• Armonico Consort return to disc on Signum with a festive selection of classic carols and hymns alongside new commissions and arrangements. The programme is rounded off by Benjamin Britten’s timeless A Ceremony of Carols. If you want this particular programme it is hard to imagine it being better performedEarly Music Review Highly recommended - Northern Echo Intimate, small-scale performances of mainly familiar titlesBBC Music Magazine
  • Peter Seymour and the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists present a new edition of Bach’s first version of the Matthäus-Passion, probably first performed on Good Friday 1727 and one of the greatest works of J.S. Bach’s prodigious output. Recorded at the National Centre for Early Music in York, the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists are joined by the renowned soloists Charles Daniels and Peter Harvey. Significant readings that inspire further thinking about the greatest of all Passions - Choir and Organ Seymour’s pacing often has a comfortable feeling of ‘rightness’ and integrity - Gramophone
  • Following its nomination for a Gramophone Early Music Award in 2014, Contrapunctus releases an album of motets from the Baldwin Tudor partbooks, on the theme of mortality.  Conducted by Owen Rees, the album includes Sheppard’s epic Media vita and works by Byrd, Parsons, Mundy, Teverner, Gerarde and Tallis, with Contrapunctus’s own reconstructions of the missing tenor parts. ★★★★★ Contrapunctus really knows what to do with these pieces and from the very first item the tuning is superb and the ensemble rock solid. Moreover, Owen Rees’s interpretations are revelatory and even visionary - BBC Music Magazine ★★★★ Whether you listen in Lenten penitence or in general hope of spiritual balm, the message is universal, the singing superb - The Observer Rees’s choir brings an intensity of sound and dramatic dynamics, in music that contemplates the pain of death in ecstatic elation and sublime devotion - The Sunday Times The undeniable jewel in the crown of this selection is Sheppard’s magisterial setting of Media vita … Contrapunctus is the ideal group for this superb repertoire, and I look forward with eager anticipation to future CDs in this series - Early Music Review There’s lovely balance and clarity of sound from as fine a clutch of voices - Choir & Organ
  • 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
  • The Temple Church Choir gives the world premiere recording of Nico Muhly’s Our present charter – a brand new four-movement work commissioned by the choir to celebrate 800 years since the sealing of the Magna Carta.  Directed by Roger Sayer and featuring organist Greg Morris, the recording also features choral works by Parry, Vaughan Williams, Walton, Bairstow, Tavener and Haydn.

    ★★★★★ Sensitive interpretations enhance the excellence of the singing... Highly Reccomended -  Choir & Organ ★★★★ Under their new director Roger Sayer the choir is obviously on strong form - Planet Hugill These superb recordings serve as sonorous reminders of the British choral tradition and its vibrant contemporary lifeOpera News
  • The King’s Singers perform the complete Italian madrigal collection Il Trionfo di Dori. Commissioned by Venetian nobleman Leonardo Sanudo in 1592, the collection features 29 works, each written by a different composer and poet, and set for nine voices. Among them are Vecchi, Gabrieli, Marenzio, de Monte, Striggio, Anerio, Gastoldi, Porta and Palestrina.
    ★★★★★ The King's Singers bring this great monument of Italian music history to striding life - Sinfini Music ★★★★★ The King’s Singers are on top form, singing with a sunny freshness appropriate to this happy music, blending beautifully, and moving as one into crescendos and decrescendos, ranging in dynamic from a whispering pianissimo to declamatory episodes of high drama - Early Music Review It is hard to imagine a group with greater potential to do justice to this music of love and mythology than they - Gramophone The King's Singers turn out their characteristic, highly polished finish: diction is razor-sharp, ensemble and intonation are well-nigh flawless - BBC Music Magazine A masterclass in delicate phrasing, elegant lines, exemplary Italian and effortless madrigalian expression with standards of intonation to languish after...delizioso - Choir & Organ If you have to make a single choice The King's Singers will appeal more and it's also beautifully recorded in a venue, which is at least new to this reviewer - Music Web International
  • Chilcott’s mighty setting of words from St John’s Gospel is a dramatic yet optimistic retelling of the Passiontide story. The work combines 13th and 17th century English poetry with the King James Bible text settings and, as with Bach’s great Passion settings, the role of the Evangelist is taken by the tenor soloist, who provides a melodious narrative throughout. Including 5 well- known hymn texts set to new, original melodies, the work further confirms Chilcott’s status as one of the world’s most popular active choral composers.

  • The BBC Singers continue their critically lauded and award- nominated series of composer-led recordings with a new disc of works by Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir.

    Recorded in the unique acoustic of the Temple Church, London, the BBC Singers are joined by the church’s choristers and the contemporary music ensemble Endymion, in a retrospective of Weir’s works drawn from a 25-year period.

