• Britten’s powerful and masterful evocation of the North Sea in all its moods has to audiences all over the world become inextricably linked with the Aldeburgh that was home to George Crabbe (author of the ‘The Borough’ from which the story originates) in the eighteenth century and Britten in the twentieth.
    Steuart Bedford leads a vast and accomplished ensemble on this new live recording, created shortly before the group’s unique staging of the work on the beach at Aldeburgh as part of the town’s world-renowned festival. The mix here is imperceptible and the sound unobtrusive; engineer Mike Hatch deserves a credit twice the size and conductor Steuart Bedford pulls off an extraordinary feat of coherence and endurance. But it’s Oke who makes the case for Peter Grimes and steals the show. There used to be two great Grimes on record: Peter Pears and Jon Vickers. Now there are threeSinfini Music
  • 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
  • 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
  • Following their acclaimed recordings of Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Paul McCreesh has once again assembled the mass forces of Gabrieli Consort & Players and Wrocaw Phiharmonic Choir to record one of the iconic masterpieces of the twentieth-century oratorio repertoire.
    The work reflects Britten’s long-held and committed pacifist beliefs. Composed to mark the consecration of a new Cathedral in Coventry, Britten combines the Latin text of the Missa pro Defunctis with nine poems by the First World War poet Wilfred Owen, which vide a moving (and frequently uncomfortable) commentary on the liturgical text.
    This series has already garnered substantial critical claim and a number of prestigious awards, including a Gramophone Award, BBC Music Magazine Award and two Diapason d'Or awards.
    It’s a very well-paced performance, and Susan Gritton, John Mark Ainsley and Christopher Maltman are excellent soloists, totally engaged with Britten’s combination of the Latin Mass for the Dead and Wilfred Owen’s war poetry. It’s an outstanding recording for the Winged Lion Label from Signum ClassicsBBC Radio 3 CD Review
  • Tenebrae return to the sublime music of Tomás Luis de Victoria on Signum with this recording of his timeless Tenebrae Responsories. The works mix the words of the Gospels with other texts commenting on collective suffering written around the 4th century, and would traditionally have been performed as part of a moving service in which candles are slowly extinguished to mark the progress and suffering of Christ that forms the Passion story.
    Tenebrae's previous disc of works by Victoria (Requiem Mass, 1605) won the BBC Music Magazine Award for Best Choral Album of 2012.
       
  • 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.

  • 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

     

  • The Rodolfus Choir mark both Benjamin Britten’s centenary year and the 30th anniversary of the choir’s first concert with this new programme of works by both composers. The disc includes the premiere recording of Paul Mealor’s Praise, which was commissioned especially for the Rodolfus Choir.

    The choir’s previous disc of choral works by Elgar was widely-praised by critics:

    Recording of the Month: The Rodolfus Choir shine strongly in these well-loved Elgar part-songs choral worksMusicWeb International

    Elgarians and others tempted by the works assembled in this new collection can be assured that it is on a par with the best of themInternational Record Review

  • “I regard The Veil of the Temple as the supreme achievement of my life and the most important work that I have ever composed.” Sir John Tavener

    Signum Records are proud to re-release the landmark recording of Sir John Tavener’s The Veil of the Temple at the start of what would have been Tavener’s 70th year.

    This 2CD set captures the concert-version of this epic 8-hour work, composed to last through the night until dawn in the manner of the grand vigils of the Orthodox Church. Combining the psalms of a number of different religious, Tavener skillfully blends together a work that is truly all-encompasing in its scale and spiritual fervour.

      
  • Russian Treasures is the twentieth album from award-­winning professional choir, Tenebrae, and the first release on new label Bene Arte, established exclusively to record the choir and associated artists. Russian choral music has been a feature in Tenebrae’s concert performances since the choir’s inception and over the years they have worked extensively with Russian language coaches whilst nurturing their own characteristics of passion and precision to deliver a special and heartfelt tribute to the music of these great composers.

    This disc was inspired by the rare manuscripts collected by director Nigel Short during his travels around Russia.

    The exquisite collection includes some little-­known gems, rarely heard outside Russia and never before recorded in the UK, as well as some familiar favourites from this vast area of choral repertoire.

