Album info



Label: SOMM Recordings

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Vocal

Album including Album cover


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FLAC 96 $ 14.00
  • Jonathan Dove (b. 1959): The Passing of the Year:
  • 1The Passing of the Year (Version for Double Chorus & Piano): I. Invocation01:14
  • 2The Passing of the Year (Version for Double Chorus & Piano): II. The Narrow Bud Opens Her Beauties to the Sun02:33
  • 3The Passing of the Year (Version for Double Chorus & Piano): III. Answer July02:12
  • 4The Passing of the Year (Version for Double Chorus & Piano): IV. Hot Sun, Cool Fire02:42
  • 5The Passing of the Year (Version for Double Chorus & Piano): V. Ah, Sun-Flower!01:53
  • 6The Passing of the Year (Version for Double Chorus & Piano): VI. Adieu! Farewell Earth's Bliss!04:38
  • 7The Passing of the Year (Version for Double Chorus & Piano): VII. Ring Out, Wild Bells04:32
  • Judith Weir (b. 1954):
  • 8a blue true dream of sky03:51
  • Tarik O'Regan (b. 1978):
  • 9Threshold of Night06:03
  • Will Todd (b. 1970): Songs of Renewal:
  • 10Songs of Renewal: I. Me renovare03:57
  • 11Songs of Renewal: II. Return Again05:30
  • 12Songs of Renewal: III. Chorale03:23
  • Cecilia McDowall (b. 1951):
  • 13Standing as I Do Before God05:29
  • Huw Watkins (b. 1976):
  • 14The Phoenix and the Turtle05:14
  • Roderick Williams (b. 1965):
  • 15Love Bade Me Welcome03:46
  • 16Everyone Sang04:32
  • Total Runtime01:01:29

Info for Songs of Renewal

The promise of rebirth and rejuvenation is celebrated by SOMM Recordings’ Songs of Renewal, a collection of choral works – including two first recordings – by seven living British composers performed by Bath Camerata under musical director Benjamin Goodson. Joining the ensemble are soprano Elizabeth Cragg and composer-pianist Huw Watkins, whose Shakespeare setting The Phoenix and the Turtle (2014) moves puissantly from monotone chanting to solemn chorale for an allegorical poem mourning the passing of ideal love.

Commissioned by Bath Camerata to mark its 30th anniversary in 2017, the disc’s title track is a three-movement choral suite by Will Todd reflecting his interest in jazz music and featuring lyrics by the composer and former UK Poet Laureate Andrew Motion.

The earliest work, Jonathan Dove’s The Passing of the Year (2000), is a rich and varied tribute to the composer’s late mother cast in seven sections and setting an eclectic array of texts by William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Nashe and others. To words by E.E. Cummings, Judith Weir’s a blue true dream of a sky (2003) is, says English music specialist Jeremy Dibble in his booklet notes, “a revelation of the divine”. Cecilia McDowall’s Standing as I do before God is a moving centennial tribute to the British nurse Edith Cavell executed by the German army in 1915.

Two pieces by long-time SOMM collaborator, composer-baritone Roderick Williams, complete the disc. The setting of George Herbert’s Eucharistic poem Love bade me welcome (2007) is, in Jeremy Dibble’s words, “an harmonically sumptuous, largely homophonic narrative” that speaks of atonement and redemption.

Commissioned by Bath Camerata in 2018, Everyone Sang sets a familiar text by First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon in a poignant and powerful riposte to the futility of war that holds out the curative promise that “the singing will never be done”. Bath Camerata’s previous recordings for SOMM, with its founding director Nigel Perrin, include The Choral Music of Antonín Tučapský (SOMMCD 205) and the Gramophone Critics’ Choice To Music, a collection of German Romantic part-songs (SOMMCD 215) hailed as a recording of “uniform excellence… everything here is outstanding”.

Elizabeth Cragg, soprano
Huw Watkins, piano
Bath Camerata
Benjamin Goodson, conductor

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