"A must for every choir lover."Klassieke Zaken, 29-9-2017
This programme explores that vast twentieth-century secular English choral repertoire which goes under the generic title ‘partsongs’. It is an extraordinarily rich repertoire to which almost all the famous composers contributed. 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 twentieth-century madrigals at least as fine as their famous renaissance forebears. However, this programme has another particular theme: how poets and composers reflect upon the natural world as a metaphor for our own emotional experience. At the heart of this programme 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, and both with intimations of mortality.
Gabrieli are world-renowned interpreters of great vocal and instrumental repertoire spanning from the renaissance to the present day. Formed as an early music ensemble by Paul McCreesh in 1982, Gabrieli has both outgrown and remained true to its original identity. Over 30 years, the ensemble’s repertoire has expanded beyond any expectation, but McCreesh’s ever-questioning spirit, expressive musicianship and a healthy degree of iconoclasm remain constant features and continue to be reflected in the ensemble’s dynamic performances. Its repertoire includes major works of the oratorio tradition, virtuosic a cappella programmes of music from many centuries and mould-breaking reconstructions of music for historical events. Above all, Gabrieli aims to create inspirational and thought-provoking performances which stand out from the crowd.
At the heart of Gabrieli’s activities today is the development of a pioneering education initiative: its young singers scheme, Gabrieli Roar. Gabrieli works extensively with teenagers from across the UK in intensive training programmes, providing support and encouragement for youth choirs with high levels of aspiration, with an emphasis on working in areas of low cultural provision. ere is a particular focus on the oratorio repertoire and many Gabrieli Roar singers have taken part in professional recordings and performances for such prestigious promoters as the BBC Proms. Helping young singers to excel, develop their confidence in their own abilities and nurture a love of choral music, Gabrieli Roar is uncompromising in its commitment to enriching people’s lives through music.
Gabrieli has long been renowned for its many award-winning recordings created during a 15 year association with Deutsche Grammophon. In 2010, Paul McCreesh established his own record label, Winged Lion, which has already released eight extremely diverse recordings underlining Gabrieli’s versatility and McCreesh’s breadth of vision: A Song of Farewell (English choral repertoire from Morley and Sheppard to Howells and MacMillan); A New Venetian Coronation 1595 (revisiting their famed 1990 recording of music by Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli); Incarnation (an inspiring sequence of Christmas music ancient and modern); a recreation of the first performance of Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato and four spectacular large-scale oratorio recordings made in conjunction with the National Forum of Music, Wrocław: Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Britten’s War Requiem and Haydn’s e Seasons.
A must for every choir lover.
Klassieke Zaken, 29-9-2017