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I was glad: Sacred Music by Stanford & Parry
The King’s Consort celebrate their hundredth CD and the launch of their new classical label, VIVAT, with TKC’s largest recording in 15 years.
Huge period instrument orchestra gathered from fifteen nations, plus TKC’s award-winning choir, and world-class soloists including Carolyn Sampson and David Wilson-Johnson.
TKC records the glorious sacred ceremonial music of two of Britain’s greatest composers, Stanford and Parry.
First recordings on period instruments, including the four great Stanford canticle settings, heard in the composer’s lavish orchestrations (Stanford in G with radiant singing from Carolyn Sampson), Parry’s I was glad (restoring a long-missing section for the 1911 coronation), a magisterial performance of Blest pair of Sirens, the 1911 Coronation Te Deum and a stunning Jerusalem in Elgar’s vivid orchestration.
High quality documentation, first-rate engineering, lively promo video releasing Jan 2013 on YouTube and Vivat’s new website.
New editions of the four Stanford works parallel-published by Oxford University Press.
The first of a series of releases on TKC’s new VIVAT label.
“A brilliant new disc from the King’s Consort… It’s thrilling stuff” BBC Radio 3, 29th January 2013
“For the launch CD of its new label Vivat, The King’s Consort have delivered an undisputed spectacular...Suddenly, Stanford’s numerous Evening Canticles are heard to their full effect – radiant, Brahmsian exultations of faith, with unmistakable hints of Wagner witnessed in the thrill of the orchestral language...It’s a magnificent start for a potentially exciting new label.” The Scotsman, 3rd February 2013
“for me this is a simple “must have”. An excellent recording as well.” CD Review, 2nd February 2013
“it's splendid to have these recreations...clothed in their full orchestral colours with magnificent period brass...While the King's Consort Choir is not wholly cathedral-like, it's Elgar's version of Parry's Jerusalem, ending the disc in an unusually broad and eloquent performance from Robert King, that really hits home.” The Observer, 17th February 2013
“Using period instruments and a medium-sized professional choir pays huge dividends, and it’s as if layers of dirty brown varnish have been stripped away from these scores. Parry’s music emerges as the strongest, and I was glad is resplendent here...This is an impressive disc, well annotated and superbly recorded.” The Arts Desk, 23rd February 2013
“[I was glad] is given a performance in the atmosphere of a church rather than a cathedral but is no less dramatic in its vivid trumpet calls. Blest Pair of Sirens, Parry's other well-known motet, comes with biting attack.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2013
“vividly sung. The seraphic strains of Stanford in G are a welcome relief after the distinctly earthly thunder of Parry’s I Was Glad” Sunday Times, 3rd March 2013
“a revelation. In the opening Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in A by Stanford, the leanness of gut strings lends edge and urgency to the orchestral writing, which perfectly complements the punchy attack of the three dozen choral singers. There's not a trace here of Victorian self-satisfaction or stuffiness...This CD, full of incandescent, hugely committed music-making, will be an award-winner. You simply have to hear it.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2013 *****
BBC Music Magazine
Choral & Song Choice - April 2013
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Parry: Orchestral and Choral Works
Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales
BBC National Chorus and Orchestra of Wales, Neeme Järvi
With a foreword by the long-standing Parry enthusiast HRH The Prince of Wales, this release features orchestral and choral works spanning the length of Parry’s composing life, many of which are recorded here for the first time.
Parry is simultaneously one of Britain's best-known and least-known composers. Jerusalem (recorded here in Parry’s original orchestration) is almost a national hymn, regularly performed at rugby grounds, schools, Women's Institute meetings, and at the Last Night of the Proms. Yet until very recently few knew much about Sir Charles Hubert H. Parry, who in his day was described by Sir Edward Elgar as ‘the leader of art in this country’.
In 2010, HRH The Prince of Wales thrust Parry back into the limelight when in the BBC documentary The Prince and the Composer, he set out to discover more about the man behind the music, with the help of members of Parry's family, scholars, and performers. In April 2011, HRH once again placed Parry centre stage, as Jerusalem was performed at the Royal Wedding of his eldest son and daughter-in-law, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Several other pieces on this recording have strong ties to members the Royal Family. The Magnificat of 1897 was dedicated to Queen Victoria on her Diamond Jubilee, and the Te Deum was composed for the Coronation of George V in 1911. The orchestral suite from the incidental music to The Birds features the famous march which was played at the wedding of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and again as the processional march for the Queen’s arrival at the Royal Wedding in 2011.
Also on this disc is England, which was sung at the eightieth birthday concert of Sir Adrian Boult at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969.
The works are performed by the BBC National Chorus and Orchestra of Wales, with the soprano Amanda Roocroft, under Neeme Järvi who this year celebrates both his seventy-fifth birthday and an impressive thirty-year-long recording career with Chandos Records.
“This “heritage” release rewards close listening; a selection of choral and orchestral works by Sir Charles Parry mostly of outstanding merit, conducted by Neeme Järvi. Empty rhetoric is avoided, and much is mellifluously thoughtful...This is a CD well worth waving the flag for.” The Times, 19th October 2012 ****
“This is breast-swelling stuff...the BBC National Orchestra of Wales gives warmly sympathetic renditions of music which was probably completely unfamiliar to them before the recording sessions. The Chandos sound is excellent.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2012 ****
“Altogether the disc represents one of the most important Parry issues for many years, a credit to all the performers, not least the warmly committed conductor, Neeme Jarvi, drawing the whole ensemble together. Warm, atmospheric sound too.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2012
“Though I feel the programme as a whole is a rather patchy representation of Parry, there's no doubt it's a valuable and timely addition to his discography. Järvi directs performances full of energy that sound entirely idiomatic, the orchestra responds with enthusiasm and the BBC National Chorus of Wales sings its collective heart out in the big moments.” International Record Review, December 2012
(also available to download from $10.50)
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