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One Foot In Eden Still, I Stand / Shepherd, Et Al


Release Date: 02/13/2007 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67615   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Nicholas Maw
Conductor:  Mark Shepherd
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Oxford
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


On first hearing you might think that, well, Benjamin Britten and Michael Tippett did this already, and much better; but after more careful, extended listening you realize that there's another individual voice at work here, even though the functional dissonance and touches of ambiguous tonality are now common, familiar devices in today's choral music. One thing is certain: British composer Nicholas Maw (b. 1935) is a master of this idiom, especially impressive in the five "carols" that mark the middle of this exceptional program. The Angel Gabriel has been set countless times, but Maw's is a truly original version that retains the essence of the melody while adding a new harmonic and
Read more properly ethereal/atmospheric dimension to this well-loved Christmas song. The title work, One foot in Eden still, I stand, a setting of a poem by Scottish poet Edwin Muir that was commissioned and performed by King's College Choir in 1990, is an extended composition for a cappella choir that sticks to tonal, text-driven choral writing techniques that respect the dramatic elements of the poem while honoring the importance of pure, idiomatic vocal expression and unique sound quality. The Schola Cantorum of Oxford under Mark Shepherd's solid direction makes the best imaginable advocate for this music, delivering impeccably polished, full-bodied performances recorded in vibrant, carefully balanced sound. Highly recommended for fans of modern choral music!

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
One foot in Eden still, I stand by Nicholas Maw
Conductor:  Mark Shepherd
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Oxford
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991; England 

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