• Music to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of Francisco Guerrero. This recording celebrates the music of Francisco Guerrero and presents music form his collection of music written for the office of Vespers. The second half of the disc consists of Guerrero's Requiem mass in its original form. The style of plainchant heard and performed in Spain was rather different from that heard in other European territories. On this recording Chapelle du Roi has followed the instructions for semi-mensural performance given by Guerrero's colleague at Seville, Villafranca.
     
  • Phillip II of Spain died at first light on Sunday 13th September, 1598. Released in his 400th anniversary year this disc commemorates the death of this most catholic king with music associated with him during his lifetime, and with the sumptuous six part Requiem mass of Jean Richafort that may well have been used at his obsequiries The programme begins with a motet written by Gombert for the birth of Philip; other motets include one of Infantas' finest works Domine Ostende, and within the context of the mass is included the celebrated Versa est in luctum by Lobo.
  • Signum Records are proud to present the eighth and penultimate volume of Chapelle du Roi’s recording of the Complete Works of Thomas Tallis. This volume brings together Tallis’s two masterly settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah and English adaptations of several of his best-known Latin motets. Thomas Tallis was one of many continental and English composers who composed settings of texts from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, the opening five verses of which formed part of the office of Matins (or Tenebrae) during Holy Week. Tallis’s two settings could have been performed ritually but in all likelihood they are Elizabethan works intended for use at the private devotions of staunch Catholic sympathisers. The statutory introduction of the First Book of Common Prayer on Whitsunday, 9th June 1549 precipitated an urgent need for a repertory of service music in the vernacular. One straightforward solution to the predicament was to adapt existing Latin motets to English texts, a genre of composition that has come to be known as a contrafactum. Contrafacta survive of liturgical music by pre-Reformation English composers as well as by several composers whose working life spanned the period of Reformation. During the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods contrafacta and their models assumed several forms of dual existence, and were performed not only within a liturgical setting but also in a domestic context for recreation or private devotion. Usually there is no textual relationship between the model and the contrafactum. Indeed the finale of this disc, Sing & Glorify heaven’s high majesty, an adaptation of Tallis’s celebrated eight-choir (40-part) motet Spem in alium was adapted to celebrate Prince Henry’s investiture as Prince of Wales in 1610. Chapelle du Roi succeed in conveying a sense of spaciousness and grandeur - The Daily Telegraph
  • Signum Records are delighted to release the seventh volume of their celebrated nine-disc series, presenting the Complete Works of Thomas Tallis (1505 - 1585). Queen Elizabeth’s reign (1558-1603) was a golden age for the arts. England enjoyed a growing cultural exchange with continental Europe. England’s rich, but essentially conservative pre-Reformation heritage was infused with increasing continental influence and innovations. Elizabeth I was the fourth monarch to sit on the throne in Thomas Tallis’s lifetime. From the outset of her reign Elizabeth allowed considerable freedom of practice and belief. She was firmly in favour of a vernacular liturgy for the general population, although in her own chapels she preferred a more lavish ceremony to music. Tallis had witnessed the wholesale destruction of much of England’s church music tradition, however the ever adaptable composer met the challenges of a new liturgy, its new styles and genres, with the imaginative force of a man half his age. The years of Reformation, and Elizabeth’s protestant settlement, freed the Latin-texted tradition of liturgical propriety, allowing composers to reinvigorate the language and harness it to new, expressive and personal ends. This recording presents Tallis’s Elizabethan Latin motets (which number fifteen). The mighty occasional piece, the forty-voice motet Spem in alium, concludes the disc. The Tallis complete works is one of the most exciting projects currently underway on any early music label. Thoroughly recommended - Early Music Scotland Alistair Dixon paces and balances the voices of his vocal group Chapelle du Roi beautifully - The Evening Standard  
  • Chapelle du Roi devote this latest volume to music which was composed by Tallis for use during the reformed services announced in The booke of the common prayer which came into effect on Whitsunday (9th June) 1549. Tallis’s music, together with the associated intonations and Collects (for Easter Day at Mattins and for Christmas Eve), is presented for this recording in the normal liturgical sequence for the day; Mattins, Holy Communion, and Evensong. The recording concludes with Tallis’ nine psalm-tune harmonisations which he contributed to Archbishop Matthew Parker’s Psalter, published in 1567. Chapelle du Roi give an inspired and historically informed performance of the sacred renaissance repertoire for which they are celebrated. Sung with plaintive simplicity, exquisite balance and clear diction, virtues that characterise the whole estimable disc - Classic FM Magazine [The singers] cohere in a warm collective that is wonderful to listen to - International Record Review Chapelle du Roi's skill is manifest ... the whole experience of listening to them was like hearing was like hearing a rather special evensong in a college chapel - Gramophone The singing of the Chapelle is as beautifully flawless as ever ... the crowning glory of the disc is the exquisite account of Tallis nine tunes of Archbishop Parker's Psalter - EMF Scotland  
  • This disc is the fourth in a series of nine covering the complete works of Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585). Not for nothing is Tallis known as the "father of church music" – with his colleagues at the Chapel Royal he created most of the church music genres that we take for granted today. Volumes 4 and 5 both focus on music written for the office hours – the daily services found mainly in the monasteries that eventually suffered at the hands of Henry VIII’s dissolution. Here we have a selection of hymns and Responds from the Henrician and Marian periods, each matched with their accompanying plainchant taken from contemporary sources.
