• 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
  • Pious Anthems & Voluntaries

    £12.00 Available August 14, 2020.
    Michael Finnissy was born in Tulse Hill in 1946. He studied at the Royal College of Music with Bernard Stevens and Humphrey Seale, and in Italy with Roman Vlad. Much of his early work was first performed in France and the Netherlands, while he was working as a freelance repetiteur and pianist for dance-classes. He taught at the Royal Academy of Music, at the universities of Sussex and Southampton, and at the Katholiek Universiteit in Leuven. He has also given summer courses at Dartington, and been resident artist at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne (Australia). He has been featured composer at the Huddersfield Festival several times, at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and many other places across the world, most recently at SICPP in Boston USA. Here, The Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge perform Finnissy’s deep, rich and fulfilling music in what has been a four year process. It has taken Conductor and Director Andrew Nethsingha, four years to gradually learn the pieces on this recording. He says it “has been a deeply enriching experience which I want others to share”.
  • Piangete

    £12.00

    Signum Records is delighted to announce that the ensemble Concerto delle Donne will release their first disc on Signum Records in 2003. The disc will feature the cantatas and motets of Giacomo Carissimi.

    Carissimi is sometimes thought of as a "one-work composer" known to the average music-lover only for his oratorio Jephte. Choral Societies looking for 17th century music earlier than Purcell are therefore likely to choose Jephte.

    Alastair Ross first became interested in Carissimi’s music for the 3-soprano Concerto delle Donne line-up when he was asked to prepare a programme “Handel and his predecessors in Italy” for the 1977 Göttingen Festival. A review of Carissimi's oeuvre showed that there were several pieces by Carissimi in the library of Christ Church Oxford just waiting to be performed by the group! He chose the cantata Siam tre miseri piangenti which has become a regular item in their concerts and which is central to this recording. It’s a marvellous piece, full of pain, suffering and anger. The three voices really are equal in the way they intertwine and react to one another. Donna Deam’s solo Piangete and Gill Ross' and Elin Thomas’s duet Ahi, non torna are similar in mood. Maybe in our cynical 21st century we find it difficult to relate to these highly emotional, self-obsessed, texts, but there’s no denying that they inspired some wonderful music! Va dimanda al mio pensiero’ and Si dia bando, alla speranza are lighter in mood – both attractive, tuneful pieces.

    There is plenty of variety in the church music as well. Cum reverteretur David, which begins the CD, is brilliant and virtuosic, a dramatic account of the rivalry between David and Saul. The duet Exulta, gaude, filia Sion is a joyful celebration of Christmas. In Benedictus Deus et Pater the voices weave rich dissonances to convey the suffering of the text; there’s something of the mood of Allegri’s Miserere here.

    In addition to the vocal pieces the disc includes a set of variations by Frescobaldi and Michelangelo Rossi’s flamboyant and chromatic Toccata Settima for harpsichord, together with Kapspereger’s charming improvisations for chittarone.

    We believe that only one of the Carissimi pieces on this CD, Exulta, gaude, filia Sion, has been recorded before, so the disc will be an important event in the recorded-music world, and one which we hope will revive interest in this unjustly neglected composer.

    ★★★★ An impressive release - Choir & Organ An important and rewarding release - Early Music Review
  • The Choral Scholars of University College Dublin and Artistic Director Desmond Earley follow up their debut release with a programme of new choral music inspired by the evocative imagery of the natural world in traditional Irish and Scottish folksong and poetry. The disc includes a number of world-premiere recordings of new works and arrangements commissioned by the choir. The Choral Scholars of University College Dublin, under the artistic direction of Desmond Earley, is Ireland’s leading collegiate choral ensemble. With a large repertoire ranging from art to popular music, and stretching from the medieval to the contemporary in style, this choir gives many concerts throughout the academic year, both in Ireland and abroad. This whole project exudes quality - Gramophone Excellently sung - BBC Music Magazine Earley [shapes] a sequence of traditional Irish settings with contemporary material, [and his] setting of 'Danny Boy' [is] quite beautiful - 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
  • 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.

     

     

  • 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
  • The Elysian Singers of London celebrate the enormous and varied contribution of Sir James MacMillan (b. 1959) to the choral repertoire over the last 20 years. Beginning with MacMillan’s blazing 2016 ‘choral fanfare’ Blow the trumpet in the new moon, the programme explores the spiritual and secular texts that have influenced MacMillan, also including his monumental setting of Psalm 51 Miserere. The Elysian Singers of London is one of the UK’s leading chamber choirs. Known for its adventurous programming, the choir performs in and around London and has recorded many widely acclaimed CDs. This is the choir’s second recording of works by James MacMillan, following their critically-acclaimed first disc with Signum Cantos Sagrados.
  • Nigel Short leads Tenebrae in a new album of sacred and jazz inspired choral works by Alexander L’Estrange, one of Britain’s most popular living choral composers.
    L'Estrange's works add a jazz-infused chordal depth and a roving harmonic eye to Howell's declamatory muscularity and modal palette. It's attractive, approachable music, with nothing contrived or patronising about it - Gramophone Vivid, varied and completely satisfying - Choir & Organ The choir masterfully interprets all the works to perfection and gains power and warmth from one piece to the next, offering to its listeners deep bass sounds as well as the brilliant homogeneity of voices - BachTrack On the showing of this disc, Alexander L'Estrange is the go-to person for evocative and striking small scale new commissions, something lyrically attractive with some luscious harmonies... Each item is perfectly lovely with the fine performances of Tenebrae giving us plenty of magical moments - Planet Hugill
  • 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
  • Choral music from the sixteenth-century, right up to the late-twentieth-century features on this beautiful eleven-track album, with stunning performances from The Choir of Royal Holloway. The Chapel Choir was established in 1886 for women’s voices & became a mixed choir in 1965. Forty-three years on and the choir have made 14 CD recordings & have toured most European countries, under the guidance of Rupert Gough, who began his musical training as a chorister at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace.
  •  The festival of Christmas means many things to many people. Its status as an international public holiday provides a rare opportunity for families and friends from far and wide to come together. Being creatures of habit, many communities establish rituals to prepare for and mark the occasion, finding comfort in the familiarity of an annual structure. For some, the birth of Christ the Saviour is at the centre of these practices, while others regard Christmas as a secular celebration characterised by Santa and mulled wine. These diverse, multifaceted traditions of Advent and Christmas are explored throughout Now may we singen. With works by composers of different generations, backgrounds and musical legacies, Christmas as both ancient holy day and modern, ever evolving holiday is embraced by Timothy Garrard (director), Ben Bloor (organ) and the Choir of Westminster School through bold, characterful musical interpretations.
  • 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
  • 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
  • As one of Britain’s most respected and versatile musicians, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett has produced over two hundred works for the concert hall, and fifty scores for film and television, as well as having been a writer and performer of jazz songs for over fifty years. This disc of compositions and arrangements performed by the BBC Singers showcases some of his most popular and beguiling works for choir and voice, drawn from classical and jazz music and featuring his ever-popular work A Good-Night. There's not a note out of place or a phrase that seems second-handThe Guardian
    This CD offers an excellent overview of Bennett’s a cappella choral works, demonstrating the breadth of this compositional interests and versatility across a wide range of genres from contemporary classical to jazz to Christmas musicStudio Flamingo With the Singers' impeccable intonation, warm vocal blend, this CD is a must-buy for anyone interested in contemporary British choral musicChoir & Organ
  • 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