Roxanna Panufnik's ongoing mission to build musical bridges between different faiths was inspired by the birth of her first child in 2002, when she started to reflect on the world she was bringing her baby into. Religious conflict and wars caused by it are constantly in the news - but we rarely hear enough about the affirmative aspects of our many faiths, such as the phenomenal beauty of the varied cultures surrounding them. By exploring these cultures, Panufnik has been able to unearth a bounty of stunning chant and verse and has been brought closer to her own personal spiritual beliefs.
Each work on this CD focuses on a particular mood or sentiment around the theme of love, expressed in a musical language that echoes the origin of the words. Drawing on texts from different faiths, from the 15th century Zen Master Ikkyū Sōyun to the well-loved 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians; from the Christian mass setting to the 14th Century Sufi poet and mystic Rumi, to the ancient Hebrew Psalm 136 (135). And marrying traditional Anglican text with a Catholic one – creating a truly Ecumenical Magnificat. Within the music you hear fragments of Spanish Sephardic chant, Christian plainsong, Sufi rhythms and a Japanese lullaby to soothe the soul.
Love Abide encapsulates the very contemporary ethos of multicultural spiritual devotion in a world populated by a rich diversity of faiths – all feeling, as deeply and as aesthetically, the compelling potency of music with love.
The critically acclaimed London chamber choir Colla Voce Singers under the direction of Aidan Coburn was founded in 2005 by a talented group of recently-graduated choral scholars, many former pupils of The London Oratory School. Members are now largely drawn from current and formal choral scholars of universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Royal Holloway and Birmingham, as well as a number of London conservatoires. Some of the singers also work professionally in churches and cathedrals around London.
The choir has rapidly grown a national reputation for 'dynamic and passionate' performances, including those for audiences such as TRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Tony Blair and Pope Benedict, in addition to working for such great conductors as James MacMillan and ensembles such as the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. International engagements have taken the choir to Latvia, Poland, France and Italy.
The choir takes pride in the diversity of its repertoire, from Bach to contemporary works of composers such as Roxanna Panufnik.
ROXANNA PANUFNIK b.1968 ARAM, GRSM(hons), LRAM studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music and, since then, has written a wide range of pieces – opera, ballet, music theatre, choral works, orchestral and chamber compositions, and music for film and television – which are performed all over the world. She has a great love of music from a huge variety of cultures and different faiths, whose influence she uses liberally throughout her compositions. 2018, Roxanna’s 50th Birthday year, saw some exciting commissions and premieres for the BBC Last Night of the Proms and a co-commissioned oratorio “Faithful Journey – a Mass for Poland” for City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Poland, marking Poland’s centenary as an independent state. 2019 included a new commission for two conductors and two choirs, premiered by Marin Alsop and Valentina Peleggi with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and 2022 will see the world premiere of “Ever Us” for 10 choirs symphony orchestra commissioned by the Rundfunkchor Berlin for their 2020 Beethoven anniversary celebrations and a new opera for Garsington Opera.
Her works are published by Peters Edition Ltd and recorded on many labels including Signum, Warner Classics, Chandos, and EMI Classics.