Cornhill Visions: A Century of Musical Innovation | Regent Records REGCD550

Cornhill Visions: A Century of Musical Innovation

£11.25

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Label: Regent Records

Cat No: REGCD550

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 14th February 2020

Contents

About

This recording celebrates one hundred years of musical innovation at St Michaelís, the historic church on Cornhill, near the Mansion House, the Bank of England, and the Royal Exchange. Built above the foundations of the Basilica of Roman Londinium, and boasting a magical acoustic, St Michaelís has attracted composers, singers and organists for well over six hundred years.

The past one hundred years have seen just three Directors of Music: Harold Darke, appointed in 1916; Richard Popplewell who succeeded him in 1966; and Jonathan Rennert, appointed in 1979, and celebrating 40 years at St Michaelís in 2019.

During that period many composers have written music for the Choir of St Michaelís, and its sister group, St Michaelís Singers, including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Herbert Howells, Sir William Harris, Sir George Dyson, William Mathias, Kenneth Leighton, Michael Berkeley, Ruth Byrchmore, and Sir Stephen Cleobury Ė creating an enviable legacy of ground-breaking, and often visionary, works. Today, a younger generation of composers is being nurtured, through such initiatives as the appointment of a Composer-in-Residence.

The programme is built around four seminal works of the twentieth-century English choral tradition: Vaughan Williamsís post-war hymn of thanksgiving Lord, Thou hast been our refuge; his apocalyptic and technically-demanding A Vision of Aeroplanes; and Valiant-for-Truth Ė a setting of mystical religious words by John Bunyan, here given an emotionally powerful quiet ending, as suggested by Vaughan Williams himself, and differing from both the published score and all other recordings. Arnold Baxís virtuoso and quirky setting of the Magnificat forms the centrepiece of the programme.

Around these pillars are first recordings of a selection of works by Harold Darke, two recent compositions by the current young Composer in Residence, Rhiannon Randle, and new works from Gareth Treseder, Philip Moore, and Director of Music, Jonathan Rennert.

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