Matthew Fletcher and Annie Lydford (organ)
Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, Geoffrey Webber (director)
In the first recording devoted entirely to Judith Weir’s choral music, the Choir of Gonville & Caius explores her evolving relationship with the medium, from her earliest liturgical commission to the most recent, which was premiered in 2009. Also included in this comprehensive collection are several secular pieces and her two organ works, which are now established classics of the repertoire. The athleticism, intensity and clarity that are hallmarks of the choir’s singing are ideally suited to Weir’s strikingly original, approachable and fascinating music.
“The Choir of Gonville and Caius College is particularly good, and this recital, containing Weir’s entire corpus for unaccompanied choir or for choir accompanied by single instrument, only enhances its reputation. Weir embeds herself deeply within every text she sets, and she chooses carefully” Sunday Times, 28th August 2011
“ This impeccably performed disc by the Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge conducted by Geoffrey Webber displays [Weir's] gifts to best advantage...From the dense chords of "Prayer" to the elliptical effects of "Ascending into Heaven" and the folk colours of "Madrigal", composer and choir alike excel.” The Observer, 28th August 2011
“Every syllable of the text is distinct in these performances, and the textures never waste a note. It's a beautifully crafted body of work, a model of choral understatement that other contemporary British choral composers could well learn from.” The Guardian, 6th October 2011 ***
“The freshness and precision of Weir's writing is perfectly matched by the well tuned, clearly articulated singing of Geoffrey Webber's Gonville & Caius Choir...Nearby Jesus College Chapel provides an ideal acoustic for the beautifully judged recording, and its Kuhn organ offers Matthew Fletcher some pellucid colours for two modest, effective solo organ pieces inspired by Weir's native Scotland. Highly recommended.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 *****
“As several of the items on this disc illustrate, Judith Weir has always been well able to conform to the conventions of, say, the King's College Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols without losing all sense of identity and purpose in the process...The undeniable advantage is provided by the new (2007) Jesus College organ, whose rumbling basses and raw, reedy tone colours are ideal for Wild Mossy Mountains and Ettrick Banks.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2011