• 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.
  • 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
  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford celebrate the works of choral music icon Herbert Howells in a disc that sets his works alongside pieces that they inspired and influenced – such as Nico Muhly’s Like as the Hart for choir, solo violin and percussion – as well as works that in turn influenced him. The disc features two world premiere recordings by David Bednall: settings of two Marian antiphons Alma redemptoris mater and Ave regina caelorum that ‘complete’ the partly-lost set of works that Howells wrote for Westminster Cathedral.

    Led by their director Owen Rees, 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 music from Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces to contemporary works, including commissions.

    ★ A distinguished disc - Choir and Organ

    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 Gramophone

    This is a welcome disc of some lesser-known repertoire - Cathedral Music Magazine A well planned collection of British sacred musicMusic Web International
  • Drawing international media attention following their founding in 2014, The Girls’ Choir of Canterbury Cathedral have quickly become leading lights in the British choral music landscape. For their first recording with Signum – led by their director David Newsholme – they draw on the rich catalogue of what have become British cathedral anthems from the 16th Century to the 20th, performing works by composers including Tallis, Byrd, Stanford, Parry and Howells. They are joined on this recording by the Men of Canterbury Cathedral choir, as well as organists Aidan Bawtree and Nicholas Wearne. ★★★★ A highly enjoyable, well recorded CD that flows well and contains some wonderful singing… Go ahead and buy it! - iClassical The Girls and Men of Cantebury Cathedral Choir [draw] in the rich catalogue of what have become British cathedral anthems - Northern Echo
  • Early music consort Contrapunctus return to disc on Signum for the second release in their series centred on music of the Baldwin Partbooks (In the Midst of Life, SIGCD408). John Baldwin was a member of the choir of St George’s chapel, Windsor, and his transcriptions during the 1570s and 80s create one of the greatest surviving collections of Marian polyphony, composed during the reigns of Henry VIII and Mary Tudor. This volume explores texts celebrating Mary as mother of God, and on the Virgin and her Child.
    Contrapunctus, led by Owen Rees, couple powerful interpretations with pioneering scholarship. Currently Vocal Consort in Residence at Oxford University, the ensemble’s first two recordings, Libera nos and In the Midst of Life, were both shortlisted for the Gramophone Early Music Award.
  • Following in Signum’s series of composer-led releases with the BBC Singers, this new disc represents the culmination of a collaboration between British composer Bernard Hughes and the choir that began in 2002. Combining modern poetry by E. E. Cummings and Siegfried Sassoon alongside Norse poetry, Hughes combines both ancient and modern elements into his compositions, which are ably performed by the BBC Singers under Paul Brough.

     

    Bernard Hughes’s music has been performed at major venues in Britain and abroad and received a number of broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. He was runner-up at the 2009 British Composer Awards for the choral work The Death of Balder (featured on this recording).

     

     
  • Greensleeves is a celebration of music spanning the length and breadth of the British Isles, featuring mesmerising new arrangements by Geoffrey Webber and Toby Young of some of the most beautiful folk music ever written. The recording includes Loch Lomond, Lisa La?n and of course, perhaps the most famous British melody ever written - Greensleeves.

     

  • Joining their other celebrated Bene Arte releases, this new disc from Tenebrae Consort under Nigel Short – an exceptional group of singers handpicked from the award-winning choir Tenebrae – combines a stunning selection of arrangements and songs by British choral icon Bob Chilcott. Including several premiere recordings, the programme combines music and words from across the world including Japan, Canada, America, France and the UK. The Tenebrae Consort, drawn from Nigel Short's equally celebrated Tenebrae Choir, here bring the same perfect technique and miraculous sense of ensemble to 22 instantly attractive songs arrangements by Bob Chilcott - The Observer Delightful...Tenebrae, directed by their founder Nigel Short, are predictably excellent throughout - Classic FM Tenebrae Consort perform with impeccable professionalism under director Nigel Short - Choir & Organ This album may be new repertoire for the group, but in many ways it's classic Tenebrae - faultless tuning, perfect blend, pure soprano sound, all beautifully recorded - Gramophone
  • A beautiful collection of songs, Only a Singing Bird features Michael Head’s best-known works, The Ships of Arcady and The Little Road to Bethlehem, as well as his beautifully-imagined, nostalgic song-cycle, Snowbirds.

