• Following their highly successful releases on Signum (the Hymns Album and Handel’s Messiah conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras) the Huddersfield Choral Society is back in force with a magnificent collection of Christmas carols. This CD will be a perfect Christmas gift or glorious self-indulgence, absorbing the sacred and profane alike, beautifully performed and recorded for the festive season.
  • 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
  • Hear my words ye people by Hubert Parry, a former chorister at Eton College is the first track on the album featuring some of the bestloved anthems in the church repertoire, beautifully performed by the Eton College Chapel Choir. The choir, formed in the 14th-Century has changed a great deal since the choir school was succeeded by a music scholarship system, designed to facilitate talented choristers with their education. Although life has changed at Eton, the music passed down over five hundred years still possesses a power to stir.
  • The first disc to be released in The King’s Singers 40th anniversary year celebrates music by Portuguese, Spanish and Mexican composers from the period known as the Siglo de Oro, The Golden Age. The idea for the disc came from the King’s Singers church concert programmes, where the acoustics allowed great scope for drama. The music featured is exceptionally beautiful and deeply moving, with a combination of joyful and sorrowful s e ttings, indicating the substantial outpouring of music during this period. Regularly performing over 100 concerts per season, the King’s Singers delight audiences a round the world. As the London Times states, they are ‘still unmatched for their musicality and sheer ability to entertain’.

  • 5 much loved King’s Singers albums - boxed set of 5 CDs

    Exclusively on Signum Records To celebrate The King’s Singers 40th anniversary year, the group are releasing five of their bestselling Signum released albums from the last 6 years in a fantastic new CD boxed-set collection. The King’s Singers Collection includes Tallis’s masterpiece, Spem in alium, alongside magical works of our day (Landscape & Time), the overwhelming beauty of William Byrd (Treason & Dischord) and Gesualdo and with some ‘icing on the cake’ - King’s Singers lollipops on Six. After 40 years The King's Singers show no sign of slowing down. The five albums in this set were made in the space of three years and display the diversity and flexibility of the world's premiere a cappella ensemble. Gesualdo: Powerful and harmonically daring music, the dark texts for Holy Week resonated with the Italian prince Carlo Gesualdo's own life, which was mired in murder, guilt and obsession. His music sounds as fresh as the day he composed it. Six: Classic jazz and pop arrangements plus a commission from Joby Talbot, displaying the group's famous blended sound, perfect intonation and customary style. 1605: Follow the story of how a group of young religious zealots tried to change the faith of a nation by force. With music from Catholics and Protestants, this fascinating programme ends with a commission from Francis Pott which finds grim resonances with today's religious intolerances. Spem: Historians may not know exactly why Tallis wrote Spem in alium, but nobody disagrees that this majestic 40-part motet is one of the glories of renaissance art. Landscape & Time: We are all shaped by the surroundings and age in which we live. Listen to music, including five commissions, which give us different perspectives from England, Scotland, America, Japan, Hungary, Finland and Estonia.
  • After a gap of 10 years, The King's Singers have once again made a full a cappella studio album featuring sixteen stunning arrangements of pop ballads, spirituals and folksongs. Each track on this album has earned its place because of its great melody and, coupled with the impeccable style for which the group are justly famous, this album will delight its huge worldwide fan base. The King's Singers' incredible blend and tuning ensures that this is the classiest recording of its genre for a long time.
  • Choral music from the sixteenth-century, right up to the late-twentieth-century features on this beautiful eleven-track album, with stunning performances from The Choir of Royal Holloway. The Chapel Choir was established in 1886 for women’s voices & became a mixed choir in 1965. Forty-three years on and the choir have made 14 CD recordings & have toured most European countries, under the guidance of Rupert Gough, who began his musical training as a chorister at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace.
  • 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.
  • The early music ensemble Gallicantus was born within the ranks of the world-class choir Tenebrae, when five of the choir’s regulars, each with a wealth of experience in the world of consort singing, decided to form a separate group dedicated to renaissance music. Literally meaning Rooster Song or cock crow, Gallicantus is a word from monastic antiquity for the office held just before the dawn. It evokes the renewal of life offered by the coming day. The group is bound by a shared love of communicating text, and is committed to creating performances which draw out unifying themes within apparently diverse repertoire: To this end they are as meticulous about providing context and insight for audiences as they are about crafting interpretations of the music they love. What better respite from the secular pressures of Christmas shopping than these sublime sacred sounds from the late 16th century … beautifully recorded - The Observer Taste the final amens in Exaudiat te, Dominus, where imitative exchanges spiral in ecstasy. Impassioned, exciting musicThe Times What an outstanding disc … never once is there a loss of clarity, a hint of muddinessGramophone
     
