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Now May We Singen

Choir of Westminster School

Now May We Singen

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212059524
Catnr: SIGCD 595
Release date: 09 August 2019
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Label
Signum Classics
UPC
0635212059524
Catalogue number
SIGCD 595
Release date
09 August 2019
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

Rhythmically energised refrains feature in others’ carols in this collection, such as John Rutter’s The King of Blisand myAlleluia! A new work is come on hand.The former, a 15th-century text by James Ryman, conjures up the angel’s triumphant announcement through syncopated, fanfare-like major scales and cross rhythms, while mystical, dissonant harmonies describethe rare gifts of gold, incense and myrrh. The latter carol celebrates the arrival of the Saviour who has come to “save the lost of ev’ry land”, a mood captured beautifully by Timothy Garrard, who inspires energised diction and articulation, and a sense of playfulness with the dramatic dynamic and textural changes. In this work I hark back to the origins of the anonymous medieval English text through the use of modality, dance-like dotted rhythms, and a compound time signature.

Not only joyful song, but also alcohol, featuresin the festivities following the announcement of the arrival of the Saviour in William Mathias’ work,Sir Christèmas.The upbeat tempo, exuberant hemiolas and triumphant shouts of “Nowell” bring the celebratory scene vividlyto life, boldly reminding us that “the carol form has its origins in...dance” (Geraint Lewis). Following the Choir of Westminster School’s rousing rendition of this traditional British carol, Westminster School alumnus Alexander Campkin’sSleep, holy babeprovides a welcome moment of intimacy and calm. A lullaby sung by Mary to her Jesus, it draws upon flowing, lyrical lines, rich harmonies, and immersive textures. This is further enhanced by the sensitive musical phrasing and enjoyment of subtle chromatic shifts achieved by the choir under the directorship of Timothy Garrard.

A commissioned work for this album, Richard Allain’s Lullay, myn lyking, taken from a 15th-century English poem, also depicts a lullaby sung by the Virgin to her new-born baby. With its triple-time lilt and repeated opening refrain, as well as the choir’s beautifully controlled phrasing, it is difficult to resist being drawn into the carol’s relaxing, mesmerising sound world. Richard Allain dedicated this work to his mother, who attended the first performance at the Westminster School Carol Service 2017 in Westminster Abbey on her 80th birthday.

Artist(s)

Choir of Westminster School (vocals)

Westminster is an ancient school. Its origins can be traced to the Benedictine monastery at Westminster Abbey, and its continuous existence is certain from the early fourteenth century. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1540, Henry VIII personally ensured the School’s survival by statute, and his daughter, Elizabeth I, confirmed royal patronage in 1560 and is celebrated as the School’s Foundress. Old Westminsters include John Dryden, John Locke, A.A. Milne, Henry Purcell and Christopher Wren.Music plays an integral part in life at Westminster, where pupils are encouraged to learn and participate as fully as possible in a weekly routine of rehearsals, recitals and concerts. Many internationally renowned musicians have been educated at the school including Henry Purcell, Adrian Boult, Roger Norrington, Ian Bostridge, George Benjamin, Julian Anderson and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Westminster musicians regularly attend the junior departments at the...
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Westminster is an ancient school. Its origins can be traced to the Benedictine monastery at Westminster Abbey, and its continuous existence is certain from the early fourteenth century. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1540, Henry VIII personally ensured the School’s survival by statute, and his daughter, Elizabeth I, confirmed royal patronage in 1560 and is celebrated as the School’s Foundress. Old Westminsters include John Dryden, John Locke, A.A. Milne, Henry Purcell and Christopher Wren.Music plays an integral part in life at Westminster, where pupils are encouraged to learn and participate as fully as possible in a weekly routine of rehearsals, recitals and concerts. Many internationally renowned musicians have been educated at the school including Henry Purcell, Adrian Boult, Roger Norrington, Ian Bostridge, George Benjamin, Julian Anderson and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Westminster musicians regularly attend the junior departments at the Royal Academy, Royal College and Guildhall, and a good number are members of the National Youth Orchestra, National Children’s Orchestra, National Youth Jazz Orchestra and NationalYouth Choirs of Great Britain. The Choir of Westminster School has developed a national reputation for excellence, giving annual concerts at the Barbican and performing regularly at venues including Westminster Abbey, St John’s Smith Square and the Houses of Parliament. Under the direction of Timothy Garrard, Director of Music, the Choir rehearses regularly throughout the week in preparation for twice-weekly services in Westminster Abbey and evensongs in the School Chapel.

