Easter 2009 sees the release of a major new disc on Collegium from John Rutter, the Cambridge Singers and La Nuova Musica, featuring a collection of outstanding motets from the canon of European sacred choral repertoire.
Focusing on the extraordinary body of choral music produced for liturgical use during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, The Sacred Flame explores the rich and varied ways in which European composers responded to sacred texts. Delving into a treasure-trove of music from cultural centres as diverse as Amsterdam, Antwerp, Leipzig, Milan, Rome, and Venice, this collection features familiar classics by Gabrieli,Monteverdi, Palestrina and Schütz, as well as less widely-known masterpieces by Bach, Buxtehude, Hassler and Sweelinck. All are performed in stunning new recordings by the Cambridge Singers at their sensuous and virtuosic best, joined here for the first time on disc by the instrumentalists of La Nuova Musica, rapidly establishing areputation as one of the UK’s most exciting early music ensembles.
All repertoire featured on The Sacred Flame is drawn from the enormously popular European Sacred Music collection edited by John Rutter for the Oxford University Press Oxford Choral Classics series. Recorded in the unparalleled acoustic of the Great Hall at University College School in London, and produced and engineered by award winning producer Simon Eadon, the performances of these much loved works heard on this disc are set to become definitive.
“These singers of John Rutter's choir are so expert, so very good at everything they do… They shade and shape the phrases beautifully” Gramophone
“…these are dedicated performances. They sometimes sound as if they could date from the 1950s or '60s, but many listeners will surely welcome that mellower, less athletic approach.”
“A pleasing anthology that delivers what it promises. …the Cambridge Singers… don’t disappoint… The instrumentalists from La Nuova Musica are sensible and sensitive accompanists…”
10th April 2009
“John Rutter's pristine arrangements are realised to sublime effect by The Cambridge Singers. The occasional early-music settings of La Nuova Musica offer intriguing insights into the authentic period sound of stile nuovo pieces such as Monteverdi's "Beatus vir" and Buxtehude's "Magnificat".”
26th April 2009
“The wonderfully sleek Cambridge Singers, under their founder John Rutter, make light work of this choral polyphony from continental Europe that sprang from the Catholic and Protestant Reformation, an era that saw the beguiling tunefulness of street music and opera permeate works written for the liturgy.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.