Gabrieli Consort

Silence & Music

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212049020
Catnr: SIGCD 490
Release date: 06 October 2017
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Label
Signum Classics
UPC
0635212049020
Catalogue number
SIGCD 490
Release date
06 October 2017

"A must for every choir lover."

Klassieke Zaken, 29-9-2017
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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NL

About the album

This programme explores that vast twentieth-century secular English choral repertoire which goes under the generic title ‘partsongs’. It is an extraordinarily rich repertoire to which almost all the famous composers contributed. Buried amongst vast quantities of slightly twee pastoralism – the much-derided “cow-pat” school – are to be found many settings of glorious poetry, forming a corpus of sublime twentieth-century madrigals at least as fine as their famous renaissance forebears. However, this programme has another particular theme: how poets and composers reflect upon the natural world as a metaphor for our own emotional experience. At the heart of this programme is the complex relationship between man and nature, the bitter-sweetness of a radiant and beautiful dawn creating the same unbearable sadness of a ravishing song, and both with intimations of mortality.

Sublieme partsongs over de relatie tussen mens en natuur
Dit programma verkent het enorme 20e-eeuwse wereldlijke Engelse koorrepertoire dat wordt aangeduid met de algemene naam ‘partsongs’. Het is een buitengewoon rijk repertoire waaraan bijna alle beroemde componisten hebben bijgedragen. Tussen de enorme hoeveelheden van enigszins lief pastoralisme – de vaak belachelijke gemaakte “koeienvlaaischool” – kunnen vele toonzettingen van glorieuze poëzie gevonden worden, die samen een corpus van sublieme 20e-eeuwse madrigalen vormen die minstens net zo voortreffelijk zijn als hun beroemde voorgangers uit de renaissance.

Dit programma heeft echter nog een ander thema: hoe dichters en componisten reflecteren op de natuurlijke wereld als een metafoor voor onze eigen emotionele ervaringen. In de kern van dit programma ligt de complexe relatie tussen mens en natuur, de bitterzoetheid van een stralende en prachtige dageraad die hetzelfde ondraaglijke verdriet van een verrukkelijk lied creëert, beide met suggesties van sterfelijkheid.

Artist(s)

Gabrieli Consort

Gabrieli are a choir and period instrument orchestra founded and led by Artistic Director Paul McCreesh. We perform and record great choral, vocal and instrumental repertoire from the renaissance to the present day for the widest possible audience, cultivating an international reputation for excellence, innovation and ambition. Our mission is to educate the public, in every sense – to be standard bearers for the highest quality of performance, to explain, illustrate and illuminate the guiding principles behind our performance ideals and to offer first-class performance opportunities to young people through our bold and ambitious education programme, Gabrieli Roar. Gabrieli’s interpretations strive to recreate the original performances of musical works as far as possible, in the belief that historical performance ideals and...
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Gabrieli are a choir and period instrument orchestra founded and led by Artistic Director Paul McCreesh. We perform and record great choral, vocal and instrumental repertoire from the renaissance to the present day for the widest possible audience, cultivating an international reputation for excellence, innovation and ambition. Our mission is to educate the public, in every sense – to be standard bearers for the highest quality of performance, to explain, illustrate and illuminate the guiding principles behind our performance ideals and to offer first-class performance opportunities to young people through our bold and ambitious education programme, Gabrieli Roar.
Gabrieli’s interpretations strive to recreate the original performances of musical works as far as possible, in the belief that historical performance ideals and knowledge of the old world are essential for creating music anew. We seek to engage with and to explore the links between music from all periods. Through lively music-making, committed research and the production of ground-breaking recordings, Gabrieli’s mission is to challenge common and accepted perceptions of classical music, and to re-invigorate and innovate in order to sustain the relevance of these great pieces of art in the twenty-first century.

