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Jonathan Dove: The Passing of the Year
Christopher Cromar (piano)
Convivium Singers, Neil Ferris
Jonathan Dove is one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music, and his writing for choral forces is charged with intensity and beauty. The Passing of the Year is dedicated to the memory of his mother and sets seven texts with moving directness and a beguiling sense of the seasons’ passing.
It sounded as if the streets were running also celebrates nature, his setting of the storm imagery in Emily Dickinson’s poetry rich in surging climaxes. Vivid characterisation, this time of animals, suffuses Who killed Cock Robin? which, like all Dove’s music, is hugely approachable, varied and exciting.
Jonathan Dove is one of the most approachable of contemporary composers, prizing communication above obscurity, something his choral works demonstrate so well. These settings are intimate, rousing, beautifully crafted and lyrical.
“An intermittently beautiful setting for chorus and piano of Emily Dickinson’s poetry” Financial Times, 3rd March 2012
“[The Passing of the Year] is beautifully conceived music soaring to a glorious, bright climax in this fine performance by the 30-voice Convivium Singers...Who Killed Cock Robin?, by contrast, is exuberantly entertaining, and the Convivium Singers rise enthusiastically to the virtuoso demands of its writing.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2012 ****
“The Convivium Singers are are a 30-strong mixed-voice group, formed in 2009, youthfully fresh-toned and evenly balanced. They tackle Dove's distinctive and vivid setting with great vigour and a sense of purpose...This is an enjoyable disc of approachable choral music by a master of choral writing.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012
“This will turn out to be, I am sure, one of my favorite recordings of 2012...Dove receives the strongest advocacy from his performers. The Convivium Singers...display admirable control of the long line and excellent intonation...I urge you to purchase this CD as quickly as possible. It is gorgeous and poignant music, performed with wholehearted fervor by an excellent choir” MusicWeb International, June 2012
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Choral Music by Jonathan Dove
Jonathan Dove’s beautiful choral works have made him into a household name among professional and amateur singers alike. His writing is eminently approachable yet highly original. His music appears on cathedral music lists frequently around the UK, his distinctive voice and imaginative choice of texts creating inspirational works suitable for many different liturgical occasions.
The Missa brevis is the most recent work to be recorded here and was commissioned by the Cathedral Organists’ Association for their conference in Wells Cathedral in May 2009 and first performed by the cathedral choir under Matthew Owens’ direction. The same forces have recorded it here along with a delectable selection of Dove’s anthems.
“The quality of any cathedral choir is governed by the standard of its trebles...Wells is currently enjoying a superb top line, rewardingly displayed in this collection of Jonathan Dove's radiant choral works, including a first recording of his sparkling Missa Brevis...It makes an attractive, stimulating addition to the liturgy.” The Observer, 5th September 2010
“there's so much freshness, attack and palpable involvement...not least from the consistently excellent boy and girl choristers. Dove's music is splendidly effective and birghtly expressive.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2010 ****
“The choir sings as one with crisp diction and expertly handled dynamic contrasts, whilst Vaughan's multi-faceted organ performance is genuinely exciting to listen to, whether haunting and subdued or triumphantly raising the roof. Close your eyes and you could be in Wells Cathedral.” Classic FM Magazine, November 2010 ****
“Dove's fresh, diatonic idiom is coupled to a matchless sense of word-setting...[His] fondness for multi-layered textures enhances a strong dramatic impulse...the Wells choristers tackle everything with aplomb, élan and evident enjoyment.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2010
“The richness of Jonathan Dove's choral writing and his vividly colourful (yet sometimes sparing) use of the organ is heard again and again throughout this collection, so stirringly and beautifully sung by Wells Cathedral Choir.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition
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