  • 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 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.
  • Combining perennial favourites with wonderful new discoveries, these immediately appealing pieces reflect the much-loved repertoire at the heart of a King’s Singers programme, performed with the skill and flair that distinguishes the group as one of the world’s most popular a cappella ensembles. Includes works by Elgar, Schumann, Schubert and Saint-Saëns, as well as a new piece by popular American composer Libby Larsen. This latest venture between Signum Classics and The King’s Singers follows hot on the heels of a Live DVD and CD release of their 2008 performance for the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall (SIGDVD005 and SIGCD150), and the 2008 Grammy-nominated album Simple Gifts (SIGCD121).
  • The King's Singers celebrate their 40-year anniversary with a live BBC Proms performance from the Royal Albert Hall. This disc demonstrates the skill, flair and versatility you would come to expect from a King's Singers performance, sampling the besrt from their vast repertoire. The King's Singers have maintained their place at the apex of a cappella singing and are amongst the world's elite classical performers. Following this concert The Daily telegraph said "every edge was bevelled smooth" and the Guardian described it as "flawlessly realised". Click here to see the DVD version of this disc
  • '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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Stainer: Crucifixion

    £8.00£12.00
    Founded in 1836, the Huddersfield Choral Society has long been a major part of the town’s vibrant musical tradition. Under a succession of distinguished principal condutors and chorus masters it has developed an international reputation as the UK’s leading choral society. Although enjoying a close working relationship with any leading professional orchestras and conductors, the Society is a independent and self-governing amateur choir, drawing talented singers from a wide area across Yokshire and the north of England. This is the Huddersfield Choral Society’s fourth release with Signum Records. Other releases include SIGCD074 Messiah, SIGCD079 The Hymns Album and SIGCD108 The Carols Album. ★★★★ The Crucifixion is a work of its time, but a performance as good as this one shows that its expressive quality is timeless - The Daily Telegraph This style of performance by the Huddersfield Choral Society under Joseph Cullen’s highly sensitive direction provides a vital instance of how The Crucifixion was conceived – that is, to be sung with romantic, emotional conviction, by a choir that revels in the sound of rich, chromatic harmony - Gramophone This is an excellent recording wholeheartedly recommended - Classic FM
  • Naked Byrd

    £12.00
    The varied programme of this recording identifies, as Armonico Consort’s director, Christopher Monks describes, ‘... a wide range of pieces united by the tendency of their composers to wear their hearts on their sleeves and their ability to fix a sense of raw emotion on paper’. For the majority of the composers represented here, the reasons for revealing naked sentiments through their music is as a response to a religious theme, whether through the suppression of particular relgious practices or the influence of relgious ideals themselves. Crossing several centuries, from the sixteenth to the present day this disc displays how every generation has been inspired to use both sacred and secular music as a powerful medium to express their personal emotions. Includes Allegri's Miserere Mei
  • Tenebrae is a professional chamber choir, founded and directed by Nigel Short in 2001. Often performing by candlelight, the choir creates an atmosphere of spiritual and musical reflection, where medieval chant and renaissance works are interspersed with contemporary compositions. The carefully selected team of singers use the acoustic and atmostphere of the building to enable the audience to experience the power and intimacy of the human voice. Tenebrae has an exceptionally wide repertoire from early, through renaissance, baroque and classical music, to romantic and twentieth century works, plus a range of specially commissioned pieces, the most recent of which is Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles. What Sweeter Music is a real festive treat, with a sumptuous collection of songs and carols for Christmas - touching on traditional favourites (Silent Night, Away in a Manger), modern classics (The Lamb, What Sweeter Music) and some new light-hearted arrangements (Jingle Bells, We Wish You a Merry Christmas). ★★★★ An exquisite account of Rutter’s There is a flower - Classical Music Magazine Superbly sung and plenty of fun - The Gramophone A jazzy Jingle Bells launches this varied and seductively sung programme - The Telegraph
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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).

