• 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
  • Led by Mark Williams, the Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge continue their critically-praised series of recordings on Signum with this new recording of works by British composers Britten and Byrd. William Byrd and Benjamin Britten, their respective careers separated by about three hundred and fifty years, share one very significant characteristic. They were both, in quite different ways, outsiders. As a devout Catholic existing within an alien environment – a state which ultimately viewed Catholicism as the equivalent of sedition – Byrd was obliged to pursue a kind of double life, expressing his spiritual exile in music of emotional intensity. Like Byrd, Britten became highly regarded by the establishment for his artistic achievements, but reservations regarding his homosexuality prevented his complete acceptance. Both his pacifism and his sexual orientation made him an outsider.
  • 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.
  • Signum Records are pleased to welcome a new ensemble to the catalogue: The Elysian Singers perform choral works by composer James MacMillan. MacMillan characteristically draws inspiration for his vocal works from recurring themes such as the Catholic Church and Scottish traditional culture. The most substantial work on this recording is Cantos Sagrados ("Sacred Songs"). MacMillan takes the poems of Latin American poets Ariel Dorfman and Ana Maria Mendosa, and combines their settings of political repression with traditional religious texts to create a powerful combination of liberation theology. The result is at times delicate, and then terrifying. The composer’s intentions were to create a work both sacred and secular, being timeless yet contemporary. Of the other works on this disc, the majority are settings of Latin or English religious texts often written for particular occasions or places. A Child’s Prayer, for instance, was dedicated to the victims of the Dunblane tragedy of 1996, where one teacher and sixteen of her pupils were shot dead whilst in class. One of the two secular works on this recording, The Gallant Weaver is a setting of that most Scottish of poets, Robert Burns, to a nostalgic evocation of Celtic folk-music. The Elysian Singers were founded in 1986. Since 1999 they have been directed by Sam Laughton and have established a national reputation as a young and lively chamber choir, winning awards for commissioning new music.
  • Choral director, composer and musicologist, Clytus Gottwald turns his attention to complex and masterly choral arrangements of works from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Works by European composers including Wagner, Mahler, Debussy and Webern are arranged in up to sixteen parts, performed by the Rodolfus Choir, directed by Ralph Allwood. ★ Do his arrangements stand up well against the original? The answer is mainly yes. This is thanks to the persuasive performance of the young singers of the Rodolfus Choir, who do not blench at what is sometimes a formidable task - Choir and Organ Gottwald's awesome technical demands put much of this music way beyond the scope of most choirs, and it is greatly to Ralph Allwood's credit that the Rodolfus Choir, most of whom are students and all of whom are under 25, have not only tackled this music at all but have done so with considerable distinction... They clearly relish the vocal harmonics in Ravel's Soupir, they love the bell effects in Debussy's Les Angélus, they positively luxuriate in the warm glow of Gottwald's take on 'O mio babbino caro' and they float around with enormous enthusiasm in the misty textures of Caplet's Présentation - Gramophone
  • 2012 marks the 15th anniversary of the first release from the leading independent classical label Signum Records. Beginning life as an early music specialist (with a landmark release of the Complete Works of Thomas Tallis with Chapelle du Roi), Signum has grown since 1997 to a catalogue of over 300 releases across a wide range of genres. In this A Cappella collection, you can hear a wide rage of works by The King's Singers, The Swingle Singers, BBC Singers, Tenebrae, Voces8 and many more all on one disc - all selected from titles across the Signum catalogue. This is a disc that can surely claim to have something for every taste and temperament - Choir & Organ
  • A true master and exponent of the British choral music tradition, Herbert Howells' compositions and settings are brought to life in this collection of his secular and sacred works. Performances come from the youthful talents of The Rodlofus Choir, led by their director Ralph Allwood. The Rodolfus Choir is 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. Many members of the choir are choral scholars, some are at music college, and most hope to make a career in music. Ralph Allwood founded the choir in 1984, and has been Precentor and Director of Music at Eton since 1985. Recording ★★★★★ Performance ★★★★★ Put simply, this disc has quality stamped all over it - BBC Music ★★★★ I could listen to the young singers of The Rodolfus Choir all day without tiring or losing my appetite for their collective musicianship and accomplished choral artistry - Classic FM Magazine These youthful singers [deliver] the sensitivity and precision you would expect of the next generation of choral scholars - The Observer One can only marvel at the group's remarkable collective skill and cohesion - Fanfare Magazine
  • Christmas