  • This disc is the third in a series of nine covering the complete works of Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585). Not for nothing is Tallis known as the "father of church music" – with his colleagues at the Chapel Royal he created most of the church music genres that we take for granted today. In chronological terms Volume 3 follows on quickly from the Edwardine music of Volume 2 with repertoire written for the Marian reversion to Catholicism in 1553. Here we meet Tallis the composer of music for the old English liturgy in both a modern “continental” style and a self-consciously old fashioned English style. The music includes the extraordinary seven part mass Puer natus est nobis of 1554 and the similarly-scored motet Suscipe Quaeso. A speculative reconstruction Beati immaculati opens the disc and it concludes with the monumental six part votive antiphon Gaude Gloriosa. Alistair Dixon, the conductor and founder of Chapelle du Roi, has shaped a remarkably beautiful CD here - Evening Standard The sound is finely honed and balanced, in the British tradition ... this is wonderful music, wonderfully sung - Goldberg
  • This disc is the second in a series of nine covering the complete works of Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585). As the 1540s developed, the Reformation began to take hold and the style of music required from composers such as Tallis altered radically. The large-scale melismatic votive antiphons (for example those on disc 1) were no longer required; the emphasis moved away from Marian devotion to a more syllabic and compact style and, eventually, to settings of English rather than Latin texts. Disc two traces this development from the Jesus antiphon Sancte Deus, to the mass for four voices, the three early English anthems including If ye love me, the Te Deum for meanes and the Elizabethan Magnificat and Nunc dimittis. A stimulating second volume in this distinguished series - Penguin Guide to Compact Discs A beautiful homogeneous quality and are pure and uncomplicated - Footloose Magazine
  • Described by The Times as "thrilling. contemporary, and original... impressive and profoundly affecting", Francis Pott's  writing provides a treasure-trove of astonishingly beautiful composition. Meditations & Remembrances is a new collection of choral and organ pieces of extraordinary tenderness and masterly technique. Francis Pott began his musical life as a chorister at New College Oxford. He held open music scholarships at Winchester College and Magdalene College, Cambridge. Francis was appointed Administrative Head of Music at London College of Music and Media in 2001, subsequently becoming its Head of Composition and Research Development on Music, Media and Creative Technologies. He was also a member of Winchester Cathedral Choir under David Hill from 1991 until 2001. Francis remains an active pianist and accompanist, uniting both compositon and academic research. Christ Church Cathedral Choir enjoys an enviable reputation as one of Ireland's most outstanding choirs. Under the direction of Judy Martin, Director of Music at the cathedral, the present choir is a mixed ensemble of 20 adult singers. In addition to the full part it plays in the worship in the cathedral, the Cathedral Choir is active with concerts, tours and regular broadcasts.
  • When Sir Michael Tippett first worked with the BBC Singers in 1944, the experience was such that he recalled nearly 50 years later that "It was to be the first of many such occasions when a composer's dreams were brought to fulfillment." Now under their Conductor Laureate, Stephen Cleobury, the present-day BBC Singers return the compliment with this programme of his works for choir, both unaccompanied and with organ. Includes the works: The Windhover Plebs Angleica The Weeping Babe Magnificat & Nunc Dimitis Four Songs from the British Isles The Source Lullaby Negro Spirituals from A Child of Our Time & two premiere recordings: Over the Sea to Skye Unto the Hills (Wadhurst)
  • Recorded in the beatiful church of Notre Dame, Rozay-en-Brie, by Concerto Delle Donne, this CD celebrates 300 years of Marc-Antoine Charpentier, whose works ranged from simple settings of hymns composed for unaccompanied solo voice to works of great complexity and virtuosity for soloists, double choir and double orchestra. Here, the focus is on the sacred works that Charpentier composed for two and three solo women's voices. The three principal sopranos of of Concerto delle Donne all feature as soloists. Other composers included on this disc are Jean-Baptiste Lully, Nicholas-Antoine Lebègue & Guillame-Gabriel Nivers. The singers' delectably pure, sweet sound, rhythmic liveliness and stylish ornamentation perfectly capture the spirit of some beautiful and inventive music, ideally suited to its very specific purpose - The Daily Telegraph Ravishing music draws some exquisite singing in response... [a] superb disc - Gramophone There is much stunning music here... [an] essential for lovers of the most sublime composer of the French Baroque - Early Music America These are charming performances of charming music. Warmly recommended - MusicWeb International
  • 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 debut disc of world-renowned early-music ensemble Charivari Agréable on Signum Records. Music for Philip of Spain and His Four Wives is complementary to SIGCD004 and presents secular music associated with Philip II from the four European countries of his wives - Portugal, England, Austria and France. Bravo!Gramophone Highly recommendedEarly Music Review Exquisite performances ... a highly intelligent programmeEarly Music Today
  • The King's Singers present a disc of some of their best and most requested repertoire. We are all shaped, perhaps unconsciously, by the landscape and time in which we live. This evocative and spiritual programme, which contains five King's Singers commissions, explores the links between human life and it's surroundings through the different personal languages of poets and composers.
    Richard Rodney Bennet The Seasons of His Mercies
    John McCabe Scenes in America Deserta
    Cyrillus Kreek Taaveti laulud
    Jackson Hill Remembered Love
    Peter Maxwell Davies House of Winter
    Jean Sibelius Rakastava
    Zoltán Kodály Esti Dal
    Bob Chilcott Even Such is Time
     