     
  • 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
  • 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
  • An invitation to stroll through the world of one of England’s greatest composers The young, virtuoso A Cappella ensemble VOCES8 return to disc on Signum with a sumptuous collection of early works by Henry Purcell. Joined by the specialist early-music ensemble ‘Les Inventions’, the group explores Purcell’s astoundingly diverse output – there is hardly a genre in which he did not express himself: anthems, odes, funeral music, semi- operas, masques, sonatas, consort-music, songs and catches populate his extraordinarily multifaceted œuvre. It is this astonishing diversity that we wish to celebrate by inviting the listener for a stroll through the world of one of England’s greatest composers.

    If anyone ever doubts Purcell's consummate genius, this CD - beautifully recorded and executed - ought to convince them. A great introduction to Purcell's many guisesChoir and Organ

    You won't hear Purcell sung better - Planet Hugill

    This is a lovely collection, reflective of the composer's eclectic talents, and beautifully performed - Early Music Review

  • Mark Williams leads the Choir of the Jesus College Cambridge through an evocative selection of choral works inspired in varying ways by the songs of Solomon. Songs of love have been written from the earliest records of human existence. None are more passionately ecstatic than the Song of Solomon, which occupies a unique place in the Holy Bible in both style and content. It contains lyric poems of love and courtship, as might have been sung at Jewish weddings. For Christians, these poems speak to the beauty of the union of Christ and his ‘bride’, the Church. The present collection presents a diverse group of choral works written between the 16th century and the present day, with most inspired by this unique sacred text. Under Mark Williams direction, the choirs make a clear elegant and focussed sound, and clarity is very much the watchword in the performancesMusicWeb International This CD features both the Jesus College Choir (top line women) and the all-male Chapel Choir. The two sounds are well differentiated, the fresh clarity of the boys contrasting with the more mature sounds of the young womenChoir and Organ Superlative singingNorthern Echo
  • Lux et Veritas (Light and Truth) is the new album from Will Todd with the professional chamber choir Tenebrae. Todd’s music has a universal appeal and he has been hailed as “one of the UK’s most sought-after, versatile composers” (Tempo Magazine). For this collection of sumptuous new choral works Tenebrae are accompanied by the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the choir’s director Nigel Short. This new release follows Will Todd’s last choral album The Call of Wisdom, featuring music commissioned for HRH The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee service in St Paul’s Cathedral in 2012. Throughout, the excellent Tenebrae under Nigel Short's sensitive direction deliver the sequence of 14 short pieces with commitment and great beauty of tone - Choir & Organ One of this year's finest releases - Classic FM Don't miss this movingly accessible and genuinely sensitive choral collection - MusicWeb International Sumptuous, soothing and reflective music for all occasions - Northern Echo
  • Postcards