  • The Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Christmas concerts are one of the highlights of this celebrated ensemble’s musical year. Joined by the RSNO Junior Chorus, this disc captures some highlights of these concerts with a selection of festive favourites both old and new. The mix is infectious and the performances full of fun and panache - The Daily Telegraph There are plenty of Christmas albums around, as you know, but this one is blessed with an extra dose of charm. Listening to it, I can almost smell the cranberry sauce - Classic FM Magazine
  • Eton College Chapel Choir perform an enchanting selection of 20th Century French Choral and Organ music. As well as music by composers who were at the heart of French musical life in Paris, such as Olivier Messiaen and Francis Poulenc, this disc features works by lesser-known composers such as Déodat de Severac and Pierre Villette.

    The choir’s history can be charted back to the founding of Eton in 1441 by Henry VI. The present day choir is comprised of Eton students (with the occasional master), about half of whom have been choristers at cathedrals or chapels before they come to Eton for their secondary education.

  • J.S. Bach: St John Passion

    £8.00£18.00
    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
  • 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
  • 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

     
  • "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
  • 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. 

     

     

     
  • 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
  • This recording is compiled from Armonico Consort’s ‘Naked Byrd’ programme, featuring music by Tavener, Purcell, Barber and Byrd, composers who wore their hearts on their sleeves, and whose art saw their emotions laid bare, in an atmospheric concert where magical musical moments are intertwined with sublime passages of plainchant and violin improvisation. ‘Naked Byrd Two’ follows on from their December 2009 release (‘Naked Byrd’). Armonico Consort is, at its heart, a highly talented vocal ensemble that stages a wide variety of concerts. The quality of the performances they stage is reflected in the praise they have recently received: An achingly beautiful selection - Classic FM Superb!The Times A beautiful soundBBC Radio 3 Record Review [A] splendid second volume in the Armonico Consort’s Naked Byrd seriesThe Independent
    [A] disc of unending delight - Gramophone
  • 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
  • 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
  • Handel’s Messiah

    £8.00£12.00
    The Huddersfield Choral Society continue their esteemed relationship with Signum Records with arguably the best-loved musical work of all time Messiah, more than two and a half centuries on from that celebrated first performance in Dublin’s New Music Hall in April 1742. The buoyant chorus, under Glover's incisive direction, goes from strength to strength - The Times Glover's emphasis on firm tempi and natural articulation pushes this version to the head of the queue, for newcomers and adepts alike … a rugged and utterly musical Messiah - Choir & Organ A modern symphonic chorus in good form, well drilled by chorus master Joseph Cullen and thoroughly prepared for the considerable demands of Jane Glover's fleet-footed interpretation … Elizabeth Watts and Catherine Wyn-Rogers add deep emotional impact to the performance - Classic FM Magazine
  • Tomás Luis de Victoria's requiem mass for six voices, written in 1603 and published in 1605, is a masterpiece. It is one of a handful of large-scale works which enjoys mainstream appeal in the 21st century. For many, it represents what Renaissance polyphony is, what it sounds and feels like, and how expressive it can be. The disc also features two well-known works by Victoria's contemporary Alonso Lobo. ★★★★ Victoria’s Requiem Mass is one of the acknowledged masterpieces of Renaissance choral polyphony, and Tenebrae here exquisitely conveys the flowing relationships between its six voices - The Independent ★★★★ Tenebrae’s performance, directed by Nigel Short, is gently sustained, immaculately balanced and wrapped in a luminous acoustic … If you have ever developed a resistance to Renaissance polyphony, this could be the disc to make you think again - The Financial Times This recording does justice both to the genius of Victoria and to the musicality of Tenebrae - BBC Music Magazine  
  • Beethoven’s euphoric Symphony No. 9, like his Symphony No. 5, is one of those pieces of classical music which transcends the barrier between musical genres – one of the few pieces of the classical canon in the popular consciousness. Few can fail to be uplifted and caught up in the joyous Ode to Joy finale. For this performance, recorded live at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1994, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment were joined by the renowned conductor and long-time collaborator, Sir Charles Mackerras, a partnership between him and the OAE that lasted almost a quarter of a century. ★★★★★ One of the most thrilling Beethoven interpretations I have ever heard. It bristles with revolutionary spirit … The OAE play like gods and demons - The Financial Times ★★★★★ The slow movement is full of spiritual balm. The outer movements are elemental in proper revolutionary style; the finale’s found British soloists are excellent. Highly recommended - The Mail on Sunday Fine choral singing by the New Company, and Mackerras's masterly control, make the finale as electrifying as only it can be - The Times
  • A leading light in the world of youth choral music, the Rodolfus Choir is made up of choristers from ages 16-25 who are past and present participants of the Eton Choral Courses, begun by the choir's director Ralph Allwood in 1980. This new Christmas programme mixes the familiar with works not usually heard in carol services – such as Tomas Luis de Victoria's stunning eight-part, two-choir Ave Maria (from an edition prepared by John Rutter), and more recent works such as Chris Chivers' Ecce Puer and Eric Whitacre's Lux Aurumque. Such a programme is well-suited to a choir with the versatility and enthusiasm of the Rodolfus choir. [The choir’s] discipline and diction throughout a testing programme is exemplary - The Daily Mail Beautifully sung - The Daily Telegraph The freshness of attack you get with younger voices is put to incisive use by conductor Ralph Allwood, whose Rodolfus singers are all products of the famous Eton choral courses - BBC Music Magazine
    The sweet/sour harmonies of Warlock's Bethlehem Down are so deliciously balanced that it is difficult not to leap up from the fireside and press the backtrack button to hear this magical performance over and over again - International Record Review  
  • A must-have for choral-aficionados everywhere that sees perhaps the world’s finest a cappella ensemble The King’s Singers join forces with The Concordia Choir – one of the USA’s best collegiate groups – to perform works by choral composers Eric Whitacre, Bob Chilcott and Morten Lauridsen.