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Paul McCreesh (conductor)

Paul McCreesh is the founder and Artistic Director of the Gabrieli Consort & Players which he established in 1982 and with whom he has toured world-wide and made many award-winning recordings. McCreesh is well-known for the energy and passion that he brings to his music-making, and he is especially enthusiastic about working with young musicians, broadening access to classical music. He works regularly with youth orchestras and choirs and is active in building new educational initiatives whenever possible. McCreesh has conducted many of the major orchestras and choirs across the globe, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Bergen Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Verbier Festival Orchestra and Berlin Konzerthausorchester. McCreesh also enjoys regular and ongoing collaborations...
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Paul McCreesh is the founder and Artistic Director of the Gabrieli Consort & Players which he established in 1982 and with whom he has toured world-wide and made many award-winning recordings. McCreesh is well-known for the energy and passion that he brings to his music-making, and he is especially enthusiastic about working with young musicians, broadening access to classical music. He works regularly with youth orchestras and choirs and is active in building new educational initiatives whenever possible.
McCreesh has conducted many of the major orchestras and choirs across the globe, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Bergen Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Verbier Festival Orchestra and Berlin Konzerthausorchester. McCreesh also enjoys regular and ongoing collaborations with Saint Paul and Basel Chamber Orchestras. In 2018-19 he conducts Elgar and Brahms for Kammerakademie Potsdam, Mendelssohn and Britten for Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, and Handel for Symphonique de Montréal, alongside appearances with Filharmonia Poznanska and MDR Radio Symphony.
From 2013-2016 he was Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the Gulbenkian Orchestra (Lisbon) with whom he conducted a wide range of music from the classical period through the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing in particular on symphonic repertoire, oratorio and opera in concert, working closely with the world-renowned Gulbenkian Choir.
McCreesh has established a strong reputation in the opera house and has conducted productions at the Teatro Real Madrid, Royal Danish Opera, Opera Comique, Vlaamse Opera and at the Verbier Festival. Most recently he conducted Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Bergen Opera, and returned to Vlaamse Opera for a production of Idomeneo.
In 2011 McCreesh launched his own record label, Winged Lion, in collaboration with the Gabrieli Consort & Players, Signum Classics and the Wratislavia Cantans Festival, where he was Artistic Director from 2006-2012. To date they have made ten recordings, most recently A Rose Magnificat, music dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary from the Renaissance to the present day, released in May 2018 and lauded by critics: “Captivating … imaginative … ambitious” (Financial Times), “the superlative Gabrieli Consort give a formidably encompassing performance” (BBC Music Magazine), “pristine: carefully balanced and always cleanly tuned” (Gramophone). Other highlights include Haydn The Seasons, Britten War Requiem (BBC Music Magazine Award 2014), Mendelssohn Elijah (Diapason d’Or Award 2013), Berlioz’s gargantuan Grande Messe des Morts (BBC Award 2012), and a reworking of his earlier Gabrieli disc, A New Venetian Coronation 1595 (Gramophone Award 2013).

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Composer(s)

James MacMillan

James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful composers and is also internationally active as a conductor. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music. MacMillan first became internationally recognized after the extraordinary success of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie at the BBC Proms in 1990. His prolific output has since been performed and broadcast around the world. His major works include percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, which has received more than 400 performances, a cello concerto for Mstislav Rostropovich and three symphonies. Recent major works include his St John Passion co-commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,...
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James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful composers and is also internationally active as a conductor. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music.
MacMillan first became internationally recognized after the extraordinary success of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie at the BBC Proms in 1990.
His prolific output has since been performed and broadcast around the world. His major works include percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, which has received more than 400 performances, a cello concerto for Mstislav Rostropovich and three symphonies. Recent major works include his St John Passion co-commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Radio Choir, his Violin Concerto, Viola Concerto, St Luke Passion and, most recently, his Percussion Concerto No.2 for Colin Currie, co-commissioned by the Philharmonia Orchestra, Edinburgh International Festival, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
MacMillan enjoys a flourishing career as conductor of his own music alongside a range of contemporary and standard repertoire, praised for the composer’s insight he brings to each score. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic until 2013 and was Composer/ Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic from 2000-2009; he has conducted orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony, Danish Radio Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Luxembourg Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra among others. MacMillan was Composer in Residence at the 2012 Grafenegg Festival and a London Symphony Orchestra Portrait Artist in the 2009/10 season.
In spring 2014 MacMillan conducted three projects with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, culminating in a ground-breaking tour to India with Nicola Benedetti performing in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi including public concerts, schools concerts and outreach work. In the 2014/15 season, MacMillan conducts orchestras including the Bergen Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Britten Sinfonia. In January 2015 he conducts a new production of his opera, Inés de Castro, at Scottish Opera and elsewhere this season conducts choral concerts in Sao Paulo and with the BBC Singers. In October 2014 MacMillan founded his music festival, The Cumnock Tryst, which takes place in his native Ayrshire.


