Choir of The Queen's College, Oxford

The House of the Mind

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212049129
Catnr: SIGCD 491
Release date: 06 July 2018
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
Signum Classics
Catalogue number
Release date
06 July 2018

About the album

The Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford celebrate the works of choral music icon Herbert Howells in a disc that sets his works alongside pieces that they inspired and influenced – such as Nico Muhly’s Like as the Hart for choir, solo violin and percussion – as well as works that in turn influenced him. The disc features two world premiere recordings by David Bednall: settings of two Marian antiphons Alma redemptoris mater and Ave regina caelorum that ‘complete’ the partly-lost set of works that Howells wrote for Westminster Cathedral.

Led by their director Owen Rees, the Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford is among the finest and most active university choirs in the UK. Its wide-ranging repertory includes a rich array of music from Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces to contemporary works, including commissions. Their recording of David Bednall’s Christmas work Welcome All Wonders was met with critical praise:

“An excellent disc: the singing is incredibly tight, in the manner to which it has become increasingly accustomed under its musical director, Owen Rees, and Bednall’s writing is ingenious, embedded in a profound understanding of the workings of the choir and organ – both as distinct entries and as a partnership.” Gramophone

Herbert Howells ontwikkelde een onmiddellijk herkenbare en typerende stem in zijn koormuziek. Deze stem is onlosmakelijk verbonden met de Anglicaanse liturgie, kerken en koren. Hij roept geen formaliteit of traditionalisme op, maar wordt in plaats daarvan gekenmerkt door opvallende sensualiteit en duidelijke vrijheid.

Het Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford, viert de werken van koormuziekicoon Herbert Howells op een album dat zijn werken naast werken die ze inspireerden en beïnvloedden plaatst – zoals Nico Muhly’s Like as the Hart voor koor, soloviool en percussie – evenals werken die Howells zelf hebben beïnvloed. Het album bevat twee wereldpremièreopnames van David Bednall: toonzettingen van de twee Maria-antifonen Alma redemptoris mater en Ave regina caelorum, die de deels verloren gegane reeks werken die Howells voor Westminster Cathedral schreef ‘voltooien’.

Het Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford, onder leiding van Owen Rees, is een van de voortreffelijkste en meest actieve universiteitskoren van het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Zijn brede repertoire bevat een keur aan muziek, van meesterwerken uit de Renaissance en de Barok tot aan hedendaagse werken, waaronder opdrachtwerken. Hun opname van David Bednalls kerstwerk Welcome All Wonders werd met veel bijval door de critici ontvangen.


The Choir of The Queen's College, Oxford was recently hailed as ‘one of the world’s most renowned choirs’ by Classic FM and the Director Owen Rees’s interpretations of choral music have been described as ‘revelatory and even visionary’ (BBC Music Magazine). The mixed-voice choir consists of thirty singers, including some twenty Choral Scholars who are students of the College, Choral Exhibitioners from other colleges, and two professional Lay Clerks. Its extensive concert schedule involves appearances across the UK and abroad, including work with such professional ensembles as the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Brook Street Band. It regularly tours abroad, and recent concert tours have included Taiwan (in 2017), China (with appearances in the Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing, and the Shanghai Concert Hall), the USA (including concerts in the National Cathedral in Washington and in Virginia), Sri Lanka, Italy, Sardinia, Portugal, Spain, France, the Low Countries, and Germany. Queen’s choir’s latest CD releases are on the Signum and Avie labels. May 2013 saw the release of a CD of Dixit Dominus settings by Handel and Alessandro Scarlatti, which was hailed as ‘a disc of unusually high calibre’ by Early Music Reviewand awarded 5 stars by Choir and Organ. In 2011 Queen’s choir commissioned, premiered, and recorded a major new work, Welcome all Wonders, by the British composer David Bednall. Carols from Queen’s enjoyed nine weeks in the Specialist Classical Charts, was 'Drive Featured Album of the Week' on Classic FM, and was a Telegraph Christmas pick. The choir’s latest disc, A New Heaven, released in March 2017, went straight to no. 1 in its first week of sales, and BBC Music Magazine commented that the recording shows 'the singers at their radiant best'. Queen’s choir has also recorded for film at the famous Abbey Road Studios, and appears on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack of the Warner-Brothers film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The choir broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio. Its wide-ranging repertory includes a rich array of music from Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces to contemporary works, including commissions. During the academic year the choir provides the music for regular services in the College’s splendid Baroque Chapel.


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