Refuge from the Flames

Harmonia Mundi: HMW906103

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Refuge from the Flames

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Release date:

23rd Sept 2016




77 minutes


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Refuge from the Flames

The Savonarola Legacy



Miserere mei, Deus


Iesu, sommo conforto

Alma, che si gentile

Che fai qui, core?


Ecce quomodo moritur


Ecce quam bonum


Infelix ego


Tristitia obsedit me – Infelix ego


Infelix ego


Tristitia obsedit me




O quam dulcis


Letamini in Domino

ORA, Suzi Digby


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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 OBE [artistic director & conductor]

Gregorio Allegri: Miserere (Ben Byram Wigfield edit.)

Miserere (Ben Byram Wigfield edit.)

Giovanni Annimuccia, Girolamo Savonarola: Iesu, sommo conforto

Iesu, sommo conforto

Giovanni Annimuccia, Girolamo Savonarola: Alma, che si gentile

Alma, che si gentile

Giovanni Annimuccia, Girolamo Savonarola: Che fai qui, core?

Che fai qui, core?

Luca Bettini: Ecce quam bonum

Ecce quam bonum

Philippe Verdelot: Letamini in Domino

Letamini in Domino

William Byrd: Infelix ego

Infelix ego

Eriks Esenvalds: Infelix ego after Byrd

Infelix ego after Byrd

Jean Richafort: O quam dulcis

O quam dulcis

Claude Le Jeune: Tristitia obsedit me, mango

Tristitia obsedit me, mango

Anonymous: Ecce quomodo moritur

Ecce quomodo moritur

Jacobus Clemens non Papa: Tristitia obsedit me, amici

Tristitia obsedit me, amici

James MacMillan: Miserere


The Observer

27th October 2016


“Everything here is heard to best advantage, thanks to the choir’s clean, supple singing under Suzi Digby’s direction.”

Gramophone Magazine

November 2016

“Do you hear the grain of the polyphony and its twisting strands in this performance? Yes, rather more than from the ultra-smooth Collegium Vocale Gent … Digby opens with Ben Byram Wigfield’s new edition of Allegri’s Miserere, not quite as radically different from the known version as Graham O’Reilly’s but sharing some of the Australian’s distilling features and one alluring chromatic restoration.”

Record Review

11th December 2016

“there’s a great clarity vertically through the voices; there’s more warmth, there’s more personality on the sound than we get from some English choirs…[they] flourish in a slightly more soloistic style…it’s a thoughtfully assembled, beautifully sung recital”

MusicWeb International

8th December 2016

“This is a programme that is as imaginative as it is varied. It has been thoughtfully conceived and the music is stimulating at every turn. As on their previous release, Suzi Digby and ORA prove themselves to be equally accomplished in music of the ‘Golden Age’ and in music of our own time. From start to finish the singing is superb and Digby and her ensemble lead the listener’s ear through the repertoire most persuasively”

Choir & Organ

January 2017


“Yet again this group shows its considerable skill not only in expressive interpretation but in clarity of lines, subtlety of expression, and an ability to maintain an introspective atmosphere throughout”

BBC Music Magazine

February 2017


“there are surprises awaiting you in this new recording … this is a beautiful performance of Allegri’s masterpiece, with a strongly devotional atmosphere to it. Suzi Digby’s tempo gives the music space to resonate, the engineers find an evocatively distanced acoustic in which to set the solo quartet, and the ORA singers’ thoughtful, introspective phrasing distils a sense of spirituality difficult to communicate on record”

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