    One of the world’s most celebrated ensembles, The King’s Singers have a packed schedule of concerts, recordings, media and education work that spans the globe. Championing the work of young and established composers, they remain consummate entertainers; a class-act with a delightfully British wit. From Gesualdo and György Ligeti to Michael Bublé, The King’s Singers are instantly recognisable for their spot-on intonation, their impeccable vocal blend, the flawless articulation of the text and incisive timing.

     

    The Concordia Choir of Moorhead, Minnesota is one of America’s finest a cappella choirs. Since 1920, the 72-voice choir has performed in nearly every major hall including Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center and has taken numerous international tours. The Choir is broadcast throughout the United States on public radio stations and on television via its Emmy-award winning Concordia Christmas Concert.

    Includes the world premiere recordings of Alone by Eric Whitacre, and High Flightanyone lived in a pretty how town and Days by Bob Chilcott

     

     

     

     

  • 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/

  • Following a string of five-star reviews for their previous discs of 20th-century French choral music (Poulenc’s Figure Humaine – SIGCD197) and Renaissance polyphony (Victoria’s Requiem Mass – SIGCD248), the professional chamber-choir Tenebrae go from strength to strength with this new recording of British partsongs and choral music – centered on Hubert Parry’s Songs of Farewell. Composed towards the end of Parry’s life, the Songs of Farewell have taken on something of an epithetical interpretation; they are almost a musical summation of his compositional life, reflecting Parry’s love of English renaissance madrigals and partsongs as much as the influence on his work from German composers like Brahms – made more complicated as these works were composed as the country (and its music) fell out of favour at the start of the Great War. This disc also includes works by Tavener, Sullivan, Holst, Rodney Bennett, Howells, Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Editor's Choice: Precision, spot-on intonation and sensitive phrasing inform Tenebrae's affectionate performances of these settings of great English poets, the texts of which are provided in the classily produced booklet - Classic FM Magazine A tour-de-force of feather-light, eight-part polyphony - The Independent Performed with Tenebrae’s customary poise - The Financial Times Conductor Nigel Short extracts the themes of desperate longing beautifully from a clean and well balanced choral sound - BBC Music Magazine
  • After the triumphant success of the King’s Singers last Christmas Album released in 2003 entitled ‘Christmas’, this new disc sets an eclectic assortment of modern Christmas classics with special arrangements of some much loved favourites.
    Stand-out moments include Tchaikovsky's thoughtful The Crown of Roses, Lawson's gentle Lullay my Liking and Pierpont's hyperactively jolly jingle bells, which they whizz through as though the words 'technically challenging' had vanished from the dictionaryBBC Music Magazine An eminently enjoyable release that will please fans of The King’s Singers and lovers of Christmas music alikeMusicWeb International A delightful holiday releaseAll Music Guide
  • A new festive release from the Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge under their director Mark Williams – with additional performances from organists Robert Dixon and Timothy Lambourn, and trumpeter Rebecca Crawshaw. A very well chosen selection of Christmas Choral music magnificently sung - MusicWeb International It's a performance of full, rich sounds from a group who are among the unsung heroes of a collegiate choir circuit currently dominated by the larger colleges - BBC Music Magazine
  • Shared Ground is a set of works by the British composer Alec Roth, featuring several poems and sung texts by the Indian writer Vikram Seth. The title piece of the same name is inspired by Seth’s poetry following a decision to buy and live in the Old Rectory in Bemerton – the former home of the 17thcentury poet and priest George Herbert. Other works on the disc expand this idea of a shared home or dwelling, with Earthrise – the reflections of Apollo astronauts on viewing the planet from orbit – and Hymn to Gaia.

