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Sacred Vocal Music - Released May 11, 2018 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
Fascinated by the Marian cult, whose contradictions he loves to highlight, Paul McCreesh offers here a purely choral programme, leaving behind the charms of orchestral instrumentation. Both virgin and mother, a symbol of both chastity and fertility, the figure of Mary also holds a strong erotic potential, which has not escaped Paul McCreesh, who designed this album by choosing English composers from the Renaissance to the present day, without any real disparity in style becoming apparent, proving the strength and continuity of British choral music. The great English movement of the rediscovery of polyphony in the 20th and 21st centuries doesn't stop at exploring the music of the Renaissance, but also rediscovering, and employing in new compositions, the beautiful medieval words set to music, which have been passed unamended down the centuries. Returning to the sources of Western music, Paul McCreesh asks whether the sudden popularity of religious music comes from a subliminal desire to recreate a world in which almost everyone believed in God. Fighting against a certain ethereal and angelic approach to religious choral music, McCreesh compares high polyphony to the architecture of a vast cathedral, trying to bring out its visceral side, on certain pieces at least. Listeners will note that this album contains the world's first recording of a new work commissioned by Paul McCreesh and the Gabriel Consort, written by the young British composer Matthew Martin. A Rose Magnificat (which also gives the whole album its name) was written for double choir and contains interjections from a medieval text. The composer wrote the piece in a "Stravinskian" manner, as he put it, while searching out Eastern and Byzantine flavours. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Secular Vocal Music - Released October 6, 2017 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The Gabrieli ensemble, under the direction of their remarkable leader Paul McCreesh, explore here the immensely rich British choral repertoire which is known as partsong, a sort of choral piece made up of a profane song written or arranged for several vocal parts. The theme can originate in folk music (real or imagined), or it can be even older - the term covers a vast range of formats. This is a long way from the rather soppy variety of vaguely pastoral pieces that are widely-spread, but less rich because more constrained in rhythmic, melodic and textual terms: many of the lyrics in this record are great poetry, and represent a corpus of 20th Century madrigals every bit as rich as their glorious Renaissance ancestors. Vaughan Williams and Elgar lead the way, followed by Charles Villiers Stanford, Herbert Howell and Percy Grainger (Australian by birth, but very British at heart), Britten et Warlock (nom de plume and nom de guerre of Philip Heseltine, a flamboyant and louche figure), and finally James McMillan and Jonathan Dive bring us up to the present day. For all its modern elements, the record doesn't neglect its heritage - the iconoclastic avant-garde is dead and buried - making this a real treat for aficionados, and when this excellent music is sung by the Gabrieli ensemble, our happiness is complete. © SM/Qobuz

Full Operas - Released October 28, 2016 | Ediciones Singulares

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice

Classical - Released January 1, 1993 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)