    £12.00
    The King’s Singers explore the folk songs and melodies of the world in a new programme entitled Postcards. In their own words: “In our travels we have amassed a wonderful collection of folksongs and popular songs from numerous countries, many of which we use as encores when we visit. The influences and sources are extraordinarily far-ranging, and each song has its own local characteristics. To celebrate the diversity of music that we perform and the numerous countries we visit each concert season, we have recorded an album of some of our favourite folksongs from around the world.”  Typically immaculate performances of songs collected by the King's Singers on their global travels, and used as encores. Velvet vocal blending is a given, and mellifluous arrangementsBBC Music Magazine
  • Armonico Consort return to disc on Signum with a festive selection of classic carols and hymns alongside new commissions and arrangements. The programme is rounded off by Benjamin Britten’s timeless A Ceremony of Carols. If you want this particular programme it is hard to imagine it being better performedEarly Music Review Highly recommended - Northern Echo Intimate, small-scale performances of mainly familiar titlesBBC Music Magazine
  • Peter Seymour and the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists present a new edition of Bach’s first version of the Matthäus-Passion, probably first performed on Good Friday 1727 and one of the greatest works of J.S. Bach’s prodigious output. Recorded at the National Centre for Early Music in York, the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists are joined by the renowned soloists Charles Daniels and Peter Harvey. Significant readings that inspire further thinking about the greatest of all Passions - Choir and Organ Seymour’s pacing often has a comfortable feeling of ‘rightness’ and integrity - Gramophone
  • Following its nomination for a Gramophone Early Music Award in 2014, Contrapunctus releases an album of motets from the Baldwin Tudor partbooks, on the theme of mortality.  Conducted by Owen Rees, the album includes Sheppard’s epic Media vita and works by Byrd, Parsons, Mundy, Teverner, Gerarde and Tallis, with Contrapunctus’s own reconstructions of the missing tenor parts. ★★★★★ Contrapunctus really knows what to do with these pieces and from the very first item the tuning is superb and the ensemble rock solid. Moreover, Owen Rees’s interpretations are revelatory and even visionary - BBC Music Magazine ★★★★ Whether you listen in Lenten penitence or in general hope of spiritual balm, the message is universal, the singing superb - The Observer Rees’s choir brings an intensity of sound and dramatic dynamics, in music that contemplates the pain of death in ecstatic elation and sublime devotion - The Sunday Times The undeniable jewel in the crown of this selection is Sheppard’s magisterial setting of Media vita … Contrapunctus is the ideal group for this superb repertoire, and I look forward with eager anticipation to future CDs in this series - Early Music Review There’s lovely balance and clarity of sound from as fine a clutch of voices - Choir & Organ
  • The Choir of Jesus College Cambridge present this album of sacred works which follows events in the Church calendar.  From Ash Wednesday, through to the final feast of the year – Trinity, the recording features works by Bryd, Purcell, Casals, Elgar, Stanford, Britten, Tallis and James MacMillan, all directed by Mark Williams. ★★★★★ Bairstow's The Lamentation is interpreted with marvellous subtlety hereChoir & Organ Brooding and refinedThe Telegraph Fresh, engaging performances of works spanning the church year, from a choir moving swiftly up the Oxbridge pecking order. The Rorem and MacMillan pieces get especially fine performancesBBC Music Magazine
  • The Temple Church Choir gives the world premiere recording of Nico Muhly’s Our present charter – a brand new four-movement work commissioned by the choir to celebrate 800 years since the sealing of the Magna Carta.  Directed by Roger Sayer and featuring organist Greg Morris, the recording also features choral works by Parry, Vaughan Williams, Walton, Bairstow, Tavener and Haydn.