  • On The Vasari Singers' debut disc with Signum Records we present a deeply intimate recording of personal and moving works by Herbert Howells and Frank Martin. In 1935 Herbert Howells’ son died at the age of nine. Howells sought release and consolation in his writing, and composed the a cappella six-movement Requiem as a private document to his son. Indeed, Howells considered his Requiem so personal an outpouring that he felt the need to withhold it from publication. It was not released until 1980, only three years before the composer ’s own death. The motet Take him, earth, for cherishing has the dedication "To the honoured memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President of the United States of America", and was composed for the commemoration in Washington on 6th June 1964. Frank Martin was a deeply religious man. He composed the Mass for Double Choir, early in his career. The work embodies the profound nature of his beliefs, and was the only work that Martin wrote purely for liturgical purposes. Such was the intensely intimate nature of the work, that, like Howells, the composer withheld it, and kept the manuscript safely in a drawer for over forty years. As Martin himself wrote, "This was something between God and me, that concerned nobody else". Over the last two decades, The Vasari Singers has built up an enviable reputation for excellence, versatility and sensitivity in both live performances and recordings. They perform these pieces with passion and devotion, and capture the very private and deep-rooted feelings contained within each work.
  • A stellar line-up of soloists, conductor, choir and orchestra combine forces in the re-mastered 2 CD set of Mozart's arrangement of Handel's much loved 'Messiah'. In April 1742, shortly after the first performance of Messiah in Dublin for the city's Charitable Musical Society, the Dublin Journal reported that the oratorio "was allowed by the greatest of Judges to be the finest Compostion of Musick that was ever heard". Sir Charles Mackerras continues the constantly evolving performance history of one of the world's most enduring masterpieces. Highly enjoyable - BBC Music Magazine  
  • Signum Records is delighted to announce the debut disc of Cantabile - Lullabyes and Goodbyes. The disc has been long in preparation and is the first to be recorded by Cantabile since On the Tracks of the Comedian Harmonists. Cantabile, are one of Britain’s longest- established vocal ensembles. Since they became widely known in the early nineteen-eighties they have mastered a wide array of musical styles and their flair for the stage continues to keep them in demand in theatres and cabaret as well as in concert halls and at festivals. The four voices blend beautifully and there isn't a sour note to be heard. Diction is consistently crystal clear [and] the contribution of Malcolm Martineau is first rateMusicWeb International
  • In their debut disc on Signum, the Caius choir celebrates the relationship between seven British contemporary composers and their influences drawn from the Medieval period. Fascinating stuff - Classic FM Magazine One or two surprisingly mature voices step out for solos from this young choir, and the blend and tuning are generally of a very high standard - Choir and Organ The Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge is impressively at home in this consummately difficult repertoire - Classics Today
  • Man I Sing

