Phibbs: Two Songs from Shades of Night

This page lists our only recording of Two Songs from Shades of Night, by Joseph Phibbs (b.1974) on CD & download (MP3 & FLAC).

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Joseph Phibbs: The Canticle of The Rose and other works



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Release date:

10th June 2013




73 minutes


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Joseph Phibbs: The Canticle of The Rose and other works


The Canticle of The Rose

Helen-Jane Howells (soprano)

Navarra String Quartet


Alissa Firsova (piano), Joanna Shaw (flute), Marije Ploemacher (violin), Brian O'Kane (cello)

Two Songs from Shades of Night

Ben Alden (tenor), Andrew Plant (piano)

From Shore to Shore

Michael Chance (countertenor), James Boyd (guitar)


Navarra String Quartet

The Moon's Funeral

Michael Chance (countertenor), Andrew Plant (piano)


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Joseph Phibbs studied at The Purcell School, King's College London, and Cornell University, and his teachers have included Param Vir, Harrison Birtwistle and Steven Stucky. His works have been performed by leading ensembles including the London Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra (Washington). Since 2003 Phibbs has combined his composing career with the editing and promoting of Britten's music, and he is a director of the Britten Estate. He was appointed to teach composition at Wells Cathedral School in 2008 and is currently a visiting member of staff at The Purcell School and King's College London.The Canticle of the Rose, the centrepiece of this recording, sets a series of poems by Edith Sitwell for soprano and string quartet (including one which also appeared in Walton's Facade) ranging from the foreboding (We are the darkness) to the frivolous (Through gilded trellises). It is one of a series for voice with string quartet commissioned by Sir Nicholas Goodison. From Shore to Shore combines the countertenor voice of Michael Chance with guitar, and was commissioned by guitarist James Boyd with funding from the Arts Council England’s National Lottery scheme to broaden the contemporary repertoire for voice and guitar. Premiered at Aldeburgh in 2012, it sets a series of old and new poems on the subject of the sea. Contrasting with these vocal works are Flex - a vivid work for piano, flute, viola and cello - and the short string quartet Agea, dedicated to George Vass of Presteigne Festival.

Joseph Phibbs: Flex


Joseph Phibbs: 2 Songs from Shades of Night

No. 1. Sleep, my body, sleep, my ghost

No. 2. Hush-a-ba, birdie

Joseph Phibbs: The Canticle of the Rose

No. 1. Prelude

No. 2. We are the darkness

No. 3. Through gilded trellises

No. 4. A Song at Morning

No. 5. Interlude

No. 6. Gold Coast Customs

No. 7. The Canticle of the Rose

No. 8. Madam Mouse Trots

Joseph Phibbs: From Shore to Shore

No. 1. Prelude - Sea Longing

No. 2. Ship

No. 3. The River: Part I

No. 4. Stonefish

No. 5. Interlude

No. 6. I dreamed that we were plagued by glassy Seas

No. 7. The River: Part II

No. 8. For the Leavers

Joseph Phibbs: Agea


Joseph Phibbs: The Moon's Funeral

The Moon's Funeral

Sunday Times

26th May 2013

“Phibbs’s sheer accomplishment as a composer is unmistakeable here. Every idea is telling, every phrase beautiful. The sensibility is striking, too — rather literary, English, above all Britten-ish.”

BBC Music Magazine

September 2013


“The relatively spartan textures of these pieces are more convincing than some of Phibbs's writing for larger ensembles. These works draw you in with a well-judged pacing of their sometimes frenetic activity and mesmerising stillness.”

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