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Locus Iste

The Choir of St John's College, Cambridge

Locus Iste

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212056721
Catnr: SIGCD 567
Release date: 12 April 2019
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Label
Signum Classics
UPC
0635212056721
Catalogue number
SIGCD 567
Release date
12 April 2019
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
NL

About the album

Locus Iste celebrates two milestones for the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge: as well as 2019 marking the 150th anniversary of the consecration of the college chapel, this release is coincidentally the choir's 100th recording – 60 years on from George Guest’s iconic first recording of Hear my prayer for Argo, released in 1959.

Directed by Andrew Nethsingha, the programme makes great use of the chapel's renowned acoustic, and celebrates the choirs past, present and future – including an anthem by a former director of music, a motet by one of their recent student composers and the cello-playing of a current undergraduate.

The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge is one of the finest collegiate choirs in the world – known and loved by millions from its broadcasts, concert tours and recordings. Founded in the 1670s, the Choir is known for its rich, warm and distinctive sound, its expressive interpretations and its ability to sing in a variety of styles.
Locus Iste viert twee mijlpalen van het Choir of St John’s College, Cambrigde: in 2019 is het niet alleen 150 jaar geleden dat de kapel van St John’s College is ingewijd, maar dit is ook de honderdste opname van het koor – 60 jaar na George Guests iconische eerste opname van Hear my prayer, uitgebracht in 1959.

Het programma maakt goed gebruik van de beroemde akoestiek van de kapel, en viert het heden, verleden en de toekomst van het koor, geleid door Andrew Nethsingha – waaronder een kerklied van een voormalig koordirigent, een motet van een van hun recente studentencomponisten en het cellospel van een huidige student.

Het Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge is een van de beste studentenkoren ter wereld, bij miljoenen mensen bekend en geliefd om zijn uitzendingen, concerttournees en opnames. Het koor is opgericht in de jaren 1670 en staat bekend om zijn typerende rijke, warme klank, zijn expressieve interpretaties en zijn brede repertoire.

Artist(s)

The Choir of St John's College Cambridge (vocals)

The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge is one of the finest collegiate choirs in the world, known and loved by millions from its broadcasts, concert tours and over 90 recordings. Founded in the 1670s, the Choir is known for its distinctive rich, warm sound, its expressive interpretations and its breadth of repertoire. Alongside these musical characteristics, the Choir is particularly proud of its happy, relaxed and mutually supportive atmosphere. The Choir is directed by Andrew Nethsingha following a long line of eminent Directors of Music, recently Dr George Guest, Dr Christopher Robinson and Dr David Hill. The Choir is made up of around 20 Choristers and Probationers from St John’s College School and 15 Choral Scholars who are members of...
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The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge is one of the finest collegiate choirs in the world, known and loved by millions from its broadcasts, concert tours and over 90 recordings. Founded in the 1670s, the Choir is known for its distinctive rich, warm sound, its expressive interpretations and its breadth of repertoire. Alongside these musical characteristics, the Choir is particularly proud of its happy, relaxed and mutually supportive atmosphere. The Choir is directed by Andrew Nethsingha following a long line of eminent Directors of Music, recently Dr George Guest, Dr Christopher Robinson and Dr David Hill.
The Choir is made up of around 20 Choristers and Probationers from St John’s College School and 15 Choral Scholars who are members of St John’s College, its primary purpose being to enhance the liturgy and worship at daily services in the College Chapel. The Choir has a diverse repertoire spanning over 500 years of music. It is also renowned for championing contemporary music by commissioning new works, including compositions by Joanna Ward, Nico Muhly, James Burton and the College’s Composer in Residence Michael Finnissy. The Choir regularly sings Bach Cantatas liturgically with St John’s Sinfonia, its period instrument ensemble.
The Choir brings the ‘St John’s Sound’ to listeners around the world through its weekly webcasts (available at sjcchoir. co. uk).
In addition to regular radio broadcasts in this country and abroad, the Choir usually makes two CD recordings each year. In May 2016 the College launched its new ‘St John’s Cambridge’ recording label on which the Choir has released the BBC Music Magazine Award winning recording of Jonathan Harvey’s music: DEO; Christmas with St John’s; KYRIE (works by Poulenc, Kodály and Janáček); and Mass in G Minor (works by Vaughan Williams).
The Choir also maintains a busy schedule of concerts and tours internationally twice a year. It also performs regularly in the UK, with venues including Symphony Hall, Birmingham and Royal Festival Hall, London.

