spirits or xapiripë. During the 1980s, the Yanomami suffered immensely when up to 40,0000 Brazilian goldminers invaded their land. The miners shot them, destroyed many villages, and exposed them to diseases to which they had no immunity. Twenty percent of the Yanomami died in just seven years. After a long international campaign led by Yanomami spokesman, Davi Kopenawa, Survival and the Brazilian NGO, the Pro Yanomami Commission (CCPY), Yanomami land in Brazil was officially recognized as the ‘Yanomami Park’ in 1992 and the miners expelled. However, the Yanomami still face many threats. Cattle ranchers are invading and deforesting the eastern fringe of their land. Over 1,000 gold- miners are now working illegally on Yanomami land, transmitting deadly diseases like malaria and polluting the rivers with mercury. The Brazilian congress is debating a draft bill which, if approved, will legalise large scale mining in Indian lands, a move which is bitterly opposed by the Yanomami. As a result of their increasing contact with outsiders, the Yanomami, CCPY and Survival, set up an education project. Yanomami are being trained to teach reading, writing and maths in their communities. In 2004, Yanomami formed their own organisation, Hutukara (the part of the sky from which the earth was born), to defend their rights. Survival International has been working with the Yanomami for 40 years. To support the Yanomami join Survival International at www.survival-international.org
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