    This disc follows the 2008 release of Roth’s Songs in Time of War (SIGCD124), featuring the tenor Mark Padmore with Philippe Honoré, Alison Nichols (harp) and Morgan Szymanski (guitar).

     

     

     

  • The Psalms of David are arguably the portion of the Old Testament that has been enfolded most completely within the Christian tradition and its liturgies. Their messages of strife and joy, prayer and praise, resonate strong and loud alongside the teachings of Jesus, and find special expression in musical settings. This disc is an exploration of all these themes, as interpreted by composers over the course of four and a half centuries – with music by Allegri, Bernstein, Byrd, Parry, Purcell and Wesley. 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. This is Signum’s second disc with the choir, following 2010’s release of ‘The Majesty of Thy Glory’ (SIGCD225). Such enterprising and polished music-making deserves widespread currency. The engineering and editing are faultless, the booklet comprehensive and informative. Many choirs (and organists) could learn much from this jubilant release, which proves that the Temple Church Choir is among the very best. Strongly recommended - Gramophone The highlight is the beautiful version of Allegri's Miserere mei, Dues, with its solo treble soaring high - The Independent
    The polish of the choir's singing, combining a beautifully honed treble line with characterful yet restrained adult voices, is all recorded with fine balance. Copious sleeve notes add value to a very attractive release - Choir and Organ

    As heard here, the choir of 18 boys and 12 men has a highly impressive and solid choral tone well served by a warm recorded sound and excellent presence. They are clearly one of the finest choirs in England ... If this recording is any indication, [Vivian's] work with the choir is outstanding American Record Guide

  • This is the first in a new series of releases from the world-renowned conductor Paul McCreesh and his Gabrieli Consort. Recorded in Poland as part of the Wratislava Cantans Festival (of which McCreesh is artistic director) this staggering performance of Berlioz's 'Grand Mass for the Dead' is produced by a force of over 400 performers - drawn from the Gabrieli Consort and Players, the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir and students from Chetham's School of Music. Future releases with McCreesh will include Mendelssohn's Elijah, Haydn's The Seasons, Britten's War Requiem and a re-recording of their famed disc 'A Venetian Coronation'. Founded in 1982 by Artistic Director Paul McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort & Players are worldrenowned interpreters of great choral and instrumental repertoire, spanning from the renaissance to the present day. Their performances encompass virtuosic a cappella programmes, mould-breaking reconstructions of music for historical events, and major works from the oratorio tradition. They are regular visitors to the world's most prestigious concert halls and festivals and have built a large and distinguished discography. Anyone in search of a transformative listening experience, Berlioz agnostics among them, should make this release a priority purchaseClassic FM Magazine The contrapuntal intricacy of Berlioz's choral writing is done with precision and firm accents, the haunted atmosphere of the 'Quid sum miser' interpreted with restrained, eloquently inflected choral singing and poignant instrumental interjectionsGramophone Berlioz’s 1837 Grande Messe has rarely sounded so thrilling or transparentThe Independent on Sunday
  • 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
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