Will Todd: Lux et Veritas


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.
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What people are saying

"One of this year’s finest releases" Classic FM 

"don’t miss this movingly accessible and genuinely sensitive choral collection." Musicweb International, October 2014

"sumptuous, soothing and reflective music for all occasions." Northern Echo, November 2014

"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 and Organ, November 2014

Will Todd
Tenebrae, English Chamber Orchestra

Release date:29th Sep 2014
Order code:SIGCD394
Barcode: 635212039427

This CD – subtitled ‘Music for Peace and Reflection’ – is the second of Todd’s music to have hailed from Tenebrae on the Signum Classics label. Todd writes in an accessible style that has gained him a wide following. There’s nothing wrong with that, and each person hearing this disc will have his or her personal favourites. This listener particularly admired the setting of Exult Us in Your Love and ‘Tidings’. 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 and Organ

No.3 – Best Albums of the Year

Classic FM

This new album from Will Todd with chamber choir Tenebrae and English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Nigel Short offers sumptuous, soothing and reflective music for all occasions.

Northern Echo

No ragged edges or raging anger here, although we know from his St Cuthbert, his opera Brune l and The Blackened Man that both – and more – lie within Will Todd’s expressive compass.

The title of the disc is a faithful reflection of the content. Here are fourteen choral pieces ranging in duration from 6:24 to 2:03. They are discreetly accompanied by orchestra and/or organ or piano. The style is accessible – perhaps a little commercial and soft focus at times but by no stretch of the imagination facile. The settings honour the words rather than riding roughshod over their landscape.

Tenebrae is a professional chamber choir and this shows in every cooling bar they sing here. The music moves from the softly consolatory and undulating ripple of Remembrance, which is both instantly accessible and touching, to the greater complexity and intricate balance of For Peace. This latter is notable for a slow eruption of exaltation. It also has a truly effective instantaneous acceleration of the pulse towards the close and then a falling away.

These pieces often deploy a slow and plangent ostinato patterning – a cooling pulsation in the piano, played here by James Sherlock who also plays the organ. There are many telling moments but I also single out, in Encircled, the quietly lovely burred singing from the men and later the use of a sweetly intoned solo violin. There’s a fluttery jazziness in the outstanding Tidings which has the bright, eager way of Geoffrey Bush whose songs have just been celebrated afresh in a Lyrita CD. In Sanctus we hear a downy softness. Lux Beata has a plainchant patina although an organ is present to accentuate the monastic coolness of the music. By the way, the organ also takes a role in a Celtic Blessing. More than once Todd snatches precious moments with dizzily high and numinous bluebird notes which light the way.

The words are included in the booklet with the Latin texts also shown in English translation.

Signum have been a haven for Will Todd’s music and The Call of Wisdom, featuring music commissioned for HRH The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee service in St Paul’s Cathedral in 2012 serves as testimony. The larger Will Todd Ensemble has also recorded Mass in Blue with the Vasari Singers for Signum.

Todd premières over the last decade have included the Requiem for choir, soprano and electric guitar, commissioned and premiered by the Fairhaven Singers in 2009; Te Deum for the Vivace Chorus under Jeremy Backhouse and Jazz Concerto for Clarinet – a new clarinet concerto for Emma Johnson. Plans include a setting of Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale for Hertfordshire Chorus and the New York première of Mass in Blue at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

I do hope that Signum will give us more Todd. We need to hear his Violin Concerto as well as the two symphonic tone poems: Keats and Dylan Thomas not to mention the astonishingly impressive grand opera Brune l and his more recent Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Meantime don’t miss this movingly accessible and genuinely sensitive choral collection.

Rob Barnett, Musicweb International

These are beautifully melodic and touching pieces for calm, reflective moments, all sensitively performed by Tenebrae with the English Chamber Orchestra, directed by Nigel Short.

Classic FM

  1. Remembrance – Will Todd – 4.24
  2. No More Sorrow – Will Todd – 5.13
  3. Softly – Will Todd – 3.30
  4. For Peace – Will Todd – 6.24
  5. A Celtic Blessing – Will Todd – 5.46
  6. Precious Moment – Will Todd – 4.37
  7. Encircled – Will Todd – 4.11
  8. Agnus Dei – Will Todd – 5.50
  9. In This Place – Will Todd – 4.31
  10. Exalt Us In Your Love – Will Todd – 5.42
  11. Tidings – Will Todd – 5.14
  12. Sanctus – Will Todd – 2.30
  13. O Lux Beata – Will Todd – 6.07
  14. Christus Est Stella – Will Todd – 3.31