    £12.00
    The international award-winning octet, VOCES8, has established itself at the forefront of British a cappella. Performing a repertoire ranging from Renaissance polyphony to unique Jazz and Pop arrangements, the group has been praised for stunning performance, exquisite singing and creating a sound that spans the entire range of vocal colour. VOCES8’s singing is faultless – jaw-droppingly so in places - The Arts Desk Invariably sophisticated and sensitively done - The Daily Mail Highly recommended - All Music.com
  • A new album bringing classic carols to life under the expert direction of conductor and author Andrew Gant, marking the release later this year of his new book “Christmas Carols, from Village Green to Church Choir.” Everyone loves a carol - in the end, even Scrooge. They have the power to summon up a special kind of midwinter mood, like the aroma of mince pies and mulled wine and the twinkle of lights on a tree. It’s a kind of magic. In this new accompanying recording, Andrew Gant’s choir, Vox Turturis, bring these carols to life with captivating performances of classics such as The Angel Gabriel, Adeste fideles and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, as well as less-known gems like Célébrons la naissance, Les anges dans nos campagnes and Tempus adest floridum. The CD booklet also includes a short essay by Gant highlighting some of the fascinating stories behind these works. Christmas Carols brims with anecdote, expert knowledge and Christmas spirit. It is a fittingly joyous account of one of our best-loved musical traditions. The recording debut of Gant's youthful professional choir is a spirited one - The Sunday Times The acoustic of St Peter's College Chapel serves these singers well, and the recorded sound is glorious - The Arts Desk This is another well-planned and splendidly performed CD, eminently recommendable - International Record Review
  • Christmas presents a golden opportunity to present brand new music to wide audiences, and the role played by St John’s College Choir in this area has been significant, as demonstrated by new recording of traditional and contemporary choral works. The recording features Michael Finnissy’s John the Baptist, written for the Choir for its BBC Advent broadcast in 2014. The programme begins with Bob Chilcott’s The Shepherd’s Carol commissioned by Stephen Cleobury (a former St John’s organ scholar) for King’s College Choir, and also includes Creator of the Stars of Night, composed by another former St John’s organ scholar, John Scott. The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge is one of the finest choirs of men and boys in the world, known and loved by millions from its recordings, broadcasts and concert tours. A cornerstone of the great English choral tradition since the 1670s, the Choir is recognised for its distinctive, rich and expressive sound and is today directed by Andrew Nethsingha.
    An evocatively sung collection from the Cambridge choir glowing with devotional joy - Choir and Organ
  • This disc represents a new orchestra partnership for Signum Records with The Orchestra of the Age of the Englightenment, one of London and the world’s leading period-instrument ensembles. Led by Robert Howarth, the recording was made at Kings Place following the orchestras successful 2010 tour of the work.

    'Not all orchestras are the same,' runs the message on the cover, and it’s true: … a shimmering, captivating choral sound that seems to float effortlessly through the psalmsThe Independent

    What is impressive is the grammatical sense (underpinned by flexible accentuation) that the choir brings to the projection of the words in Dixit Dominus and at many other places. Also, as we might expect, the instrumentalists are terrificBBC Music Magazine In a word it is magnificent … this is one of the most enjoyable I have heard in recent yearsMusicWeb International
  • Pianist Malcolm Martineau brings together some of the UK’s finest singers for the third release in his series charting the complete songs of French composer Gabriel Fauré. This series follows Martineau’s well-received 5-CD series of The Complete Songs of Francis Poulenc.
  • 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.
  • Welcome all Wonders: A Christmas Cantata is a large-scale work for choir, organ, and trumpet spanning 15 movements. It celebrates the Christmas story through an imaginative selection and juxtaposition of poetry and liturgical texts, and provides a multifaceted telling of the familiar narrative. The celebratory aspects of Christmas are tainted by darker themes that are inherent to the story but are easily overlooked, culminating in an enlightened and engaging work that explores the Christmas story in a profound manner. The Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford is among the finest and most active university choirs in the UK. Its wide-ranging repertory includes a rich array of Renaissance and Baroque music and contemporary works. An excellent disc: the singing is incredibly tight, in the manner to which it has become increasingly accustomed under its musical director, Owen Rees, and Bednall’s writing is ingenious, embedded in a profound understanding of the workings of the choir and organ- both as distinct entries and as a partnership - Gramophone Magazine Bednall’s work makes a bright, immediate impression, the idiom, accessible without being superficial - BBC Music Magazine An original and very rewarding addition to the Christmas choral repertoire - MusicWeb International Bednall is honoured with what is surely a splendid performance from the Choir of Queen’s College, Oxford with organists Olivia Clark and Paul Manley and trumpeter Simon Desbruslais, directed by Owen Rees - International Record Review
  • 2018 Grammy Award nominees Tenebrae perform a new collection of choral works by Polish composer Paweł Łukaszewski.

