Refuge from the Flames: The Savonarola Legacy | Harmonia Mundi HMW906103

Refuge from the Flames: The Savonarola Legacy

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Label: Harmonia Mundi

Cat No: HMW906103

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 23rd September 2016

Contents

About

Following the stunning success of their best-selling debut, Suzi Digby’s crack vocal ensemble ORA presents their new album: ‘Refuge from the Flames’. Dedicated to the legacy of Girolamo Savonarola, 15th-century Dominican and religious reformer, this new CD further showcases ORA's commitment to bringing together Renaissance choral masterpieces and commissioned reflections from contemporary composers. ORA bring a wealth of experience that gilds these pieces, both new and old, into the lustrous works of art they truly are.

“We begin and end this second ORA album with two contrasting settings of the Miserere mei (Psalm 50, Vulgate). Over the centuries this text has inspired reflections by many Christian writers, none more influential than those by Girolamo Savonarola, and we have devoted much of this album to his extraordinary legacy. Central to the recording is Savonarola’s meditation on the psalm, 'Infelix Ego', written shortly before his execution. We present it here in William Byrd’s justly famous setting, and in a newly commissioned masterpiece by the Latvian composer Eriks Ešenvalds.” - Suzi Digby

Reviews

The bookend to the Allegri is James MacMillan’s Miserere from 2009; at the centre of the programme are two versions of Infelix Ego, with a new, sliding and sighing setting by Ēriks Ešenvalds seeming almost to grow out of the 16th-century one by Byrd. Everything here is heard to best advantage, thanks to the choir’s clean, supple singing under Suzi Digby’s direction.  Erica Jeal
The Guardian 27 October 2016

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