    £12.00
    The world-renowned choral composer and conductor Bob Chilcott leads the BBC Singers, as well as the internationally recognised soloists Simone Rebello and Paul Silverthorne, in these new performances of some of his best and most loved choral works. ‘He has the knack of exploring highly effective uncomplicated choral devices, and providing both singers and listeners with a complete cycle that leaves them fulfilled yet still prepared for more ... It is all splendidly entertaining.’

    Choir & Organ

    The Making of the Drum The Modern Man I Sing
    My Prayer Beach
    Advent Antiphons And Every Stone Shall Cry
    The Shepherd's Carol Simple Pictures of Tomorrow
    Pange Lingua Weather Report
  • A Christmas album you’ll want to return to year after year, from the fabulous Swingle Singers... There are few music lovers in this world who haven’t heard heard the name the Swingle Singers. Since the release of their ground - breaking debut album Jazz Sebastien Bach in 1963, this eight-voice a cappella group has performed in every continent and in the world’s most famous stages, sustaining over four decades a level of international popularity beyond the dreams of its founder, American born Ward Swingle. The current line-up of young, gorgeous and talented singers is, of course, several incarnations of “Swingles” younger than the original team. Ward Swingle affectionately refers to them as his “grandchildren”. What defines this unique group is not the personnel, nor even the choice of music, but the intimate, close microphone, quasi-instrumental sound with which they stunned the world all those years ago. They continue to do so today both live and in the studio. unwrapped will help to make Christmas an even more special occasion, Swingles-style. The quality of these vocal arrangements here is splendid ... A wonderful record, for home listening in intimate surroundings - International Record Review
  • 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 Flemish-born Giaches de Wert was one of many foreigners to dominate the Italian music scene in the mid to late sixteenth century, therefore to this day his music is largely unknown to many. It is the second of three books of Motets which appears on this disc, written when his skill as a madrigalist had reached its height. As part of the Kings College Choir, the choral scholars of Collegium Regale perform independently of the choir, singing a repertoire that encompasses 15th Century sacred music, jazz, folksongs and pop. Directed by Kings College’s and the BBC Singer’s renowned director Stephen Cleobury.
  • A new disc of works by the world renowned choral composer Bob Chilcott. Bob has been involved in choral music for most of his life and since he became a professional composer in 1997 he has had over 100 works published by Oxford University Press. He was hailed by Gramophone magazine as “one of the finest choral composers at work in Britain today.” This CD includes tracks with The Sirens, an ensemble of young professional women's voices specially created for this recording. Also featuring are a jazz trio with Alexander Hawkins on piano, Michael Chilcott on bass and Dereck Scurll on drums. The works included here reflect the strong support and interest that Bob’s vocal music generates, with commissions from a wide variety of choral societies, children & youth choirs and professional choruses.
  • 'I Love all Beauteous Things' explores a great collection of works by the British Composer Herbert Howells, featuring performances of some of his lesser-known choral and organ music. The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin have had a long and prosperous history: they were recorded as having taken part in the first performance of Handel's 'Messiah' in 1742. Since 1972 the new mixed voice choir, lead by Judy Martin, has been highly active with concerts tours and regular broadcasts for the RT? and BBC, as well as continuing worship in the cathedral.
  • The BBC Singers, led by David Hill, are the UK's only full-time professional chamber choir, and their repertoire and virtuosic versatility are almost boundless. The BBC Singers regularly work with the BBC's own orchestras as well as a number of period instrument and contemporary ensembles both in concert and in the recording studio. This disc features the compositional talent of one of the BBC Singer's former members, Judith Bingham. Bingham is considered a talented all-round composer, having written for a variety of different ensembles including symphonic wind ensembles, brass bands and solo instrumentalists, Despite this she is best known for her choral work, in which she has been commissioned by such ensembles as The King's Singers, the BBC Symphony Chorus and King's College Choir, Cambridge, She has won numerous awards including the Barlow Prize for a cappela music and three British Composer awards.
