Tenebrae

Symphonic Psalms & Prayers

Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212049228
Catnr: SIGCD 492
Release date: 09 February 2018
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1 CD
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Label
Signum Classics
UPC
0635212049228
Catalogue number
SIGCD 492
Release date
09 February 2018
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

Tenebrae return to disc on Signum in performances exploring the Psalms in Music. With trumpets and well-tuned cymbals, the musical and prayerful richness of The Book of Psalms inspires vastly differing offerings from composers with a myriad of approaches to combining the two worlds of the symphonic and the choral. The results are works which defy categorisation and stand the test of time with audiences and performers alike. Joined by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the choirs director Nigel Short, they perform iconic works by Stravinsky (Symphony of Psalms), Bernsten (Chichester Psalms), Zemlinsky (Psalm 23), as well as Schoenberg’s final significant tonal work Freide auf Erden.

Described as “phenomenal” (The Times) and “devastatingly beautiful” (Gramophone Magazine), award-winning choir Tenebrae, under the direction of Nigel Short, is one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles renowned for its passion and precision.

Artist(s)

Tenebrae

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...
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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.


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David Allsopp (countertenor)

BBC Symphony Orchestra

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since it was founded in 1930. It performs an exciting, distinctive and wide-ranging season of concerts at the Barbican in its role as Associate Orchestra, offering everything from works at the heart of classical music to world premieres from today’s finest composers. It also provides the backbone of the BBC Proms, performing around a dozen concerts in the festival each year. Central to the orchestra’s life are studio recordings for BBC Radio 3 at its Maida Vale home, some of which are free for the public to attend and the BBC SO also performs throughout the world. The vast majority of concerts are broadcast on...
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The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since it was founded in 1930. It performs an exciting, distinctive and wide-ranging season of concerts at the Barbican in its role as Associate Orchestra, offering everything from works at the heart of classical music to world premieres from today’s finest composers. It also provides the backbone of the BBC Proms, performing around a dozen concerts in the festival each year.
Central to the orchestra’s life are studio recordings for BBC Radio 3 at its Maida Vale home, some of which are free for the public to attend and the BBC SO also performs throughout the world. The vast majority of concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3, streamed online and available for 30 days after broadcast via BBC iPlayer.
In a few years, the BBC Symphony Orchestra will move to a new home in Stratford in East London. Currently, the move is planned for 2022/2023.

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Nigel Short (conductor)

Composer(s)

Igor Stravinsky

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He is widely considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century.   Stravinsky's compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. He first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Sergei Diaghilev and first performed in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes: The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911) and The Rite of Spring (1913). The last of these transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure and was largely responsible for Stravinsky's enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary who pushed the boundaries of musical design. His 'Russian phase' which continued with works such as Renard, The Soldier's Tale and Les Noces, was followed...
more
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He is widely considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century.
Stravinsky's compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. He first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Sergei Diaghilev and first performed in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes: The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911) and The Rite of Spring (1913). The last of these transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure and was largely responsible for Stravinsky's enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary who pushed the boundaries of musical design. His "Russian phase" which continued with works such as Renard, The Soldier's Tale and Les Noces, was followed in the 1920s by a period in which he turned to neoclassical music. The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms (concerto grosso, fugue and symphony), drawing on earlier styles, especially from the 18th century. This style was often referred to as Neoclassicism. In the 1950s, Stravinsky adopted serial procedures. His compositions of this period shared traits with examples of his earlier output: rhythmic energy, the construction of extended melodic ideas out of a few two- or three-note cells and clarity of form, and of instrumentation.

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Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein was one of the most iconic American composers and conductors of the 20th century, and was among the first American musicians who gained worldwide recognition. He actually made his breakthrough as a conductor by chance, when he suddenly had to stand in for the ailing Bruno Walter for a concert by the New York Philharmonic in 1943. The concert, which was broadcast live on radio, received critical acclaim from the press. Bernstein would soon become a sought-after guest conductor. From 1958 till 1969, Bernstein was principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic, with which he performed amongst others the complete symphonies of Mahler, which sparked a renewed interest in the music of the Austrian composer in the United States. He...
more
Leonard Bernstein was one of the most iconic American composers and conductors of the 20th century, and was among the first American musicians who gained worldwide recognition.
He actually made his breakthrough as a conductor by chance, when he suddenly had to stand in for the ailing Bruno Walter for a concert by the New York Philharmonic in 1943. The concert, which was broadcast live on radio, received critical acclaim from the press. Bernstein would soon become a sought-after guest conductor.
From 1958 till 1969, Bernstein was principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic, with which he performed amongst others the complete symphonies of Mahler, which sparked a renewed interest in the music of the Austrian composer in the United States. He was also an advocate of the music of American composers, in particular that of his close friend Aaron Copland. Bernstein recorded nearly all of his orchestral works, and paid much attention to his music in his popular television series Young People’s Concerts, in which he introduced a young audience to classical music.
As a composer, Bernstein is primarily known for his accessible theatre works such as Wonderful Town, Candide and The West Side Story, which still is his most popular work. He also composed three symphonies and several shorter chamber works. In his music he fused elements of Jewish music, theatre music and jazz with those of composers like Copland, Stravinsky and Gershwin.

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Arnold Schönberg

Arnold Schoenberg was one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, but perhaps also one of the least listened to. Strikingly, Schoenberg was self-educated, even though his music is imbedded in complex music theory. It was Schoenberg who definitely departed from tonality and he developed the twelve tone technique. In this composition style, one has to use every twelve tones of the scale, before one can be repeated. The struggle to adhere to this dogma is clearly audible: his music is tense, hectic and particularly acute - and therefore at times not that accesible to occasional listeners.  Nevertheless, his music and his liberation of tonality had an enormous impact on all composers that came after him. Together with the...
more

Arnold Schoenberg was one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, but perhaps also one of the least listened to. Strikingly, Schoenberg was self-educated, even though his music is imbedded in complex music theory. It was Schoenberg who definitely departed from tonality and he developed the twelve tone technique. In this composition style, one has to use every twelve tones of the scale, before one can be repeated. The struggle to adhere to this dogma is clearly audible: his music is tense, hectic and particularly acute - and therefore at times not that accesible to occasional listeners.

Nevertheless, his music and his liberation of tonality had an enormous impact on all composers that came after him. Together with the music of his students Alban Berg and Anton Webern, his style is often referred to as the Second Viennese School, parallel to the First Viennese School of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, who, in a similar vein, changed the history of music for good.

His most performed works are his string sextet Verklärte Nacht, his five Orchestra pieces op. 16, and his opera Moses und Aron. The development of Schoenberg's music can be heard in his Five String Quartets in particular.


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