• Hymns are part of the UK’s national culture, available to believers and non-believers alike. Some of the most popular hymn-tunes featured here – such as O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded or Good Christians All – are over four hundred years old, while others date from the latter half of the 20th century. Founded in 1836, the internationally renowned Huddersfield Choral Society is one of UK’s leading choral groups. Famed for their ‘Huddersfield Sound’, they have a long established histoy of recordings and performances, appearing at the BBC Proms in 2018 as well as broadcasing regualarly on radio and television. A must for choral devotees - The Northern Echo
  • One of the UK’s most lauded composers, Roxanna Panufnik celebrates her 50th birthday with a new release of her previously unrecorded choral music, performed by leading British choir Ex Cathedra under Jeffrey Skidmore. Known for her interest in world music, the programme includes performances from Indian arts organisation Milapfest on Unending Love, as well as the a recording of Child of Heaven: Dawn Chorus III – a new commission from Ex Cathedra that sets a Hymn to Dawn from the Rig Veda.

    Roxanna has written a wide range of pieces including opera, ballet, music theatre, choral works, chamber compositions and music for film and television which are regularly performed all over the world. This disc follows the 2017 release of 99 Words (SIGCD519), combining works by Panufnik and Sir John Tavener.

    ★★★★ Beguiling and soothing, it’s Panufnik at her most individual - Classical Source ★★★★ Very exciting - All Music A pleasurable disc - Gramophone

    The work is elegantly-shaped and full of warmth, rather like this disc as a whole - BBC Music Magazine

    This album is a fine and nicely varied birthday gift from Ex Cathedra to Roxanna Panufnik - Music Web 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.
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • As 2014 heralds the composer’s 80th year, Harrison Birtwistle remains one of the most popular voices in contemporary composition in the UK and beyond. This new collection of premiere recordings draws together recent commissions with older works to mark the occasion, with characteristically flawless performances from the BBC Singers under Nicholas Kok. They are joined on this disc by the Nash Ensemble and baritone Roderick Williams.

    Best Classical CDs of 2014 The Guardian ★★★★★ Recorded after a memorable Proms UK premiere last year, The Moth Requiem is one of Birtwistle's most austerely beautiful works ... The Ring Dance of the Nazarene, featuring a standout contribution from Williams, is similarly striking, as are performances and recording - Classical Music Magazine Birtwistle’s characteristic melodic angularity and rhythmic complexity are duly represented in six pieces written between 1965 and 2012, including two strikingly evocative recent triumphs — the buoyantly mystic Ring Dance of the Nazarene and the shadowy, haunting Moth Requiem — with all of it sung supremely well - The New York Times Birtwistle is scaling new heights just now, and the elegiacMoth Requiem transports us to a sonic world of beguiling mystery. These singers have his music in their bones, presenting it with precision and sensitivity, be it the stark, monumental Carmen Paschale, a glistening gem of a Lullaby or the dynamic Ring Dance of the Nazarene- BBC Music Magazine
  • 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
  • Orlande de Lassus, Europe’s most famous musician during his lifetime, created nothing finer than the Lagrime di San Pietro, a collection of twenty spiritual madrigals and one motet for seven voices; A cycle of intense reflections on the sorrows of St Peter following his denial of Christ, it was assembled shortly before the composer’s death in 1594 and dedicated to Pope Clement VIII. Into this collection Lassus pours every dramatic nuance and piece of harmonic invention he could possibly muster, hurling the listener through the stages of Peter’s rage, remorse and resignation, and concluding with a motet that presents Christ’s response to the world. Gallicantus's robust and committed account will hearten those who fear for the future of this repertory on disc. The countertenors on the top lines are a vigorous alternative to women's voices - Gramophone Magazine Recording of the Month: This recording is something that absolutely must be experienced. You will not regret it at all - MusicWeb International
  • Will Todd is one of the UKs most popular and performed modern choral composers. His output includes works for choir, stage works, and orchestral works, and his music has been featured on BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4 and Classic FM, and performed all over the UK, Europe and the USA. On this disc, Nigel Short conducts superlative performances of his works by his BBC Music Magazine Award-winning choir Tenebrae and the English Chamber Orchestra. This compilation of his works includes the premiere recording of a new comission 'The Call of Wisdom', which on June 5th 2012 will be presented on the occasion of a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral for the Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II. [A] disc of miniature but perfectly formed musical marvelsGramophone
  • On a new disc to celebrate the 2012 Diamond Jubilee, The King's Singers present a selection of works from the past 500 years written in honour of the great Monarchs of Britain. Starting with works for (and in some cases by) Henry VIII, the programme covers the Elizabethan 'Triumphs of Oriana' by composers such as Gibbons, Mundy and Dowland; a very Victorian selection of dedicatory works by Elgar, Parry and Parratt; choral arrangements from the opera 'Glorianna' by Benjamin Britten; and a new piece by Paul Drayton that comically pens 'A Rough Guide to the Royal Succession'. Drayton is perhaps best known to fans of The King's Singers as the composer of their much-loved encore work Masterpiece. A notably intelligent, enjoyable Jubilee offering - BBC Music Magazine Premier English a cappella group provides its own celebrations in Jubilee Year - New Zealand Herald
  • One of the most versatile musicians of his generation, Richard Rodney Bennett was at the forefront of British musical life for nearly half a century. This new recording from the National Youth Choir of Scotland's National Girls Choir compiles a programme of Bennett's choral works from across his compositional life, as well as a collection of charming folk-tunes and nursery rhymes for piano duet (Over the Hills and Far Away).
     
