Listen to TRACK 4: Psalmfest: The Lord is my shepherd (Psalm 23)
*WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDING
The psalms of David have been a source of inspiration to composers for centuries, each text forming a poetic shape the equivalent of a gothic arch, and expressing a broad range of timeless emotions. Recorded here for the first time in its complete form, John Rutter’s Psalmfest is a collection of nine settings for full orchestra as rich and varied as the original texts. The remaining psalm settings were written for special occasions, including the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.
Listen to TRACK 9: Étude tableux in D major, Op. 39 No. 9
Pianist Boris Giltburg sees Rachmaninov’s Études-tableaux, Op. 39 as cinematic short stories or colourful tone paintings. In contrast, the unashamedly beautiful Moments musicaux are concentrated explorations of a single idea or mood, from struggle and pain towards light and genuine joy. In these collections, which contain some of the composer’s most affecting music, Rachmaninov shows himself to be a master of the meticulously crafted short-form genre.
Listen to TRACK 12: PALESTRINA: Missa Papae Marcelli
No brass series would be complete without Giovanni Gabrieli, and his music is the starting point as Septura continue on their counterfactual course, imagining that four titans of the counter-reformation had written for brass. The sacred choral works of these renaissance masters – Victoria, Gabrieli, Palestrina and Lassus – are a perfect fit for the musical and emotional compass of the brass septet, and the result is a stunning survey of the culminations of the Spanish, Venetian, Roman and Franco-Flemish schools.
Listen to TRACK 13: Part IV: The Garment of Praise
Randall Thompson’s choral works retain the affection of American choral singers and conductors alike. The Requiem is his masterpiece, written in response to the loss of close friends and colleagues. Using a wide-ranging selection of Biblical verses, it takes the form of a dramatic dialogue between two choirs, a ‘chorus of mourners’ and a ‘chorus of the faithful’, concerning eternal life. Recorded here for the first time in its complete form, this Requiem is an emotional and dramatically intense journey of conflict and resolution, and entirely unique within American music history and the requiem tradition as a whole.
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