Few can argue with Tenebrae's international stature as one of the most competent, versatile, exciting and passionate vocal ensembles in the world today.
The beauty of Tenebrae's perfectly blended sound coupled with near-flawless technique is showcased in this recording, featuring a selection of their favourite concert repertoire to create a performance worthy of anyone's collection.
Allegri's haunting Miserere is the central point in a journey through music of longing and entreaty, hope and faith. These works spanning the centuries are chosen from the heart of Tenebrae's concert repertoire.
Featuring works by Taverner, Holst, Rachmaninov, Lotti, Ireland, Harris, Briten and Kodály.
" From choral 'hits' to the less well known, Tenebrae are on top form ... Once again, Tenebrae and their director, Nigel Short, have put together a programme that ranges from the Renaissance to the 21st century, from the neglected to the familiar, with no sense of strain" - Barry Witherden, Gramophone
Described as “phenomenal” (The Times) and “devastatingly beautiful” (Gramophone Magazine), award-winning choir Tenebrae is one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles, renowned for its passion and precision.
For purity and precision of tone, and flawless intonation, Nigel Short’s chamber choir Tenebrae is pretty much unbeatable.
– The Times
Under the direction of Nigel Short, Tenebrae performs at major festivals and venues across the globe, including the BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Rheingau Musik Festival and Sydney Festival. The choir has earned international acclaim for its interpretations of choral music ranging from the Renaissance through to contemporary masterpieces, and it regularly commissions new music. Previous commissions have included works by Judith Bingham, Joanna Marsh, Owain Park, Josephine Stephenson, Joby Talbot and Roderick Williams. Tenebrae has enjoyed collaborations with some of the UK’s leading orchestras, appearing alongside the London Symphony Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia. The choir also produces an annual Holy Week Festival in partnership with St John’s Smith Square, London.
Choral development is central to Tenebrae’s ethos, and through its Associate Artist Programme it provides crucial training and performance opportunities to young professional singers. Alongside its performance and recording schedule, the choir also runs a thriving Learning & Connection programme which encompasses partnerships with Music Centre London and London Youth Choirs, Tenebrae Effect workshops with amateur choirs, and its newest programme Singing Schools. Run in partnership with Ealing Music Service, Singing Schools aims to embed a long-lasting singing culture in local schools which might otherwise face barriers to music-making.
A concert by the British choir Tenebrae is more than a performance. It’s an experience that envelops the audience… this is one of the best choirs in the world.
– St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Tenebrae’s ever-increasing discography has brought about collaborations with Signum, Decca Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, LSO Live and Warner Classics. In 2012 Tenebrae was the first-ever ensemble to be multi-nominated in the same category for the BBC Music Magazine Awards, securing the accolade of ‘Best Choral Performance’ for the choir’s recording of Victoria’s Requiem Mass, 1605. In 2016 Tenebrae received its second BBC Music Magazine Award for a recording of Brahms and Bruckner Motets, the profits from the sale of which benefit Macmillan Cancer Support. In 2018, the choir received its first Grammy nomination for its album of part songs from the British Isles, Music of the Spheres.
Signum’s current roster includes many excellent ensembles but the choral jewel in the crown is surely Tenebrae – Nigel Short’s outstanding chamber choir.
– Gramophone Magazine
‘Passion and Precision’ are Tenebrae’s core values. Through its continued dedication to performance of the highest quality, Tenebrae’s vision is to inspire audiences around the world through dramatic programming, flawless performances and unforgettable experiences.
Benjamin Britten is one most important British composers from the second half of the twentieth century. Remarkably, he focused on opera, a dying genre, at least in its current form. Britten's contributions however, among which Peter Grimes, The Rape of Lucretia, Gloriana, The Turn of the Screw, and Death in Venice, managed to remain core repertoire for opera companies to this day. Many of these productions included a role for his artistic partner and life companion Peter Pears. Britten also wrote a number of lieder for this tenor, among which his Serenade for tenor, horn and string orchestra. Yet, Britten excelled in many more genres. He wasn't even 20 years old when he composed his brilliant Phantasy for hobo quartet and his friendship with the legendary cellist Rostropovich led to a Cello sonata, three Suites for cello solo and a Symphony for Cello and orchestra in the 1960s.
Britten never became Master of the Queen's Music, yet he surely had feeling for public sentiments. For example, as a pacifist, he taught his people about world peace through his War Requiem from 1962. Britten was an excellent interpreter of his own work, just like Bartók and Stravinsky. Many of his recordings have been matched, but never exceeded.
Zoltán Kodály was a Hungarian composer, born in 1905. If you would read Kodály's biography, you could only do so with increasing astonishment. Not only did he reach the honarable age of 84, throughout his whole life he remained astoundingly prolific - and with great success. Moreover, besides his work as a composer, Kodály was active as a conductor, (ethno-)musicologist, pedagogue, linguist, and philosopher. And in each of these areas, he had a pioneering role, always with exceptional passion and dedication. To name but one example: together with his friend Belá Bartók he worked on a ten volume reference guide to Hungarian music, which appeared from 1951 with each volume spanning more than a thousand pages.
Yet, Kodály gained acclaim for his compositions as well, with his Psalmus hungaricus (1923) en his opera Háry János (1926) as the pinnacles of his musical career. The core of his body of work consists of vocal music, in particular works for choir, but his instrumental music is just as impressive. His master piece Laudes Organi, written one year before his death, truly proves that Kodály's creative energy stayed with him to the bitter end.
Born in 1968 in Poland, Paweł Łukaszewski is one of the younger generation of Polish composers specialising in sacred and choral music.
His works have been performed throughout Europe including Britain, Belarus, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Ukraine and at the Vatican as well as in Argentine, Chile, China, Israel, Cuba, Canada, South Korea, Peru, Uruguay and the United States. Łukaszewski has taught composition at various institutions including the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and in Chile as visiting professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, the Universidad de Chile in Santiago and the Universidad de Playa Ancha in Valparaíso. Also an active conductor, Paweł Łukaszewski is Artistic Director and Conductor of Musica Sacra Cathedral Choir in Warsaw. His works have been recorded on more than 110 albums.