    This is Signum's second release with NYCoS, who in 2011 became the first youth arts organization to receive a Royal Philharmonic Society Award.
     
  • Few composers of any age have enjoyed the widespread admiration and unanimous praise of successive generations as Josquin Desprez. He is considered the greatest creator and innovator of musical composition during the Renaissance, and for some half a millennium his music has stood the test of time. He is remembered as much for his own works as for his lasting influence on those of his contemporaries and students, demonstrated in many of the compositions in tribute of 'the master' featured in this programme. The programme's centrepiece is Jean Richafort's Requiem mass (missa pro defunctis), a tribute that employs several of Josquin's compositional devices. The King's Singers once again demonstrate their versatility and trademark precision in this new programme devised by leading early-music scholar and conductor David Skinner. The centrepiece is Jean Richaford's Requiem, with flowing counterpoint spiced by rich dissonances. But the most astonishing work is Jacquet de Mantua's Dum vastos, weaving together five Josquin 'hits' - The Times All the Kings' Singers' performances are admirably manicured - The Guardian Those voices emerging from sublime textures and tugging at the heartstrings have their own special quality, and I’ve found myself increasingly admiring the qualities of this performance the more I’ve delved into its expressive beneficence - MusicWeb International
  • Signum Records is delighted to present Chapelle du Roi’s eleventh release with the label. This recording offers a selection of music spanning the life and reign of Charles V, undoubtedly the most powerful man in 16th-century Europe, from his early teenage years to his death in 1558. Charles was a devout Catholic, and maintained a chapel employing some of the most notable composers of the period, including Nicolas Gombert and Thomas Crecquillon, who Charles referred to as ‘the truest Opheus of the age’. Closely identified with the Order of the Golden Fleece, which gave rise to the L’homme armé tradition, Charles V was said to have a musical ear. A great deal of music survives that is associated directly with him and his patronage – a selection of which is presented on this recording. The music composed for rulers frequently mixed the heavenly with the secular, and a great many pieces were written to celebrate political conquests and occasions within the court. For example, Cristóbal Morales possibly wrote his Missa L'homme armé as an offering for Charles’s wedding to Isabella of Portugal. Near the end of Charles’s reign, the young composer Orlandus Lassus was just starting his career, and seeking preferment. He offered his secular motet, Heroum Soboles to Charles in the hope that he would join the prestigious Capilla Flamenca. He was unsuccessful, however Charles’s minister, Bishop Granvelle of Arras helped Lassus to secure his position at the court of Duke Albrecht of Bavaria – a musical establishment that was no less magnificent. The last years of Charles life were troubled by his failure to convert the Protestants back into the Roman Catholic Church, and to lead a universal Catholic empire. His death resounded throughout the Empire, and Don Fernando de las Infantas marked his passing with a setting of Parce Mihi Domine, the best-known of the texts from Matins pro defunctis.
  • Signum Records is delighted to announce that the choir of Magdalen College Oxford will release their first disc with Signum in early 2003. Entitled The Songs of Angels the disc will consist of repertoire written by the distinguished 15th and 16th century Magdalen Informator Choristarum.  These young choral scholars are an impressive group of musicians - BBC Radio 3 Record Review A superb release, as much for its historical interest as for the unarguable excellence of the music-making - Gramophone
