Cover McCreesh: Silence & Music

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  • Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924):
  • 1The Blue Bird03:53
  • Edward Elgar (1857-1934):
  • 24 Choral Songs, Op. 53: No. 1. There Is Sweet Music04:42
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958):
  • 3Silence and Music05:18
  • Herbert Howells (1892-1983):
  • 4The Summer Is Coming07:34
  • Percy Grainger (1882-1961):
  • 5Brigg Fair02:59
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams:
  • 6Bushes and Briars02:10
  • 7The Winter Is Gone01:41
  • 8The Turtle Dove02:58
  • James MacMillan (b.1959):
  • 9The Gallant Weaver06:11
  • Jonathan Dove (b.1959):
  • 10Who Killed Cock Robin08:15
  • Percy Grainger:
  • 11The Three Ravens04:30
  • Benjamin Britten (1913-1976):
  • 125 Flower Songs, Op. 47: No. 4. The Evening Primrose03:11
  • Peter Warlock (1894-1930):
  • 133 Dirges of John Webster: No. 1. All the Flowers of the Spring06:23
  • Edward Elgar:
  • 144 Choral Songs, Op. 53: No. 4. Owls, an Epitaph03:38
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams:
  • 15Rest04:15
  • Total Runtime01:07:38

Info for McCreesh: Silence & Music

Voices of London is delighted to welcome Gabrieli Consort to this year’s Festival, in a performance directed by their Founder and Artistic Director, Paul McCreesh.

Unusually for Gabrieli, this summer’s a cappella programme focuses on secular music, particularly that of twentieth-century England. Taking its title from a Vaughan Williams partsong, the programme will explore settings of glorious poetry and how poets and composers reflect upon the natural world as a metaphor for our own emotional experience.

This moving sequence explores that vast 20th century secular English choral repertoire which goes under the generic title ‘part-songs’. 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 madrigals at least as fine as their famous renaissance forebears. At the heart of these 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, both with intimations of sublimity and mortality.

“The object of my music is not to entertain, but to agonise … it is the contrast between the sweet and the hard that is heart-rending.” (Percy Grainger)

Gabrieli Consort
Paul McCreesh, conductor

Paul McCreesh
is the founder and Artistic Director of Gabrieli 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 is especially enthusiastic about working with young musicians and 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 guest conducted many of the major orchestras and choirs across the globe, including most recently the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Bergen Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Verbier Festival orchestras, and Berlin Konzerthausorchester, whom he returns to this season to conduct Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts. McCreesh also enjoys regular and ongoing collaborations with Saint Paul and Basel Chamber Orchestras, conducting choral projects with both orchestras in 2016/17, the latter at Menuhin Festival Gstaad.

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 to the nineteenth and twentieth century, focusing in particular on symphonic repertoire, oratorio and opera in concert, working closely with the world- renowned Gulbenkian Choir. In 2016/17, McCreesh returns to the orchestra twice to conduct Elgar The Dream of Gerontius and a programme of Satie, Saint-Saëns and Beethoven featuring Gautier Capuçon.

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. In 2015/16 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 between 2006 and 2012. To date they have made seven recordings, most recently Handel L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, released in 2015. Other highlights include 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). The Winged Lion recordings build on his large catalogue of recordings with Deutsche Grammophon, which includes the Gramophone Award-winning Haydn Creation.

Gabrieli Consort
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.

Booklet for McCreesh: Silence & Music

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