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The House of the Mind
Various composers

Choir of The Queen's College, Oxford

The House of the Mind

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212049129
Catnr: SIGCD 491
Release date: 06 July 2018
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Label
Signum Classics
UPC
0635212049129
Catalogue number
SIGCD 491
Release date
06 July 2018
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
NL

About the album

The Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford celebrate the works of choral music icon Herbert Howells in a disc that sets his works alongside pieces that they inspired and influenced – such as Nico Muhly’s Like as the Hart for choir, solo violin and percussion – as well as works that in turn influenced him. The disc features two world premiere recordings by David Bednall: settings of two Marian antiphons Alma redemptoris mater and Ave regina caelorum that ‘complete’ the partly-lost set of works that Howells wrote for Westminster Cathedral.

Led by their director Owen Rees, the Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford is among the finest and most active university choirs in the UK. Its wide-ranging repertory includes a rich array of music from Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces to contemporary works, including commissions. Their recording of David Bednall’s Christmas work Welcome All Wonders was met with critical praise:

“An excellent disc: the singing is incredibly tight, in the manner to which it has become increasingly accustomed under its musical director, Owen Rees, and Bednall’s writing is ingenious, embedded in a profound understanding of the workings of the choir and organ – both as distinct entries and as a partnership.” Gramophone

Herbert Howells ontwikkelde een onmiddellijk herkenbare en typerende stem in zijn koormuziek. Deze stem is onlosmakelijk verbonden met de Anglicaanse liturgie, kerken en koren. Hij roept geen formaliteit of traditionalisme op, maar wordt in plaats daarvan gekenmerkt door opvallende sensualiteit en duidelijke vrijheid.

Het Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford, viert de werken van koormuziekicoon Herbert Howells op een album dat zijn werken naast werken die ze inspireerden en beïnvloedden plaatst – zoals Nico Muhly’s Like as the Hart voor koor, soloviool en percussie – evenals werken die Howells zelf hebben beïnvloed. Het album bevat twee wereldpremièreopnames van David Bednall: toonzettingen van de twee Maria-antifonen Alma redemptoris mater en Ave regina caelorum, die de deels verloren gegane reeks werken die Howells voor Westminster Cathedral schreef ‘voltooien’.

Het Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford, onder leiding van Owen Rees, is een van de voortreffelijkste en meest actieve universiteitskoren van het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Zijn brede repertoire bevat een keur aan muziek, van meesterwerken uit de Renaissance en de Barok tot aan hedendaagse werken, waaronder opdrachtwerken. Hun opname van David Bednalls kerstwerk Welcome All Wonders werd met veel bijval door de critici ontvangen.

Artist(s)

Choir of The Queen's College Oxford

‘An undoubted jewel in Britain’s choral scene’ (BBC Music Magazine), the Choir of The Queen’s College Oxford is among the finest and most active university choirs in the UK. Its extensive concert schedule involves appearances across the UK and abroad, including work with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Britten Sinfonia, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. It regularly tours abroad, and concert tours have included Taiwan, China, the USA, Sri Lanka, Italy, Sardinia, Portugal, Spain, Frans, the Low Countries, and Germany. The choir’s wide-ranging repertory includes a rich array of Renaissance and Baroque music and contemporary works. The group broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio, and during the academic year it provides the music...
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‘An undoubted jewel in Britain’s choral scene’ (BBC Music Magazine), the Choir of The Queen’s College Oxford is among the finest and most active university choirs in the UK. Its extensive concert schedule involves appearances across the UK and abroad, including work with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Britten Sinfonia, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. It regularly tours abroad, and concert tours have included Taiwan, China, the USA, Sri Lanka, Italy, Sardinia, Portugal, Spain, Frans, the Low Countries, and Germany. The choir’s wide-ranging repertory includes a rich array of Renaissance and Baroque music and contemporary works. The group broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio, and during the academic year it provides the music for regular services in the splendid Baroque chapel of The Queen’s College. Among its recordings on Signum Classics, Carlos from Queen’s enjoyed nine weeks in the Specialist Classical Charts, was ‘Drive Feature Album of the Week’ on Classic FM, and was a Telegraph Christmas pick; A New Heaven (2017) and The House of the Mind (2018) both went straight to no. 1 in the Specialist Classical Chart in their first week of sales; and 2019 was the release of a recording of music by the great Tudor composer John Taverner, which received a Diapason d’or and was described by Diapason as ‘a splendid triumph of English choral art at its best’. Queen’s Choir has also recorded for film in the famous Abbey Road Studios, and appears on teh Grammy-nominated soundtrack of the Warner-Brothers film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.


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Owen Rees (conductor)

Owen Rees is both performer and scholar, his scholarship consistently informing his performances.  Through his extensive work as a choral director, he has brought to the concert hall and recording studio substantial repertories of magnificent Renaissance and Baroque music, including many previously unknown or little-known works from Spain and Portugal. His interpretations of these repertories have been acclaimed as ‘rare examples of scholarship and musicianship combining to result in performances that are both impressive and immediately attractive to the listener’, and he has been described as ‘one of the most energetic and persuasive voices’ in this field.   He has conducted at festivals worldwide, and is increasingly busy as a leader of workshops on performance of Renaissance polyphony. He has broadcast...
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Owen Rees is both performer and scholar, his scholarship consistently informing his performances. Through his extensive work as a choral director, he has brought to the concert hall and recording studio substantial repertories of magnificent Renaissance and Baroque music, including many previously unknown or little-known works from Spain and Portugal. His interpretations of these repertories have been acclaimed as ‘rare examples of scholarship and musicianship combining to result in performances that are both impressive and immediately attractive to the listener’, and he has been described as ‘one of the most energetic and persuasive voices’ in this field. He has conducted at festivals worldwide, and is increasingly busy as a leader of workshops on performance of Renaissance polyphony. He has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and on Portuguese, Spanish, and Norwegian radio. He has released CD recordings on the Hyperion, Signum, and Avie labels to consistently high critical acclaim and his work has been shortlisted for the Gramophone Early Music Award.
Owen Rees began his academic and conducting career as Organ Scholar at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, studying with Peter le Huray and Iain Fenlon. After a period as College Lecturer in Music at St Peter’s College and St Edmund Hall, Oxford, he joined the Music Department at the University of Surrey, where he was promoted to the post of Reader. In 1997 he returned to Oxford, where—in addition to his posts of Fellow in Music at The Queen’s College and Director of Music of the Choir of The Queen's College—he is Senior Research Fellow at Somerville College and a Professor in the Faculty of Music. His numerous published studies include work on the Spanish composers Cristóbal de Morales and Francisco Guerrero and the English composer William Byrd.

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Composer(s)

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...
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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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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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