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

     

     

  • 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
  • Purcell’s ever-green chamber opera Dido & Aeneas, its story drawn from Virgil’s epic, the Aeneid, is performed by the Armonico Consort with an astounding selection of soloists. Armonico Consort is one of the largest and most innovative organisations of its kind in the UK, existing to inspire audiences with its unique programmes. ★★★★ Lithe, colourful, tastefully phrased and dynamically astute playing...[the cast] sing compellingly and inhabit their roles with the same sensitivity that distinguishes the whole performanceThe Daily Telegraph
    A clean, uncluttered account featuring crystalline voices, good diction, safe tempos and well-defined phrasing...vocal ensembles are luminous and the instrumental playing is bright and streamlined. Best of all is Rachael Lloyd's dignified Dido, rich-voiced, poetic and flawlessly deliveredThe Guardian The Armonico Consort and its musical director, Christopher Monks, capture this abundance of inspiration in a performance full of life and variety...Rachael Lloyd's dignified Dido and Elin Manahan Thomas's bright Belinda are well contrastedFinancial Times This small-scale version of Purcell's evergreen masterpiece has much to commend itEarly Music Today
  • The Temple Church Choir gives the world premiere recording of Nico Muhly’s Our present charter – a brand new four-movement work commissioned by the choir to celebrate 800 years since the sealing of the Magna Carta.  Directed by Roger Sayer and featuring organist Greg Morris, the recording also features choral works by Parry, Vaughan Williams, Walton, Bairstow, Tavener and Haydn.

    ★★★★★ Sensitive interpretations enhance the excellence of the singing... Highly Reccomended -  Choir & Organ ★★★★ Under their new director Roger Sayer the choir is obviously on strong form - Planet Hugill These superb recordings serve as sonorous reminders of the British choral tradition and its vibrant contemporary lifeOpera News
  • Peter Seymour and the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists present a new edition of Bach’s first version of the Matthäus-Passion, probably first performed on Good Friday 1727 and one of the greatest works of J.S. Bach’s prodigious output. Recorded at the National Centre for Early Music in York, the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists are joined by the renowned soloists Charles Daniels and Peter Harvey. Significant readings that inspire further thinking about the greatest of all Passions - Choir and Organ Seymour’s pacing often has a comfortable feeling of ‘rightness’ and integrity - Gramophone
  • Armonico Consort return to disc on Signum with a festive selection of classic carols and hymns alongside new commissions and arrangements. The programme is rounded off by Benjamin Britten’s timeless A Ceremony of Carols. If you want this particular programme it is hard to imagine it being better performedEarly Music Review Highly recommended - Northern Echo Intimate, small-scale performances of mainly familiar titlesBBC Music Magazine
  • Tenebrae Consort is an outstanding group of musicians, with singers hand-picked from the award winning chamber choir Tenebrae. Known for their instinctive ensemble skills, the singers and instrumentalists are directed from within the Consort by Nigel Short who leads the group to attain music making of the highest quality. Focussing on the repertoire originally written for consort performance, particularly early music, Tenebrae Consort aim to shed new interpretative light on works through the combination of both passion and precision, creating an intimate and unique concert experience. On this recording they explore classic works at the very heart of the Medieval and early-Renaissance British Choral Tradition. [The recording displays] this group's famous sensitivity toward musical structure, as well as their exquisite harmonic control - BBC Music Magazine The velvety tones of the Tenebrae Consort singing Sarum chant associated with Compline for Passiontide made me wonder just how this music actually sounded in the Middle Ages - Early Music Review Following on from Tenebrae's Russian disc this is a highly imaginative programme. It takes a nicely purist view and gives us the complete Compline service and with the additions makes a satisfying whole. I do hope that they record more - Planet Hugill
  • As the centenary of the Great War approaches, the choir of Jesus College Cambridge present a new recording titled War & Peace – a beautiful and moving collection of choral works that are united in various ways by the experiences and impact of war.

     

    Praise for the Choir of Jesus College Cambridge’s previous release, ‘Journey into Light’: “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

     

  • An inspiring sequence of Christmas music ancient and modern, culminating in Britten’s virtuosic choral masterpiece, A Boy Was Born: Paul McCreesh leads the Gabrieli Consort (joined by the Trebles of Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir) in this evocative and contrasting collection of festive works that samples works from the 12th century to the present day.