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Andrew Nethsingha (conductor)

Performing as a conductor and organist in North America, South Africa, Far East, and throughout Europe, Andrew Nethsingha has been Director of Music at St John’s College, Cambridge since 2007. His innovations at St John’s have included weekly webcasts and a termly Bach cantata series.  His recordings for Chandos have been well reviewed. Andrew Nethsingha received his early musical training as a chorister at Exeter Cathedral, where his father was organist for over a quarter of a century. He later studied at the Royal College of Music, where he won seven prizes, and at St John’s College, Cambridge. He held Organ Scholarships under Christopher Robinson, at St George’s Windsor, and George Guest, at St John’s, before becoming Assistant Organist at Wells...
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Performing as a conductor and organist in North America, South Africa, Far East, and throughout Europe, Andrew Nethsingha has been Director of Music at St John’s College, Cambridge since 2007. His innovations at St John’s have included weekly webcasts and a termly Bach cantata series. His recordings for Chandos have been well reviewed.

Andrew Nethsingha received his early musical training as a chorister at Exeter Cathedral, where his father was organist for over a quarter of a century. He later studied at the Royal College of Music, where he won seven prizes, and at St John’s College, Cambridge. He held Organ Scholarships under Christopher Robinson, at St George’s Windsor, and George Guest, at St John’s, before becoming Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral. He was subsequently Director of Music at Truro and Gloucester Cathedrals. Other recent positions have included Artistic Director of the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival and Musical Director of the Gloucester Choral Society.

He has served as President of the Cathedral Organists’ Association. He has worked with some of the UK’s leading orchestras. Andrew’s concerts with the Philharmonia Orchestra have included many of the major choral works: Mahler’s 8th Symphony, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Britten War Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius and The Kingdom, Walton Belshazzar’s Feast, Poulenc Gloria and Duruflé Requiem. He has also worked with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, Britten Sinfonia, the Aarhus Symfoniorkester and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Recent conducting engagements have included the BBC Proms, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Tokyo Suntory Hall. He regularly runs choral courses in various countries, including France and the U.S.A.


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Composer(s)

Benjamin Britten

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...
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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.


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Charles Villiers Stanford

Charles Villiers Stanford was born in Ireland, but rose to fame as a composer, conductor and music teacher in England. While he was still an undergraduate, he was appointed organist of Trinity College, Cambrigde. In 1882 he was one of the founders of the Royal College of Music, where he taught composition for the rest of his life. Later he also became Professor of Music at Cambridge University. Among his pupils were rising composers who would surpass him later on, such as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst. Stanford composed about 200 works in almost every genre, amongst others seven symphonies, nine operas, 11 concertos, 40 choral works and 28 chamber works. Throughout his career he was always admired for his...
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Charles Villiers Stanford was born in Ireland, but rose to fame as a composer, conductor and music teacher in England. While he was still an undergraduate, he was appointed organist of Trinity College, Cambrigde. In 1882 he was one of the founders of the Royal College of Music, where he taught composition for the rest of his life. Later he also became Professor of Music at Cambridge University. Among his pupils were rising composers who would surpass him later on, such as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst.
Stanford composed about 200 works in almost every genre, amongst others seven symphonies, nine operas, 11 concertos, 40 choral works and 28 chamber works. Throughout his career he was always admired for his technical mastery. On the day of Stanford's death, Gustav Holst said Herbert Howells, “The one man who could get any one of us out of a technical mess is now gone from us.” After his death most of his music was quickly forgotten, with the exception of his choral works for church performance. His music became eclipsed by that of Edward Elgar and his former pupils.

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John Tavener

Sir John Kenneth Tavener was an English composer, known for his extensive output of religious works, including The Protecting Veil, Song for Athene and The Lamb. Tavener first came to prominence with his cantata The Whale, premiered in 1968. Then aged 24, he was described by The Guardian as 'the musical discovery of the year', while The Times said he was 'among the very best creative talents of his generation.' During his career he became one of the best known and popular composers of his generation, most particularly for The Protecting Veil, which as recorded by cellist Steven Isserlis became a bestselling album, and Song for Athene which was sung at the funeral of Princess Diana. The Lamb featured in the...
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Sir John Kenneth Tavener was an English composer, known for his extensive output of religious works, including The Protecting Veil, Song for Athene and The Lamb.
Tavener first came to prominence with his cantata The Whale, premiered in 1968. Then aged 24, he was described by The Guardian as "the musical discovery of the year", while The Times said he was "among the very best creative talents of his generation." During his career he became one of the best known and popular composers of his generation, most particularly for The Protecting Veil, which as recorded by cellist Steven Isserlis became a bestselling album, and Song for Athene which was sung at the funeral of Princess Diana. The Lamb featured in the soundtrack for Paolo Sorrentino's film The Great Beauty. Tavener was knighted in 2000 for his services to music and won an Ivor Novello Award.

