While the unifying thread which links these works is that of loss, the underlying focus is an uplifting celebration of life and love. Gabriel Jackson’s Requiem combines traditional solemnity with poems which embrace wide-ranging spirituality, resulting in images of light and radiant optimism. Contrasting poignancy of expression is heard in personal tributes from John Tavener and Francis Pott, while Bob Chilcott uses Pachelbel’s famous Canon to set Oscar Wilde’s Requiescat. Vasari Singers’ Great British Anthems (8.572504) was described as ‘essential listening’ by Gramophone.
“Eleven discs, fourteen hours of music. After the successful issue of Minimal Piano Collection I-IX Jeroen van Veen & friends have recorded works for 2 to 6 pianos, from - among others - Ten Holt, Eisenga, Meijering, Glass, Pärt, and Reich. With swinging effects, transformations and challenging rhythms…."
The live performance last year of this major and substantial work by the young Latvian composer Ešenvalds thrilled critics and audiences alike. As a new liturgical work that looks set to enter the repertoire it is comparable to Arvo Pärt’s Passio. Eschewing the single narrative perspective that characterizes the great Passion settings of the past, the composer has assembled an interlocking mosaic of texts from the gospels, from Byzantine and Roman liturgies, and from the Old Testament.
White’s Lamentations are not as famous as Tallis’s, but their plangent harmonies and clashing lines have an equal intensity. This impressive debut disc by Gallicantus (an all-male group from the Tenebrae choir) includes White’s motets and hymns, emphasising his response to the texts and his eloquent way with the single Hebrew letters that begin each Lamentation. The vocal balance is slightly bass-heavy, but the sound is beautifully recorded.