  • The composer Patrick Hawes has established a reputation as one of the most popular contemporary English composers working today. This new disc of choral and organ works centres on the mystery and beauty of the words of the Old Testament, with stunning performances from Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and Patrick’s own choral group Conventus, as well as accompaniment from The English Chamber Orchestra. Taking the Old testament as his inspiration, Classic FM's former composer in residence has come up with a new choral disc of mystery and beauty - Classic FM Magazine
  • Signum Records are proud to present the first release in a new series of live orchestral recordings featuring the illustrious St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, led by their chief conductor Yuri Temirkanov. These new recordings have been made possible thanks to the recent refurbishment of their home concert venue, the Grand Philharmonic Hall, allowing many of us to hear for the first time the excitement of the Philharmonic’s performances in their resident city of St Petersburg. This release will be followed later in the year with their live performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 (Leningrad). The orchestra moved like a single unit, swelling and surging, natural rubato raising tension, pacing and placing impeccably judged - The Independent This is a full-blooded performance of Verdi’s late work … Full marks for passion - The Daily Telegraph [Temirkanov] has been in charge of the St Petersburg Philharmonic since 1988 and the orchestra plays splendidly for him here. What particularly marks out the performance is his attention to dynamics - Classic FM Magazine Yuri Temirkanov’s mature and considered performance wears its own character with pride, rather than complying with any perfectionist norm. The reading sounds Russian: dark and edgy - The Sunday Times
  • Another highlight of Scotland's musical life comes from the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) National Girls Choir. Joined by Claire Jones, the official harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, Christopher Bell leads performances of Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, An English Day-Book - an exciting rarity by English composer Elizabeth Poston - and two contemporary works by Scottish composer Oliver Iredale Searle and Irish composer Stephen Deazley. ★★★★★ This debut recording by Christopher Bell's NYCoS National Girls Choir could so easily have been just another recording of Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, but for two things: the wholesome confidence of the choir itself … and the successful partnering of Britten's masterpiece with Elizabeth Poston's edgy and colourful An English Day-BookThe Scotsman The voices are rich toned, well-balanced and powered by developing teenage musculatureClassic FM Magazine Clear as a jingle-bell, the NYCoS National Girls Choir take Britten’s unadorned carols without fear or sentiment in a translucent readingLa Scena Musicale
  • "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
  • The Temple Church is one of the most historic and beautiful churches in London. Situated between Fleet Street and the Thames Embankment, its recorded musical history extends back to its restoration in 1841, although a church has stood on the site for over 800 years.

    The modern choir is comprised of 18 boy choristers and 12 professional choirmen – an excellent opportunity for the choristers who receive singing and theory tuition as well as generous scholarships towards their education. The programme explores three fascinating and contrasting settings of the Te Deum: A stalwart of the church liturgy (first conceived as far back as AD 387), these settings span over 300 years of English music history, composed respectively in 1694 (Purcell), 1897 (Elgar) and 1944 (Howells).

    This disc is complemented by the release of James Vivian’s English Organ Music from the Temple Church. 

     

     

     
  • This disc represents a new orchestra partnership for Signum Records with The Orchestra of the Age of the Englightenment, one of London and the world’s leading period-instrument ensembles. Led by Robert Howarth, the recording was made at Kings Place following the orchestras successful 2010 tour of the work.

    'Not all orchestras are the same,' runs the message on the cover, and it’s true: … a shimmering, captivating choral sound that seems to float effortlessly through the psalmsThe Independent

    What is impressive is the grammatical sense (underpinned by flexible accentuation) that the choir brings to the projection of the words in Dixit Dominus and at many other places. Also, as we might expect, the instrumentalists are terrificBBC Music Magazine In a word it is magnificent … this is one of the most enjoyable I have heard in recent yearsMusicWeb International