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Gerald Finzi

Finzi took private lessons with Farrar from 1914-1916 and then with Bairstow from 1917-1922. He mainly underwent influences by Elgar and Vaughan Williams, loved the life in the country and developed his own, intimate style. He concentrated on songs and song cycles such as  Oh fair to see, Till earth outwears, and A young man’s exhortation, preferably on texts by Hardy. Amongst his other works are a clarinet concerto from 1949 and Dies natalis for high voice and string orchestra (1939). (Source: Musicalifeiten.nl)
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Finzi took private lessons with Farrar from 1914-1916 and then with Bairstow from 1917-1922. He mainly underwent influences by Elgar and Vaughan Williams, loved the life in the country and developed his own, intimate style. He concentrated on songs and song cycles such as Oh fair to see, Till earth outwears, and A young man’s exhortation, preferably on texts by Hardy. Amongst his other works are a clarinet concerto from 1949 and Dies natalis for high voice and string orchestra (1939).
(Source: Musicalifeiten.nl)
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Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninov was a Russian pianist, composer, and conductor of the late-Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular in the classical repertoire. Born into a musical family, Rachmaninov took up the piano at age four. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1892 and had composed several piano and orchestral pieces by this time. In 1897, following the critical reaction to his Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff entered a four-year depression and composed little until successful therapy allowed him to complete his enthusiastically received Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1901. After the Russian Revolution, Rachmaninov and his family left Russia and resided in the United States, first in New York City. Demanding piano concert tour schedules caused...
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Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninov was a Russian pianist, composer, and conductor of the late-Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular in the classical repertoire.
Born into a musical family, Rachmaninov took up the piano at age four. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1892 and had composed several piano and orchestral pieces by this time. In 1897, following the critical reaction to his Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff entered a four-year depression and composed little until successful therapy allowed him to complete his enthusiastically received Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1901. After the Russian Revolution, Rachmaninov and his family left Russia and resided in the United States, first in New York City. Demanding piano concert tour schedules caused his output as composer to slow tremendously; between 1918 and 1943, he completed just six compositions, including Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Symphony No. 3, and Symphonic Dances. In 1942, Rachmaninov moved to Beverly Hills, California. One month before his death from advanced melanoma, Rachmaninov acquired American citizenship.
Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev, Mussorgsky, and other Russian composers gave way to a personal style notable for its song-like melodicism, expressiveness and his use of rich orchestral colors.[3] The piano is featured prominently in Rachmaninov's compositional output, and through his own skills as a performer he explored the expressive possibilities of the instrument.

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Francis Poulenc

Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was a French composer and pianist. Poulenc's wealthy family intended him for a business career in the Rhone Poulenc family company and did not allow him to enrol at a music college. Largely self-educated musically, he studied with the pianist Ricardo Viñes, who became his mentor after the composer's parents died. Poulenc soon came under the influence of Erik Satie, under whose tutelage he became one of a group of young composers known collectively as Les Six. This group of French composers from the 1920s aimed to clear music of the impressionism of Claude Debussy, and German influences such as the Romanticism of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. Their motto was 'L'art pour l'art': they composed music for the sake of...
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Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was a French composer and pianist. Poulenc's wealthy family intended him for a business career in the Rhone Poulenc family company and did not allow him to enrol at a music college. Largely self-educated musically, he studied with the pianist Ricardo Viñes, who became his mentor after the composer's parents died. Poulenc soon came under the influence of Erik Satie, under whose tutelage he became one of a group of young composers known collectively as Les Six. This group of French composers from the 1920s aimed to clear music of the impressionism of Claude Debussy, and German influences such as the Romanticism of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. Their motto was "L'art pour l'art": they composed music for the sake of music, without any 'meaning' or extramusical intents. In his early works Poulenc became known for his high spirits and irreverence. During the 1930s a much more serious side to his nature emerged, particularly in the religious music he composed from 1936 onwards, which he alternated with his more light-hearted works.

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Anton Bruckner

Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer known for his symphonies, masses, and motets. The first are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, strongly polyphonic character, and considerable length. Bruckner's compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism, owing to their dissonances, unprepared modulations, and roving harmonies. Bruckner was greatly admired by subsequent composers including his friend Gustav Mahler, who described him as 'half simpleton, half God'. Coming from a small farmer's village, Bruckner started his music education early, which he continued for a long time. Due to a mix of insecurity and eagerness to learn, Bruckner rushed from one study into another and he showed himself as a fanatic, but also remarkably talented,...
more

Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer known for his symphonies, masses, and motets. The first are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, strongly polyphonic character, and considerable length. Bruckner's compositions helped to define contemporary musical radicalism, owing to their dissonances, unprepared modulations, and roving harmonies. Bruckner was greatly admired by subsequent composers including his friend Gustav Mahler, who described him as "half simpleton, half God".

Coming from a small farmer's village, Bruckner started his music education early, which he continued for a long time. Due to a mix of insecurity and eagerness to learn, Bruckner rushed from one study into another and he showed himself as a fanatic, but also remarkably talented, student. He started composing at an early age, but he considered everything before his 39th as mere practice. Bruckner never became a stable composer and relied on in short phases of creative energy. After these phases, he would spend ages revising his work. In particular his symphonies received countless revisions and new editions, which was also due to his insecurity, he was quite sensitive to criticism.

The premier of his Third Symphony was a disaster: a large part of the audience left the concert hall and a devastating review appeared afterwards. Luckily, appreciation for his work grew and at the time of his death, even the great Brahms attended his funeral.


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