    Born in southern Poland in 1968 in the city of Częstochowa and described by Gramophone as writing “enchanting choral music…beautifully measured phrases, immaculately tailored textures and ingenious use of light and shade to invoke light shining in darkness”, Łukaszewski has secured a place in the forefront of European sacred music with performances throughout the world and his works featuring on over one hundred recordings. He studied at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music, where he still teaches, and is now the Artistic Director and Conductor of Musica Sacra Cathedral Choir in Warsaw.

    This collection of sacred choral works bears an easily-discernible cultural link with his Polish predecessors such as Lutosławski and Penderecki, but the influence of Henryk Górecki and the Estonian Arvo Pärt is evident too in the fervent but restrained spiritual aspect of Łukaszewski’s music, and his individual voice never stoops to mere imitation.

    There is always a sense of rhythmic and harmonic displacement about his work, which makes it not only difficult to deliver but curiously timeless  - Choir and Organ Very effectiveGramophone I would strongly recommend this as a CD of great interest, wonderfully well sung - Cathedral Music Magazine Moving and upliftingCross Rhythms I offer plaudits to Nigel Short and Tenebrae for their quality of singing and commitment - iClassical
  • DEO

    £12.00
    The Choir of St John’s College Cambridge launch their new series of recordings with Signum by exploring the close connections between the college and celebrated British composer Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012), in a disc of works for choir and organ. Harvey’s music has influenced a generation of composers, described by The Guardian’s Tom Service as being “at once vividly contemporary and timeless”. The Choir’s director Andrew Nethsingha reflects on his own experiences and work with the Jonathan Harvey in CD’s programme note, in particular as the choir collaborated on what would be Jonathan Harvey’s final work for the choir, The Annunciation (2011).
  • In 1612, Prince Henry Frederick, son of James I and heir to the thrones of England and Scotland, died from a suspected bout of typhoid fever. His untimely death inspired a massive outpouring of artistic tributes in both verse and music, reflecting the mood of a nation mourning the loss of this popular future king at just 18 years of age. 'Dialogues of Sorrow' is the second disc from early music consort group Gallicantus, here joined by lutenist Elizabeth Kenny to perform familiar masterpieces and undiscovered treasures of the late English Renaissance, composed at the time of the young prince's death. The release follows the group's critically acclaimed debut recording, 'Hymns, Psalms and Lamentations' - music by Robert White. Editor's Choice: This is a perfect selection … lovingly and movingly performed - Early Music Today This is a well-sung, intelligently produced and exhaustively researched project, which deserves great success - International Record Review One of the the year’s best choral releases - TheArtsDesk.com
  • The choral works of Duruflé, like his organ works, are small in number but beautifully crafted. Frequently written and rewritten until he was completely satisfied, he was a composer who rethought and reconfigured his music right up to the moment he had to let go of it. Often described as a man out of step with his times, his pieces look back to Gregorian chant and plainsong at a time when the musical life of his home city of Paris was steeped in radical new compositional ideas – a testament perhaps to Duruflé’s enduring love of France’s choral heritage. In a new recording produced by Grammy® winning producer Blanton Alspaugh, the Houston Chamber Choir are led by artistic director Robert Simpson on their first release with Signum Records. ★★★★★ Houston Chamber Choir here offer beautifully presented accounts of all of Duruflé’s choral music - Choir & Organ ★★★★ No listener could fail to be impressed by both the quality of the compositions and performances - Cross Rhythms ★★★★ Beautifully crafted - Classical Source [Ken Cowan] certainly adds real distinction to this performance of the Requiem - Gramophone The Houston Chamber Choir, led  by their artistic director Robert Simpson, present an immaculate account of these works - The Northern Echo Beautiful, artistic singing and thoughtful, sensitive music-making at every turn - Dale Warland A superb recording to be treasured - Simon Carrington
  • Combining Gerorian chant with his own unique compostional style, Duruflé's Requiem has proved to be one of the most popular and enduring choral works of the 20th Century. On this recording, Jeremy Backhouse leads the celebrated Vasari Singers, as well as star soloists Sarah Connolly and Christopher Maltman , in a performance of this alongside works by Duruflé's musical contemporary, Jean-Jaques Grunenwald. The singing of the Vasari Singers is nothing short of superb… The catalogue boasts several fine recordings of the Duruflé Requiem but I think this one is now first choice, its attraction enhanced by the imaginative couplings - MusicWeb International ★★★★★ This superb disc is very strongly recommended - Musical Opinion Magazine
  • 2012 marks the 15th anniversary of the first release from the leading independent classical label Signum Records. Beginning life as an early music specialist (with a landmark release of the Complete Works of Thomas Tallis with Chapelle du Roi), Signum has grown since 1997 to a catalogue of over 300 releases across a wide range of genres. In this Early Music collection, you can hear a wide rage of works by Gallicantus, the OAE, Gabrieli Consort, Chapelle du Roi and many more all on one disc - all selected from titles across the Signum catalogue.
    Extracts from 26 discs of composers ranging from Tallis to Telemann provide Signum Classics with a colourful shop window from which we can pick and chooseBBC Music Magazine
  • Drawn from across the composer's lengthy career, this collection of Part-Songs and Choral Works explores the great variety and range within Elgar's work for choir and voices. Along with more well-known works such as Love and Deep in my Soul there are early pieces such as O Salutaris hostia (composed for small amateur choirs) that give hints of his later mature style, through to the 1928 piece I sing the Birth – a work that shows Elgar's ability to adapt to more contemporary styles of 20th-century choral composition. The Rodolfus Choir have established themselves as one of the leading youth choirs in Britain, made up of singers aged from 16 to 25 who have been chosen from past and present members of the Eton Choral Courses for prospective choral scholars. Many members of the Choir are choral scholars, some are at music college, and most hope to make a career in music. The Rodolfus Choir and Ralph Allwood are well-known for imaginative programming, and for presenting new music. The Rodolfus Choir’s recent CD recordings with Signum include music as diverse as Howells, Monteverdi, Grier, Tallis and the German Romantics. Elgarians and others tempted by the works assembled in this new collection can be assured that it is on a par with the best of them -International Record Review Trained impeccably by their director Ralph Allwood, the sound of these young voices is a mixture of sheer delight and sensitive musicianship ... For me the outstanding interpretation is of the Five Part Songs – it's simply stunning - Choir & Organ Give unto the Lord [rounds off] this hugely enjoyable disc with aplomb - Gramophone The Rodolfus Choir shine strongly in these well-loved Elgar part-songs choral worksMusicWeb International
  • Espana