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Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten is one most important British composers from the second half of the twentieth century. Remarkably, he focused on opera, a dying genre, at least in its current form. Britten's contributions however, among which Peter Grimes, The Rape of Lucretia, Gloriana, The Turn of the Screw, and Death in Venice, managed to remain core repertoire for opera companies to this day. Many of these productions included a role for his artistic partner and life companion Peter Pears. Britten also wrote a number of lieder for this tenor, among which his Serenade for tenor, horn and string orchestra. Yet, Britten excelled in many more genres. He wasn't even 20 years old when he composed his brilliant Phantasy for hobo quartet and his friendship with...
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Benjamin Britten is one most important British composers from the second half of the twentieth century. Remarkably, he focused on opera, a dying genre, at least in its current form. Britten's contributions however, among which Peter Grimes, The Rape of Lucretia, Gloriana, The Turn of the Screw, and Death in Venice, managed to remain core repertoire for opera companies to this day. Many of these productions included a role for his artistic partner and life companion Peter Pears. Britten also wrote a number of lieder for this tenor, among which his Serenade for tenor, horn and string orchestra. Yet, Britten excelled in many more genres. He wasn't even 20 years old when he composed his brilliant Phantasy for hobo quartet and his friendship with the legendary cellist Rostropovich led to a Cello sonata, three Suites for cello solo and a Symphony for Cello and orchestra in the 1960s.

Britten never became Master of the Queen's Music, yet he surely had feeling for public sentiments. For example, as a pacifist, he taught his people about world peace through his War Requiem from 1962. Britten was an excellent interpreter of his own work, just like Bartók and Stravinsky. Many of his recordings have been matched, but never exceeded.


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Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams was an English composer and folk song collector. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over nearly fifty years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century. He wrote many works for amateur and student performance. He was musically a late developer, not finding his true voice until his late thirties; his studies in 1907–08 with the French composer Maurice Ravel helped him clarify the textures of his music. Vaughan Williams is among the best-known British symphonists, noted for his very wide range of moods, from stormy and impassioned to...
more
Ralph Vaughan Williams was an English composer and folk song collector. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over nearly fifty years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century.
He wrote many works for amateur and student performance. He was musically a late developer, not finding his true voice until his late thirties; his studies in 1907–08 with the French composer Maurice Ravel helped him clarify the textures of his music.
Vaughan Williams is among the best-known British symphonists, noted for his very wide range of moods, from stormy and impassioned to tranquil, from mysterious to exuberant. Among the most familiar of his other concert works are Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) and The Lark Ascending (1914). His vocal works include hymns, folk-song arrangements and large-scale choral pieces. He wrote eight works for stage performance between 1919 and 1951. Although none of his operas became popular repertoire pieces, his ballet Job: A Masque for Dancing (1930) was successful and has been frequently staged.

