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Advent at Merton
The beginning of Advent is celebrated with a particular solemnity at Merton. For its second recording the college choir explores the musical riches that adorn this most special time in the church’s year, centring on a newly commissioned sequence of Magnificat antiphons from seven leading composers. Founded in 2008, the new Choir of Merton College, Oxford is led by newly appointed Organist and full-time Director of Music Benjamin Nicholas, and Reed Rubin Director of Music Peter Philips. The choir is rapidly emerging as a major force in collegiate choral music. The disc is recorded in the beautiful environs of Merton College Chapel, which has stood at the heart of the College as a place of worship for almost 750 years.
“At the heart of this Advent service is a set of seven antiphons specially commissioned from seven composers for Merton College chapel. They work splendidly as a sequence...Peter Phillips and Benjamin Nicholas elicit high levels of technical and expressive achievement from their student charges.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2012 ****
“The most notable chapel choir offering [this Christmas]...All the music is radiant, all of it is unexpected, including a set of seven Advent antiphons commissioned by the chaplain...and comes from a choir that's gone from being a minor player in Oxbridge choral music to becoming one of the most exciting groups in its area” Gramophone Magazine, December 2012
“an absorbing programme including seven Advent Antiphons commissioned for the choir by the Revd Dr Simon Jones … The quality of the singing throughout is very high – this is an immensely accomplished and responsive mixed-voice choir … This disc is an impressive achievement in every way … Delphian’s recorded sound is beautiful.” International Record Review, December 2012
“One of a handful of recordings that will stand head and shoulders above the flood of discs of music for the 2012 Christmas season” MusicWeb International, 31st October 2012
“This richly varied collection of mainly contemporary music for Advent, most of it directed by Nicholas, is exquisitely sung...a fine seasonal disc.” Sunday Times, 23rd December 2012
“a satisfyingly solemn, serious affair. Here, the Advent progression from hushed anticipation to bright, hopeful light is given extra weight by the varied choice of material sung...the mixture of settings ancient and modern succeeds beautifully...Lovely, in other words.” The Arts Desk, 22nd December 2012
“The fresh, well-blended voices show vitality and drill, but the basses, in particular, bloom beautifully in James MacMillan's Advent Antiphon and John Tavener's O Adonai.” The Observer, 21st October 2012
“The singing is fresh and opulent, and delivered with a clarity and precision that sits pleasingly with the resonant ambience of the recordings.” The Scotsman, October 2012
“The radiant young voices, sumptuous acoustics and quality items s should make for gripping listening all year round.” The Times, 14th December 2012
In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
Puer natus est
Tudor Music for Advent & Christmas
Stile Antico’s newest programme centres on Tallis’s magnificent 7-part ‘Christmas’ Mass, based on the festive plainchant Puer natus est, in a new edition prepared by Sally Dunkley. The mass is interspersed with seasonal Tudor music, including Byrd’s exquisite Propers for the fourth Sunday of Advent, responsories by Taverner and Sheppard, Robert White’s exuberant setting of the Magnificat, and Tallis’s own sublime Videte miraculum.
Matthew O’Donovan’s booklet note cannot be bettered in terms of historical context, analysis and relevance. Stile Antico is much in demand in concert, performing regularly throughout Europe and North America in repertoire ranging from English Tudor composers to the Flemish and Spanish schools and early Baroque. Their recordings on the harmonia mundi label have enjoyed huge success, and their release Song of Songs won the 2009 Gramophone Award for Early Music.
“Surely the pick of the new CDs for Christmas this year, this exquisitely performed and beautifully planned disc is another winner for Stile Antico...what a sound: perfectly blended, carefully balanced, its sonorities reaching back effortlessly to conjure up a vanished age of devotion.” The Observer, 17th October 2010
“Stile Antico brings delicious balance and otherworldly beauty to this recording of music by Tallis, Taverner, Byrd, White and Sheppard. Listening will restore meaning to the holidays amid the retail onslaught.” New York Times, 26th November 2010
“Here is a disc full not of the joys but the mysteries of Christmas, the perfect corrective for the frenetic materialistic scramble it now is...The pure-sounding voices are exquisitely blended, and their broad pacing enables consistently shapely phrasing and clarity of line.” Sunday Times, 19th December 2010 ***
“Conductorless Stile Antico may be, but they could never be accused of lacking direction or clear-sighted commitment to the works on this generously-filled album...The approach encourages long-range thinking about the music, inviting the ear to contemplate soaring architecture rather than surface detail.” Classic FM Magazine, January 2011 *****
In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
A Tudor Christmas
Sweet was the song the Virgin sang
Rorate coeli desuper (from Gradualia 1605)
Nicholas Haigh, John Cotton, Adrian Lowe
From Virgin pure this day did spring
This is the Record of John
Pastyme with good companye
Consort No. III
Consort No. II
Consort No. XIII
Quid petis, O fili?
Remember O thou Man
O nata lux de lumine 5vv
Christe Jesu, pastor bone
Tom King, Brian Chapman, William Gaunt
While shepherds watched their flocks by night
Laudate nomen Domini
Hosanna to the Son of David
Libby Burgess (organ), Victoria Davies (harp)
The Choir of Christ Church, Oxford, Stephen Darlington
Imagine yourself in the fine surroundings of the Great Hall of Christ Church, Oxford, with a programme of Tudor sacred and secular music including music by Henry VIII, one of Christ Church's founders, and choral works associated with Christ Church during its first century.
(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)
William Byrd - Anthems, Motets and Services
"distinguished by its vitality of style and opulence of sound" Gramophone
“…a rare feeling for the balancing of parts, for rhythm and for the vitality of words.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2006
Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days.