    £12.00

    Coro Cervantes is the only U.K. choir dedicated to the classical music of the Iberan Peninsula and Latin America. It was founded in 1995 by Carlos Aransay, under the auspices of the Instituto Cervantes in London. Its repertoire spans a wide variety of music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the 21st Century, with a special emphasis on Romantic Music. Coro Cervantes often performs with distinguished solists and instrumentalists and contributes to the international propagation of Hispanic choral music through its performances, recordings and research. Its repertoire includes works sung in Latin, Spainsh (Castilian). Quechua (language of the Incas), Nahuatl (language of the Aztecs), Mediaeval Galician, Catalan, Basque and even in English.

    "What a contrast: the spiritual mysticism of Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Romancero Gitano to the drama of Carlos Surinach's Andalusian-spiced Via Crucis and then the climax - Marias Nobre's Yanomami, a vivid depiction of Brazilian indigenous ritual, with fine tenor solos from Julian Stocker. The choir performs with a fluidity that boasts expertise in Iberian style."
    SIGCD166 - Classical Music Magazine

  • Francis Poulenc is now considered to be among the most important composers of choral music of the 20th Century. Yet his early career reveals no trace of the dazzling and idiosyncratic unaccompanied choral textures so abundantly produced in the second half of his life.

    This new collection of Poulenc's choral works is centered on his masterwork, the Figure Humaine. Even though it is only 20 minutes in length, the work is a supreme test of stamina, technical agility, range, aural skill and musicianship. The professional chamber choir Tenebrae (directed by former King's Singer Nigel Short) are more than capable of tackling this repertoire, and this disc promises to provide a new benchmark in interpretations of the work.

    This disc follows from December 2009's well received Christmas album What Sweeter Music (SIGCD182).