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Edward Elgar

Eward Elgar was a British composer, who stood on the forefront of the revival of English music around 1900. Many of his works have entered the international concert repertoire, although there are performed more often in Britain than elsewhere. Although Elgar is often considered as a typically English composer, he has primarily been influenced by composers on the European continent. He was contemptuous of folk music and had little respect for English Renaissance and Baroque composers. Instead he was particularly inspired by Dvorák, Händel and Brahms, and the clarity of 19th-century French composers, which resonates through his orchestrations. Elgar was autodidact, and learned to play the organ, violin and viola at an early age within the musical family in which he was...
more
Eward Elgar was a British composer, who stood on the forefront of the revival of English music around 1900. Many of his works have entered the international concert repertoire, although there are performed more often in Britain than elsewhere.
Although Elgar is often considered as a typically English composer, he has primarily been influenced by composers on the European continent. He was contemptuous of folk music and had little respect for English Renaissance and Baroque composers. Instead he was particularly inspired by Dvorák, Händel and Brahms, and the clarity of 19th-century French composers, which resonates through his orchestrations.
Elgar was autodidact, and learned to play the organ, violin and viola at an early age within the musical family in which he was brought up. He also composed and arranged music for various ensembles. He became somewhat well-known with his overture Froissart, but only gained international recognition after composing his Enigma Variations in 1899. Currently researchers are still trying to find out which melody Elgar has hidden within the variations.
Other famous works by Elgar are the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, the oratorio The Dream of Gerontinus and the Cello Concerto.
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Charles Villiers Stanford

Charles Villiers Stanford was born in Ireland, but rose to fame as a composer, conductor and music teacher in England. While he was still an undergraduate, he was appointed organist of Trinity College, Cambrigde. In 1882 he was one of the founders of the Royal College of Music, where he taught composition for the rest of his life. Later he also became Professor of Music at Cambridge University. Among his pupils were rising composers who would surpass him later on, such as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst. Stanford composed about 200 works in almost every genre, amongst others seven symphonies, nine operas, 11 concertos, 40 choral works and 28 chamber works. Throughout his career he was always admired for his...
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Charles Villiers Stanford was born in Ireland, but rose to fame as a composer, conductor and music teacher in England. While he was still an undergraduate, he was appointed organist of Trinity College, Cambrigde. In 1882 he was one of the founders of the Royal College of Music, where he taught composition for the rest of his life. Later he also became Professor of Music at Cambridge University. Among his pupils were rising composers who would surpass him later on, such as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst.
Stanford composed about 200 works in almost every genre, amongst others seven symphonies, nine operas, 11 concertos, 40 choral works and 28 chamber works. Throughout his career he was always admired for his technical mastery. On the day of Stanford's death, Gustav Holst said Herbert Howells, “The one man who could get any one of us out of a technical mess is now gone from us.” After his death most of his music was quickly forgotten, with the exception of his choral works for church performance. His music became eclipsed by that of Edward Elgar and his former pupils.

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Herbert Howells

Herbert Howells studied at the Royal College of Music, London, with Stanford and Wood and taught there himself from 1920 until 1979. He succeeded Holst at the St. Paul’s Girls School and had a professorship at the London University. His music is clearly in the British diatonic tradition, with connections towards Elgar, Walton and Vaughan Williams. Amongst his early works are two piano concertos and chamber music, but his oeuvre mainly consists of choral works, including 15 anthems, a concert requiem (Hymnus paradisi from 1938, first performed in 1950), masses, motets, and several songs. Deeply rooted in the English choral tradition, Howells’ work demonstrates great, precious craftsmanship and a modest, very eloquent personality. (Source:Musicalifeiten.nl)
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Herbert Howells studied at the Royal College of Music, London, with Stanford and Wood and taught there himself from 1920 until 1979. He succeeded Holst at the St. Paul’s Girls School and had a professorship at the London University. His music is clearly in the British diatonic tradition, with connections towards Elgar, Walton and Vaughan Williams.
Amongst his early works are two piano concertos and chamber music, but his oeuvre mainly consists of choral works, including 15 anthems, a concert requiem (Hymnus paradisi from 1938, first performed in 1950), masses, motets, and several songs. Deeply rooted in the English choral tradition, Howells’ work demonstrates great, precious craftsmanship and a modest, very eloquent personality.
(Source:Musicalifeiten.nl)
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Press

A must for every choir lover.
Klassieke Zaken, 29-9-2017

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