  • A sumptuous new recording of Gabrieli Consort & Players’ first, award-winning CD, A Venetian Coronation 1595. Nearly 25 years later, Paul McCreesh has reworked his imaginative reconstruction of a glorious late 16th century Coronation Mass at St Mark’s, Venice. This is an exciting new version of one of Gabrieli’s most influential and enduringly popular programmes, available for the very first time on Vinyl, and recently awarded a Gramophone Award for Best Early-Music recording 2013. Double, 180g Vinyl Release, plays at 33rpm Even if you own the classic Virgin disc, this new version is a must-buyThe Sunday Times Never less than enthrallingThe Independent McCreesh's new take on his classic recording is a triumph … Highly recommended to both first- and second-time buyers, and on track to inspire yet another generation - International Record Review
  • 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
  • At the time of its first performances in 1846, Elijah was hailed as one of the great oratorios alongside Handel’s Messiah. It tells the story of the prophet with imposing grandeur, inspirational orchestration and beautiful arias, recitatives and choruses. This mighty piece requires mighty orchestral and choir forces and Gabrieli singers are reinforced with talented young singers from the Gabrieli Young Singers’ Scheme and the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir. This recording sees over 440 musicians taking part, including 92 string players and over 300 singers.
    The musical milieu is still Victorian but, rather like the cleaned-up Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, it gleams anew and radiates light. ... a definite first choice - The Telegraph In all this is staggeringly good. Approaching the work in this way fills a gap which I didn’t even realise was there, but now I’ve heard it I think it will be first choice for a while to come. Thoroughly recommended - Presto Classical
  • This disc is the fifth in a series of nine that covers Thomas Tallis’s complete surviving output from his five decades of composition. In this disc we continue to explore the choral music of the Divine Office, progressing with the choral hymns and responories not found in volume 4. Music for the Divine Office  is completed with Tallis’s liturgical organ music: five hymns and three antiphons for the Divine Office, an Alleluia for the Lady Mass and an extended setting of the offertory Felix Namque. Tallis’s written music for the liturgy is modest in style, inventive and very appealing. His surviving output of written keyboard music is very small in light of his reputation. It is possible that much of this written music has been lost, and even more likely that the majority of his keyboard performances were improvised, and therefore not strictly notated. This CD offers reconstructions based on what is known of liturgical practice at the time when this music was most probably written (the later years of Henry VIII and those of Queen Mary I). Recording the organ works of Tallis involves a number of difficult decisions, not least the choice of organ, as there are no surviving English organs from the sixteenth century. The organ in the late medieval private chapel of Knole, a vast country house in Kent, is arguably the oldest playable organ in England. It’s joints can sound rather rattley, and it has some trouble breathing at times (although the regular creak of the bellows being pumped by foot is a reassuring link with the pre-electric past). However, the sound of this organ in the Knole chapel acoustic might not be far off from what Tallis knew from inside the Chapel Royal. Once again Chapelle du Roi presents an inspired and historically informed performance of the sacred renaissance repertoire for which they are celebrated. ★★★★★ The singing is shapely and serene with a satisfying edge, and the recorded sound is generous without obscuring detail - Choir & Organ ★★★★ Beautiful contemplative music - The Times ★★★★ [A] magnificent recording - Goldberg Magazine
  • 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
  • Signum Classics are proud to release the King's Singers fifth disc on Signum; Sacred Bridges. For thousands of years, the biblical Psalter has been the liturgical “heart” of the three main book religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Psalms announce the word of God and, simultaneously, contain the full range of human experience. Jews, Christians and Muslims sing and listen to the same songs of lament and joy, confessions of sin, hymns of praise and adoration. In this project of the King’s Singers and Sarband, psalm settings by composers from three religions give an example of how psalms can be a source of spirituality, a political instrument, a link between tradition and modernity and, above all, a bridge connecting human beings. Immaculate blend, perfect tuning and crystal diction ... Superb performances across the cultural divide show that great art transcends political differences - The Times A fascinating, attractive, beautifully performed-album - Gramophone Perfectly judged and beautifully blended sound - Classic FM Magazine An intriguing disc, and far more than a curiosity - Early Music Review A real gift to ... music lovers that need a special musical holiday gift - Mid West Record Recap