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29 January 2016
""Purchase this album means not only charity for the ear: the yield is partly intended for Macmillan, a foundation for fight against cancer.""Written in Music, 19-2-2016
"A beautifully balanced programme" Performance 5* Recording 5* BBC Music Magazine, November 2015
"If you wanted proof that the vocal ensemble Tenebrae is one of the most impressive chamber-sized collectives around at the moment, then, it's just arrived. Anton Bruckner's motets demand everything from choirs of any size: absolute security of intonation and ensemble, ease of tone production at the outer limits of the vocal ranges, both stratospherically high and earth-shakingly low, unlimited reserves of power, dynamic range and an ability to spin phrases seemingly sometimes of symphonic breadth. Tenebrae can do it all, it seems." BBC Radio 3 CD Review, November 2015
"The dense harmonies suit this well-established professional choir perfectly." The Guardian, November 2015
Described as “phenomenal” (The Times) and “devastatingly beautiful” (Gramophone Magazine), award-winning choir Tenebrae is one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles, renowned for its passion and precision.
For purity and precision of tone, and flawless intonation, Nigel Short’s chamber choir Tenebrae is pretty much unbeatable.
– The Times
Under the direction of Nigel Short, Tenebrae performs at major festivals and venues across the globe, including the BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Rheingau Musik Festival and Sydney Festival. The choir has earned international acclaim for its interpretations of choral music ranging from the Renaissance through to contemporary masterpieces, and it regularly commissions new music. Previous commissions have included works by Judith Bingham, Joanna Marsh, Owain Park, Josephine Stephenson, Joby Talbot and Roderick Williams. Tenebrae has enjoyed collaborations with some of the UK’s leading orchestras, appearing alongside the London Symphony Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia. The choir also produces an annual Holy Week Festival in partnership with St John’s Smith Square, London.
Choral development is central to Tenebrae’s ethos, and through its Associate Artist Programme it provides crucial training and performance opportunities to young professional singers. Alongside its performance and recording schedule, the choir also runs a thriving Learning & Connection programme which encompasses partnerships with Music Centre London and London Youth Choirs, Tenebrae Effect workshops with amateur choirs, and its newest programme Singing Schools. Run in partnership with Ealing Music Service, Singing Schools aims to embed a long-lasting singing culture in local schools which might otherwise face barriers to music-making.
A concert by the British choir Tenebrae is more than a performance. It’s an experience that envelops the audience… this is one of the best choirs in the world.
– St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Tenebrae’s ever-increasing discography has brought about collaborations with Signum, Decca Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, LSO Live and Warner Classics. In 2012 Tenebrae was the first-ever ensemble to be multi-nominated in the same category for the BBC Music Magazine Awards, securing the accolade of ‘Best Choral Performance’ for the choir’s recording of Victoria’s Requiem Mass, 1605. In 2016 Tenebrae received its second BBC Music Magazine Award for a recording of Brahms and Bruckner Motets, the profits from the sale of which benefit Macmillan Cancer Support. In 2018, the choir received its first Grammy nomination for its album of part songs from the British Isles, Music of the Spheres.
Signum’s current roster includes many excellent ensembles but the choral jewel in the crown is surely Tenebrae – Nigel Short’s outstanding chamber choir.
– Gramophone Magazine
‘Passion and Precision’ are Tenebrae’s core values. Through its continued dedication to performance of the highest quality, Tenebrae’s vision is to inspire audiences around the world through dramatic programming, flawless performances and unforgettable experiences.
Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer known for his symphonies, masses, and motets. The first are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, strongly polyphonic character, and considerable length. Bruckner's compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism, owing to their dissonances, unprepared modulations, and roving harmonies. Bruckner was greatly admired by subsequent composers including his friend Gustav Mahler, who described him as "half simpleton, half God".
Coming from a small farmer's village, Bruckner started his music education early, which he continued for a long time. Due to a mix of insecurity and eagerness to learn, Bruckner rushed from one study into another and he showed himself as a fanatic, but also remarkably talented, student. He started composing at an early age, but he considered everything before his 39th as mere practice. Bruckner never became a stable composer and relied on in short phases of creative energy. After these phases, he would spend ages revising his work. In particular his symphonies received countless revisions and new editions, which was also due to his insecurity, he was quite sensitive to criticism.
The premier of his Third Symphony was a disaster: a large part of the audience left the concert hall and a devastating review appeared afterwards. Luckily, appreciation for his work grew and at the time of his death, even the great Brahms attended his funeral.
"Purchase this album means not only charity for the ear: the yield is partly intended for Macmillan, a foundation for fight against cancer."
Written in Music, 19-2-2016