  • When an ensemble like the BBC Singers, renowned for its commitment to the music of our own time, sets out to record a Christmas CD you can be sure that the repertoire will include material rather different from the usual run of popular standards and arrangements! One star at last includes eight new carols (six of them specially-commissioned by BBC Radio 3), several premiere recordings, and a selection of music - serious and light-hearted, contemplative and joyful - by some of the leading British, European and North American choral composers of the day. Astonishingly high standards of choral singing ... excellent performances and the organ contributions by Robert Quinney are all splendid ... Enthusiastically recommendedMusicweb International
  • Signum Classics are proud to release the second disc from the Vasari Singers on Signum Classics, Anthems for the 21st Century. To celebrate its first twenty-five years of vibrant music making, the Vasari Singers commissioned ten composers to each write an anthem that would in their eyes reflect the state of the world at the start of the new millennium. The brief indicated that each work should be suitable as an anthem in an Anglican cathedral Evensong, and that it could also look beyond any constraints of Liturgy or formal religious doctrine to embrace a wider, ecumenical audience. Perhaps something more humanistic that would have a voice in the multi-cultural, multi-faith societies of the new 21st century world? ★★★★ The consistently high level of invention and diverse styles contribute to the album's overall success - Classic FM Magazine The Vasari Singers and Jeremy Backhouse have few equals - Gramophone The choir sings with feeling and perception - Choir & Organ
  • The Huddersfield Choral Society has an international reputation as the UK's leading choral society. producing a unique and full-bodied 'Huddersfield Sound'. This disc features some of our nation's most loved hymns and we hope that you'll agree that no better expression of the joy engendered by a goodly number of voices singing these hymns may be found than in the grand forces of the Huddersfield Choral Society. Our range attempts to cover an unaffected, pure lyricism through to a vast, full-throated sound that might shake the rafters of the sturdiest church. Our previous two hymn and carol albums were released in 1985; both received gold discs for achieving over 100,000 sales.
  • The Swingle Singers, Featuring Shlomo & The Vocal Orchestra 

    With a stunning selection of brand new arrangements, the Swingles’ return to disc promises some of their best and most memorable performances to date on this studio album.

    The warm, beautiful tone and precision of the groups voices are combined with a modern edge; with vocal percussion and beatboxing featuring guest performances from Shlomo, the world renowned beatboxer, and the Vocal Orchestra.

    ...make it funky now
  • Following its successful premiere performance earlier this year, Francis Pott’s highly anticipated recording of The Cloud of Unknowing is likely to be musical milestone and a choral great. Drawing together a variety of texts and musical influences, Pott weaves together a deep and emotional work with an ethos reminiscent of Michael Tippett’s ‘War Oratorio’. Featuring:
    The Vasari Singers
    James Gilchrist, tenor
    Jeremy Filsell, organ
    Jeremy Backhouse, conductor

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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).