Delius & Bax - Choral Music | Naxos 8573695

Delius & Bax - Choral Music


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Label: Naxos

Cat No: 8573695

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 12th May 2017



Frederick Delius and Arnold Bax both made significant contributions to the partsong repertoire, each leaving a compelling testament to his highly individual creative personality. Delius’s earlier choral songs are nostalgic for the worlds of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Grieg, while the brooding contours of On Craig Ddu results in one of his most remarkable creations. The allure of landscapes and elemental forces was powerful for both composers; the subtle tensions and gorgeously layered harmonies of Bax’s settings also evoking historical remoteness and other-worldly enchantment.

Delius and Bax are remembered more today for their orchestral and chamber music scores, but this recording reminds us of their deeply rewarding output in a vibrant choral tradition that is now once again receiving significant critical and artistic attention.

Despite the niche popularity of titles such as Delius’s To be sung of a summer night on the water, these pieces are in fact surprisingly rare on record. The Elysian Singers have recorded Delius’s complete part-songs for the Somm label, and some of Bax’s choral works can be found on EMI and Chandos label recordings though these are now only available as downloads. Having works such as Bax’s highly attractive Five Greek Folksongs generally available once again will be widely welcomed, especially in such fine performances as these.

Now in its fifth year of existence, The Carice Singers is an ensemble made up from some of the UK’s finest young professional vocalists, noted for their “freshness of tone” and “careful musicality” by Gramophone. Their previous recording for Naxos of Warlock’s choral music (8573227) is “sensitively performed by this technically confident group of singers… a very valuable collection” (BBC Music Magazine), and of their subsequent recording of choral music by Ireland and Moeran (8573584) Gramophone considers that “few can match The Carice Singers for musicality and beauty of tone.”

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