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In the Bleak Midwinter: Christmas Carols from King's

Choir of King's College, Cambridge

Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 november 2021 | Kings College Cambridge

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Proud Songsters: O Lovely Night

Gerald Finley

Liederen - Verschenen op 18 juni 2021 | Kings College Cambridge

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Duruflé: Complete Organ Works

Thomas Trotter

Klassiek - Verschenen op 11 juni 2021 | Kings College Cambridge

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Not yet familiar with Maurice Duruflé's organ music? Listen to the Prélude sur l'Introït de l'Épiphanie, Op. 13 from 1961: in two minutes, the composer gives a full summary of his work. An almost circular melody, wide and generous, unfolds through magical and autumnal registrations. Where are we? This music feels like it is coming at us from out of history. A crumhorn reworking of Couperin? A very chromatic improvisation by Johann Sebastian Bach? No, it is Maurice Duruflé, who blends the melismas and breaths of Gregorian chant into the modern harmony of a Ravel. And this synthesis of genius, which would also produce the Mass cum jubilo Op. 11 (1966), gives this music its timeless charm. The fact that this music is so brief, like the composer's body of work, from which many sketches and completed compositions have been excised, adds to the intensity of the moment. A man of the church and of the Christian tradition, Maurice Duruflé was fiercely demanding of himself, as was Paul Dukas, who taught him composition several decades earlier. Duruflé's work consists of only fourteen pieces, none of which are particularly long!Duruflé's colouristic sense shines through everywhere, and the astonishing Prélude to the wonderful Suite Op. 5 remains one of the most significant examples of this tendency. The terrifying, horror-film opening gradually turns into a psalmodic thriller, ending in a meditation on earthly life as seen from heaven. In a relatively moderate tempo, Thomas Trotter displays a breathtaking feel for gradation in this passage, surely one of the most intense moments in Maurice Duruflé's back catalogue.Throughout this album, Thomas Trotter - an English organist born in 1957, whose imposing Decca discography deserves re-evaluation - displays treasures of musicality and above all of sensitivity. Although his organs do not show off such marvellous timbres as those of the instruments in the Abbey of Saint-Ouen (Rouen) or Saint-Etienne du Mont (Paris), Trotter is truly prodigious, on the one hand in how he works on structure, and on the other hand, and especially, in his sense of narration and breathing, which is so typical of Duruflé. This work is quite simply poignant. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Errollyn Wallen: Peace on Earth

Choir of King's College, Cambridge

Koormuziek - Verschenen op 13 november 2020 | Kings College Cambridge

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These three choral works by acclaimed contemporary composer Errollyn Wallen continue the timeless tradition of reflecting on the human spirit through sung words. Peace on Earth, See that I am God and Pace reach across centuries of traditions and cultures to mould their expression and they range from the intimate to the majestic. Peace on Earth is a contemporary carol and a setting of Wallen’s own words: the bleakness of winter in a turning, troubled world conveyed through a slowly spinning ostinato over which the voices sing (as they themselves hear other unseen voices sing) of the hope for light and peace. See that I am God was first performed in 2014 by St Paul’s Cathedral Consort to celebrate 20 years of the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood in the Church of England. The text is by Julian of Norwich, the 14th-century religious visionary, and her words inspired a dramatic setting where the consummate combination of voices and organ depicts the mystery and exhilaration of faith. Pace is best understood as a single human breath; as a single line; as a world’s long, long journey to light. Born in Belize, Errollyn Wallen gave up her training at the Dance Theater of Harlem, New York to study composition at the universities of London and Cambridge. She founded her own Ensemble X, and its motto ’We don’t break down barriers in music… we don’t see any’ reflects her genuine, free-spirited approach and eclectic musicianship. She has been commissioned by outstanding music institutions from the BBC to the Royal Opera House and performed her songs internationally. © King’s College, Cambridge
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Bruckner: Mass in E Minor, Motets

Choir of King's College, Cambridge

Koormuziek - Verschenen op 16 oktober 2020 | Kings College Cambridge

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Bruckner's Mass No. 2 in E minor, WAB 27, was composed for mixed chorus, not for an English cathedral choir with boy sopranos, and listeners will make up their own minds about this departure from tradition. It's interesting that the late Choir of King's College, Cambridge, director Stephen Cleobury chose this work for his final recording with the choir: it's far from the group's usual wheelhouse, or his own, yet one can understand his motivations. The work is a real challenge for the singers, with long stretches of polyphony blooming into moments of radiant faith. Sample the Credo and listen to the glorious Resurrexit, and the appeal of Cleobury's approach becomes clear. The young singers do everything that's asked of them, and in its way, this is a virtuoso performance. In the short motets that make up the balance of the program, the ages of the singers are less of an issue, and the performances have the feel of a group that revels in its own space. The Locus iste is memorable in its soaring quality. Ultimately listener reactions here will depend on how they feel about the extension of boy singers into this repertory, but the album makes a fine swan song for Cleobury's always progressive and remarkable career. © TiVo
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Howells: Cello Concerto, An English Mass