  • Purcell’s ever-green chamber opera Dido & Aeneas, its story drawn from Virgil’s epic, the Aeneid, is performed by the Armonico Consort with an astounding selection of soloists. Armonico Consort is one of the largest and most innovative organisations of its kind in the UK, existing to inspire audiences with its unique programmes. ★★★★ Lithe, colourful, tastefully phrased and dynamically astute playing...[the cast] sing compellingly and inhabit their roles with the same sensitivity that distinguishes the whole performanceThe Daily Telegraph
    A clean, uncluttered account featuring crystalline voices, good diction, safe tempos and well-defined phrasing...vocal ensembles are luminous and the instrumental playing is bright and streamlined. Best of all is Rachael Lloyd's dignified Dido, rich-voiced, poetic and flawlessly deliveredThe Guardian The Armonico Consort and its musical director, Christopher Monks, capture this abundance of inspiration in a performance full of life and variety...Rachael Lloyd's dignified Dido and Elin Manahan Thomas's bright Belinda are well contrastedFinancial Times This small-scale version of Purcell's evergreen masterpiece has much to commend itEarly Music Today
  • 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
  • VOCES8 and Les Inventions shine a light on a hidden musical treasure in these world-premiere recordings of Charles Avison’s 1757 adaptation of Benedetto Marcello’s Estro-poetico armonico. A fresh and original collection, Marcello’s Psalm settings were composed in Venice and quickly found fame across Europe after their publication between 1724 and 1726. ★★★★★ The results are wholly delightful and absorbing, and the intimate forces of VOCES8 and Les Inventions are completely at home in this repertoire - Choir & Organ ★★★★ With their vivid word-setting and lively declamation, the English texts give a slightly homespun quality to the enterprise. Well sung, there's a striking triple canon with Latin text to finish - The Observer ★★★★ Marcello's masterpiece receives...world premiere recording here by VOCES8, accompanied by the organ, recorder and strings of French early-music ensemble Les Inventions - The Independent Very polished - BBC Radio 3 CD Review A nice variety of vocal colours and a lovely blend make for a convincing representation of Marcello's largely unknown masterpiece Estro poetico-armonico. More please - Early Music Review
  • BBC Music Magazine Award winning choir Tenebrae return to disc on Signum under the expert direction Nigel Short with a sumptuous album of Carols, Hymns and other celebratory works for Christmas. It is probably superfluous to say that the performances by Tenebrae are top class - but they are - Music Web International Crystalline beauty... every voice part is constantly alert to the expressive possibilities of the music and crafts it all with care and musicality. The ensemble's extensive experience [is] belied by the disc's youthful, festive joy - Sinfini This uplifting album captures all the passion and precision for which the choir is renowned - The Lady
  • The Choral Scholars of University College Dublin are Ireland’s leading collegiate choral ensemble, and for their first recording on Signum they perform an enchanting and ground-breaking collection of traditional and Celtic-inspired choral music, led by their director Desmond Earley.
    ★★★★ Blending 'folk' voices with choral precision and tight harmony isn't easy, but Desmond Earley has a passionate stake in both and doesn't put a foot wrong - Choir and Organ Bright young thingsThe Irish Times
     
  • BBC Music Magazine Award-winning choir Tenebrae perform a sumptuous selection of motets by Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner. Choral Recording of the Year: Performance ★★★★★ Recording ★★★★★ A beautifully balanced programmeBBC Music Magazine ★★★★★ Complex, rich and beautiful... performances are everything we have come to expect from Tenebrae, likewise Signum's recorded sound - Classical Music ★★★★ Richly Expressive - The Observer Tenebrae score on all counts. They submit with impressive stamina and unfailing intonation to Bruckner’s instrumental scoring and phrasing - Gramophone The dense harmonies suit this well-established professional choir perfectly - The Guardian Beautifully performed, seraphic sequence - The Sunday Times
  • The Rodolfus Choir return to disc on Signum with a stunning new collection of choral works drawn from composers spanning over 500 years. Ralph Allwood MBE introduces the programme and the personal inspiration behind it: The concept of time is so rich that it has inspired a large body of writing and musical setting. This collection is a tribute to my father, because I learnt so much about time from him. Mathematician and philosopher, theologian, musician and physicist, he was fascinated by our perception of time, and he and I had many discussions about its nature. In a trivial sense, music traces the passage of time, but also, as with all events, manipulates it. A watch traces a different pattern of time during events. But who is to say that the watch is ‘right’. ★★★★★ If you want to hear young voices singing at their very best, with each line perfectly balanced, then this CD is a must - Choir & Organ Provocative, eye-meeting loveliness on this record from Ralph Allwood's Rodolfus ChoirGramophone A rewarding sequence... a good recording as wellBBC Radio 3 CD Review
  • A beautiful collection of songs, Only a Singing Bird features Michael Head’s best-known works, The Ships of Arcady and The Little Road to Bethlehem, as well as his beautifully-imagined, nostalgic song-cycle, Snowbirds.

    NYCoS National Girls Choir is joined by its patron and world renowned mezzo soprano, Karen Cargill for this incredible new recording.