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Timothy Garrard (conductor)

Timothy Garrard graduated in the summer of 2001 from King’s College, Cambridge where he read Music and was the recipient of the College’s Gollin Prize. He taught at Eltham College before taking up the post of Head of Academic Music at Trinity School, Croydon and Associate Director of Trinity Boys Choir. In 2011, Timothy was appointed Director of Music at Westminster School. Timothy’s musical career began as a treble soloist at the Opéra Comique, Paris, the Aix-en-Provence Festival and the London Coliseum with English National Opera. As the senior choral scholar of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, he performed as a countertenor at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, the Lincoln Center, New York, the Sydney Opera House and the Bermuda Festival. As Associate Director of Trinity Boys Choir, Timothy worked on productions for the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne Festival...
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Timothy Garrard graduated in the summer of 2001 from King’s College, Cambridge where he read Music and was the recipient of the College’s Gollin Prize. He taught at Eltham College before taking up the post of Head of Academic Music at Trinity School, Croydon and Associate Director of Trinity Boys Choir. In 2011, Timothy was appointed Director of Music at Westminster School. Timothy’s musical career began as a treble soloist at the Opéra Comique, Paris, the Aix-en-Provence Festival and the London Coliseum with English National Opera. As the senior choral scholar of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, he performed as a countertenor at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, the Lincoln Center, New York, the Sydney Opera House and the Bermuda Festival. As Associate Director of Trinity Boys Choir, Timothy worked on productions for the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Garsington Opera and English National Opera. He coached the Boys Choir for appearances at the Royal Variety Performance, Children in Need and the Pride of Britain Awards.

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Ben Bloor (organ)

Composer(s)

James MacMillan

James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful composers and is also internationally active as a conductor. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music. MacMillan first became internationally recognized after the extraordinary success of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie at the BBC Proms in 1990. His prolific output has since been performed and broadcast around the world. His major works include percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, which has received more than 400 performances, a cello concerto for Mstislav Rostropovich and three symphonies. Recent major works include his St John Passion co-commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,...
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James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful composers and is also internationally active as a conductor. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music.
MacMillan first became internationally recognized after the extraordinary success of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie at the BBC Proms in 1990.
His prolific output has since been performed and broadcast around the world. His major works include percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, which has received more than 400 performances, a cello concerto for Mstislav Rostropovich and three symphonies. Recent major works include his St John Passion co-commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Radio Choir, his Violin Concerto, Viola Concerto, St Luke Passion and, most recently, his Percussion Concerto No.2 for Colin Currie, co-commissioned by the Philharmonia Orchestra, Edinburgh International Festival, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
MacMillan enjoys a flourishing career as conductor of his own music alongside a range of contemporary and standard repertoire, praised for the composer’s insight he brings to each score. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic until 2013 and was Composer/ Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic from 2000-2009; he has conducted orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony, Danish Radio Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Luxembourg Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra among others. MacMillan was Composer in Residence at the 2012 Grafenegg Festival and a London Symphony Orchestra Portrait Artist in the 2009/10 season.
In spring 2014 MacMillan conducted three projects with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, culminating in a ground-breaking tour to India with Nicola Benedetti performing in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi including public concerts, schools concerts and outreach work. In the 2014/15 season, MacMillan conducts orchestras including the Bergen Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Britten Sinfonia. In January 2015 he conducts a new production of his opera, Inés de Castro, at Scottish Opera and elsewhere this season conducts choral concerts in Sao Paulo and with the BBC Singers. In October 2014 MacMillan founded his music festival, The Cumnock Tryst, which takes place in his native Ayrshire.


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Felix Mendelssohn

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. Mendelssohn is often compared to Mozart. Both of them were child prodigies, both had a talented sister and they both died at a young age. Mendelssohn, who as a child also painted wrote poetry, was born in small family which converted to christianity from judaism. As a composer he preferred looking back, rather than forward: his main examples were Bach, Handel and Mozart. It was Mendelssohn who retrieved Bach from oblivion and pushed for a revival of his music, which still lasts today. One century after its premier, Mendelsson performed the St Matthew Passion for the second...
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Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.

Mendelssohn is often compared to Mozart. Both of them were child prodigies, both had a talented sister and they both died at a young age. Mendelssohn, who as a child also painted wrote poetry, was born in small family which converted to christianity from judaism. As a composer he preferred looking back, rather than forward: his main examples were Bach, Handel and Mozart. It was Mendelssohn who retrieved Bach from oblivion and pushed for a revival of his music, which still lasts today. One century after its premier, Mendelsson performed the St Matthew Passion for the second time ever, in 1829.

Three years, earlier, on his 17th, he had already composed his masterfully overture A midsummer night's dream op. 21, based on Shakespeare's play. Today, it is still considered as one of the absolute masterpieces in all of the orchestra reperoire. His Violin Concerto op. 64 belongs to the most beautiful works of the 19th century as well. During his travels through Europe, he wrote his brilliant Italian Symphony, Scottish Symphony and the overture The Hebrides.

Although Mendelssohn had a prosperous career, his weak physique made him emotionally vulnerable. The death of his favourite sister Fanny became fatal: Mendelssohn died in the same year, at the age of 38.


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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...
more
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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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...
more

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.


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