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

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

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

  • Purcell’s ever-green chamber opera Dido & Aeneas, its story drawn from Virgil’s epic, the Aeneid, is performed by the Armonico Consort with an astounding selection of soloists. Armonico Consort is one of the largest and most innovative organisations of its kind in the UK, existing to inspire audiences with its unique programmes. ★★★★ Lithe, colourful, tastefully phrased and dynamically astute playing...[the cast] sing compellingly and inhabit their roles with the same sensitivity that distinguishes the whole performanceThe Daily Telegraph
    A clean, uncluttered account featuring crystalline voices, good diction, safe tempos and well-defined phrasing...vocal ensembles are luminous and the instrumental playing is bright and streamlined. Best of all is Rachael Lloyd's dignified Dido, rich-voiced, poetic and flawlessly deliveredThe Guardian The Armonico Consort and its musical director, Christopher Monks, capture this abundance of inspiration in a performance full of life and variety...Rachael Lloyd's dignified Dido and Elin Manahan Thomas's bright Belinda are well contrastedFinancial Times This small-scale version of Purcell's evergreen masterpiece has much to commend itEarly Music Today
  • 11-year-old Alice lives in the not terribly exciting town of Grimthorpe. On a boring Wednesday in the summer holidays Alice’s family, wandering around town, gets caught in a downpour. They rush into the nearest shelter, which turns out to be a pet shop – much to Alice’s parents’ delight. Alice is lost in a daydream of exotic holidays... Suddenly she is jolted out of her reverie by one of the animals – a white rabbit – who starts talking to her... Opera Holland Park’s production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a family opera by composer Will Todd and librettist Maggie Gottlieb, comes to CD for the first time after two critically praised runs in 2013 and 2014.
    The cast sing with impeccable diction, the players never drowning out the voicesArts Desk The cast, headed by Fflur Wun as Alice, and orchestra, conducted by Matthew Waldren, put on a good show - Gramophone Will Todd's Lewis Carroll-inspired opera has proved a huge success both on stage and on disc - BBC Music Magazine The recorded sound is excellent...a release of many pleasures - Opera Magazine
  • VOCES8 and Les Inventions shine a light on a hidden musical treasure in these world-premiere recordings of Charles Avison’s 1757 adaptation of Benedetto Marcello’s Estro-poetico armonico. A fresh and original collection, Marcello’s Psalm settings were composed in Venice and quickly found fame across Europe after their publication between 1724 and 1726. ★★★★★ The results are wholly delightful and absorbing, and the intimate forces of VOCES8 and Les Inventions are completely at home in this repertoire - Choir & Organ ★★★★ With their vivid word-setting and lively declamation, the English texts give a slightly homespun quality to the enterprise. Well sung, there's a striking triple canon with Latin text to finish - The Observer ★★★★ Marcello's masterpiece receives...world premiere recording here by VOCES8, accompanied by the organ, recorder and strings of French early-music ensemble Les Inventions - The Independent Very polished - BBC Radio 3 CD Review A nice variety of vocal colours and a lovely blend make for a convincing representation of Marcello's largely unknown masterpiece Estro poetico-armonico. More please - Early Music Review
  • BBC Music Magazine Award winning choir Tenebrae return to disc on Signum under the expert direction Nigel Short with a sumptuous album of Carols, Hymns and other celebratory works for Christmas. It is probably superfluous to say that the performances by Tenebrae are top class - but they are - Music Web International Crystalline beauty... every voice part is constantly alert to the expressive possibilities of the music and crafts it all with care and musicality. The ensemble's extensive experience [is] belied by the disc's youthful, festive joy - Sinfini This uplifting album captures all the passion and precision for which the choir is renowned - The Lady
  • The Choral Scholars of University College Dublin are Ireland’s leading collegiate choral ensemble, and for their first recording on Signum they perform an enchanting and ground-breaking collection of traditional and Celtic-inspired choral music, led by their director Desmond Earley.
    ★★★★ Blending 'folk' voices with choral precision and tight harmony isn't easy, but Desmond Earley has a passionate stake in both and doesn't put a foot wrong - Choir and Organ Bright young thingsThe Irish Times
     
  • BBC Music Magazine Award-winning choir Tenebrae perform a sumptuous selection of motets by Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner. Choral Recording of the Year: Performance ★★★★★ Recording ★★★★★ A beautifully balanced programmeBBC Music Magazine ★★★★★ Complex, rich and beautiful... performances are everything we have come to expect from Tenebrae, likewise Signum's recorded sound - Classical Music ★★★★ Richly Expressive - The Observer Tenebrae score on all counts. They submit with impressive stamina and unfailing intonation to Bruckner’s instrumental scoring and phrasing - Gramophone The dense harmonies suit this well-established professional choir perfectly - The Guardian Beautifully performed, seraphic sequence - The Sunday Times
  • The Rodolfus Choir return to disc on Signum with a stunning new collection of choral works drawn from composers spanning over 500 years. Ralph Allwood MBE introduces the programme and the personal inspiration behind it: The concept of time is so rich that it has inspired a large body of writing and musical setting. This collection is a tribute to my father, because I learnt so much about time from him. Mathematician and philosopher, theologian, musician and physicist, he was fascinated by our perception of time, and he and I had many discussions about its nature. In a trivial sense, music traces the passage of time, but also, as with all events, manipulates it. A watch traces a different pattern of time during events. But who is to say that the watch is ‘right’. ★★★★★ If you want to hear young voices singing at their very best, with each line perfectly balanced, then this CD is a must - Choir & Organ Provocative, eye-meeting loveliness on this record from Ralph Allwood's Rodolfus ChoirGramophone A rewarding sequence... a good recording as wellBBC Radio 3 CD Review
  • A beautiful collection of songs, Only a Singing Bird features Michael Head’s best-known works, The Ships of Arcady and The Little Road to Bethlehem, as well as his beautifully-imagined, nostalgic song-cycle, Snowbirds.

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