Choir of King's College, Cambridge

Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 7 juni 2019 | Kings College Cambridge

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This release is likely to get a good deal of publicity due to its status as the final release of Stephen Cleobury as director of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. However, as president of the Herbert Howells Society, he may not be through with performing the music of this composer just yet. Cleobury deserves kudos for this rather challenging double album; he might easily have compiled a set of favorites of some kind, and enjoyed general acclaim. Instead, he has chosen to go out with a piece of work that makes a deeper connection with tradition. Even though he did not succeed Howells as an organist at Cambridge, he certainly lived and breathed his music, and is as fine an interpreter of it as anyone alive. So, this music is a little Howells survey as well as a Cleobury valedictory, and it succeeds notably on both counts. In addition to choral music, and a set of organ pieces brilliantly realized by Cleobury, there's the lyrical Cello Concerto, performed by Guy Johnston on cello, with the Britten Sinfonia under Christopher Seaman. It's a fine, somehow intimate reading. For Cleobury in his element, sample around on CD 1: the English Mass of 1956, which represented an intentional simplification of Howells' dense, ornate style, is ideally suited to Cleobury and his boys-and-men choristers, but perhaps the highlight of the whole is the limpid Magnificat, a gloriously lyrical, unique response to that text. A fine bookend to Cleobury's Cambridge career. © TiVo
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Messiaen: La Nativité du Seigneur

Richard Gowers

Klassiek - Verschenen op 21 september 2018 | Kings College Cambridge

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Nine extraordinary meditations by one of the twentieth century’s musical titans, performed on the magnificent King’s College Chapel organ by former organ scholar Richard Gowers. Written in 1935, La Nativité du Seigneur is one of Messiaen’s most popular organ works, and a piece that helped to establish the then 27 year-old as an important figure in contemporary music. Premiered in February 1936 at the Église de la Sainte-Trinité in Paris, where Messiaen was organist for more than sixty years, the debut performance was shared between three of his close friends; with Daniel-Lesur, Jean Langlais and Jean-Jacques Grunenwald each tackling three movements. A testament to Messiaen’s devout Catholicism, each movement follows a portion of the Christmas story, from the Virgin Birth to Epiphany, with the number of movements symbolic of the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy. Significantly, the work contains early examples of Messiaen’s signature compositional elements, such as birdsong, rhythmic inspiration from Hindustani and Carnatic musical traditions, and the ‘modes of limited transportation’, which he would later publish in "La technique de mon langage musical". Born in 1994, Richard Gowers is a British organist, pianist and conductor. After becoming a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists at the age of 17, he won first prize at the 2013 Northern Ireland International Organ Competition and studied at the Mendelssohn Conservatoire in Leipzig. From 2014 to 2017 he held the distinguished position of organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge and in September 2017 he became Chapel Choir Organist at the Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban. His career as a concert organist has seen him perform in prestigious venues around the world, including Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral. © King's College
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Grier: Lit by Holy Fire

Stephen Cleobury

Koormuziek - Verschenen op 8 juni 2018 | Kings College Cambridge

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Nico Muhly: To Stand In This House

Stephen Cleobury

Koormuziek - Verschenen op 1 mei 2018 | Kings College Cambridge

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Watkins: Carol Eliseus - Single

Stephen Cleobury

Klassiek - Verschenen op 24 december 2017 | Kings College Cambridge

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Berkeley: This Endernight - Single

Choir of King's College, Cambridge

Klassiek - Verschenen op 24 december 2016 | Kings College Cambridge

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Twelve Days of Christmas

The King's Men, Cambridge

Klassiek - Verschenen op 14 oktober 2016 | Kings College Cambridge

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Evensong Live 2016

Choir of King's College, Cambridge

Klassiek - Verschenen op 8 juli 2016 | Kings College Cambridge

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The King's Men: After Hours

The King's Men, Cambridge

Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 juni 2014 | Kings College Cambridge

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