  • "Singing together binds us together. From the Protestant Reformation in Europe during the 1500s to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, there have been countless moments in history when songs have united nations, cultures and causes. This is still the case in today’s world. Finding Harmony is evidence that music has always been our common language. A unique collection of pieces that span the globe – including music that’s too often forgotten – each song is the key to a powerful true story about who we are and how we’ve got here. Together, Finding Harmony proves how deeply we can be moved by all kinds of stories when songs connect us to them, and to each other."
  • 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.
  • Music to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of Francisco Guerrero. This recording celebrates the music of Francisco Guerrero and presents music form his collection of music written for the office of Vespers. The second half of the disc consists of Guerrero's Requiem mass in its original form. The style of plainchant heard and performed in Spain was rather different from that heard in other European territories. On this recording Chapelle du Roi has followed the instructions for semi-mensural performance given by Guerrero's colleague at Seville, Villafranca.
     
  • 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.

     

  • Gaudete

    £5.00
    Arranged by Classic FM's Hall of Fame 2004 'top-ten-composer' Karl Jenkins, sung by crack professional choir - Tenebrae - Gaudete is released on SignumClassics both with drums and percussion and as a pure, unadulterated, a cappella version Founded as recently as 2001, Tenebrae has been embraced by the public and critics alike as one of the most innovative and gifted groups in Britain. Tenebrae’s motto is “passion and precision”, but they also believe in accessibility, performing various different types of music as long as it’s good music, sung well. Gaudete (“rejoice”) is an anonymous composition that was first published in 1582 in a collection of carols and other religious songs called Piae Cantiones. This collection, made by a Scandinavian called Peter Nyland, included a huge number of other Christmas melodies that have since become ‘standards’, but it only gives music for the chorus of Gaudete; the verses, which tell of the wonder of God’s arrival on earth in human form, have been taken from a Czech medieval song about the Virgin Mary, Ezechielis Porta.
  • 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
  • Gesualdo

    £12.00
    Signum Records is proud to announce the release of the latest recording by The King's Singers: Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday. The Italian Prince, Carlos Gesualdo, is probably most famous for the obsessive double murder of his first wife along with her lover, but his music is not always accredited with the same sense of celebrity. Gesualdo is known in traditional history books as an amateur composer. His music is characterised by wild gesticulation and abrupt starts and stops, particular to a composer who just didn’t know what he was doing. However, the 20th century has now uncovered our composer’s place in history as part of a larger movement of Neapolitan artists, and as perhaps the most forward-thinking, expressive and sensual composer of his time. The King’s Singers were fascinated by the naked honesty that is heard within this 400 year old music. It is so startling that it keeps its freshness of surprise even on many repeated hearings. The music portrays a desperate and wretched, but also passionate and loving person who is set on composing "further out" than anyone else. Gesualdo moved in the highest circles of Italy and was extremely wealthy. His decadent lifestyle allowed him to do and write exactly as he pleased, and at the tender age of 19 it brought him into close contact with one of the most attractive and admired women in Naples. Maria d’Avalos was twice widowed by the age of 25. Her marriage to Gesualdo was initially promising. However, Maria’s rich social life soon dominated the relationship and a profound and constant jealousy took possession of the young and highly sensitive composer. After four years of turmoil he hired professional murderers to assist him in killing wife and lover while they were in bed together. The violence and rage of the act is well-documented. After the murder of Maria, Gesualdo suffered from severe and increasing feelings of guilt. Penitence never left him and he was moved to compose church music of a most black and self-reproachful nature. The programme on this CD represents part of the liturgy for the Matins Offices on the final three days of Holy Week, the Triduum Sacrum. Each of the Matins services is divided into three nocturns, each containing psalmody, three lessons and three responsaries. The attention given to word-painting is exemplary - The Times A no holds barred, immaculately sung performance from the King's Singers. Unmissable - Classic FM Magazine
  • Around the time The King’s Singers was starting up, one of the most productive periods of song- writing in history was coming to a close in America, starting with composers such as Gershwin, Kern, Berlin and Porter in the early 1920s, and continuing through to the early 1960s.

    In this new 2-CD studio recording – featuring brand new a cappella arrangements by jazz composer and arranger Alexander L’Estrange, and swing-orchestra performances with the South Jutland Symphony Orchestra – The King’s Singers bring their own unique performance style to this wonderful music. The King’s Singers bring their unique style to some of the most beloved hits from the golden era of songwritingThe Lady