• 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
  • Seasonal Music by Bob Chilcott

    Bob Chilcott’s compositions are beloved with choral societies around the world, and this album represents the fruits of his recent collaborations with the US choir Choralis and their conductor Gretchen Kuhrmann. Featuring festive works for solo choir as well as choir and brass ensemble, at the centre of the programme is Wenceslas, inspired by the legend of the Bohemian King who braved the winter weather with his Page to save the life of a poor peasant, and incorporating the melody of the famous carol into each of its 8 movements. The disc includes the premiere recordings of Chilcott’s Gloria, which was premiered by the choir to great critical acclaim in 2015. These musicians radiate all the warmth of the famous church scene in Home Alone… That underscores Chilcott’s gift as a songwriter and an arrangerGramophone Chilcott’s music undeniably sounds great when sung by a small scale professional chamber choir (such as here) but there’s something equally appealing in the inclusive joy of a performance by a larger group of amateurs. This is a tribute to them, as much as to the composer of the music they sing - MusicWeb International Incorporating the traditional carol Good King Wenceslas it’s a work rich in melodic invention… sung here with becoming warmth, the finale glowing with good tidings… Impeccably directed throughoutPrimephonic This effortlessly fluent, audience-friendly music is hard to dislike. The craft is impeccable, the tunes are memorable and the performers invariably sound as if they’re enjoying themselvesThe Arts Desk
  • 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.

  • 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
     
  • 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/

  • 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
  • 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
  • "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
  • 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
  • Tenebrae mark their 15th anniversary season with a celebratory re-release of Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles, as well as the premiere recording of a new work by Owain Park. Inspired by the Camino Frances pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, Path of Miracles has quickly become a contemporary classic amongst choral music fans. To mark their anniversary year Tenebrae commissioned British composer Owain Park to compose his new work Footsteps as a companion piece to Path of Miracles. A shorter work, Footsteps is themed on similar concepts of travel, solitude and journeying, and blends texts by eight different authors to structure a narrative that cycles the seasons through the view of a lonely traveller.
  • Path of Miracles, for a cappella choir, was commissioned by Tenebrae from Joby Talbot and premiered last year. The work is based on the most enduring route of Catholic pilgrimage - the great Pilgramage to Santiago. The four movements of Path of Miracles are titled with the names of the four main staging posts of the 'Camino Frances,' the central axis of a network of pilgrimage routes to Santiago. Talbot's music has been performed by, amongst others, the London Sinfonietta, The BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Brunel Ensemble, Evelyn Glennie and The Duke Quartet. In addtion, Talbot also writes for the big and small screen. Credits include, The League of Gentlemen and The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Tenebrae, founded and directed by former King's Singer Nigel Short, is a professional vocal ensemble, whose motto is passion and precision. Tenebrae has built an impressive reputation for innovative and memorable performances throughout the UK and Europe This disc can be played on any standard CD or SACD player. In addition, there is a 4.0 surround-sound mix on the SACD layer. An evocative odyssey - The Times Joby Talbot's ambitious a cappella Path of Miracles is little short of a musical miracle in itselfNick Breckenfield It's an interesting musical journey for composer, performers and listeners alike - Classic FM Joby Talbot has been making quite a name for himself recently. Path of miracles can only add to that reputation: it's a real achievementInternational Record Review This a cappella work is very demanding of its singers and Tenebrae answer every question asked of them. It is a tour de force and absolutely stunning - Choir and Organ
  • “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.

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

  • Signum Records is delighted to release The King's Singers debut album on the Signum label. King’s Singers Christmas comprises 24 carols for each day of Advent, and a bonus 25th track which pays homage to one of their famous songs. Featured on the disc are such celebrated carols as Away in a Manger, specially arranged for the group and other traditional carols performed in their original versions. Even though nearly every piece on this disc could be heard in an English church carol service, the variety of musical styles covered is immense. Five centuries of music are represented here including works from various different countries. "As a group that spends much of its life on the road, we are fortunate to be able to gather music from many cultures and traditions beyond our own" says Gabriel Crouch. "Several pieces collected on our travels have found their way onto this playlist, including La Peregrinaçion by the Argentinian Ariel Ramirez, and the Polish-Ukranian song Szczo to za Prediwo, which we first heard performed by a choir from Warsaw at a King’s Singers workshop". In addition to the choice of traditional Christmas carols we have chosen pieces by Peter Warlock, John McCabe, John Rutter, Bo Holton and our own Philip Lawson, as representative of the living tradition amongst English institutions for commissioning new carols. A King’s Singers Christmas album would not be complete, however, without a little musical twist or two. These are delivered in the form of Tchaikovsky’s The Crown of Roses which has been arranged by the great jazz arranger Jeremy Lubbock and a new version with Christmas words by Philip Lawson of the perennial King’s Singer’s favourite You are the New Day, sung to the accompaniment of a String Quartet. Nothing fazes them, however tough the demands, and there is a combination of precision and warmth to the singing, captured in sympathetic acoustics - Daily Telegraph The King's Singers' style is beautifully detailed, and even the most familiar carols sound fresh - Classic FM Magazine If you love Christmas music recordings, well, what are you waiting for? This is one of the best ever - ClassicsToday.com Precise intonation, instinctive articulation, a downy, luxuriant tone, all captured in an excitingly lifelike recording - International Record Review