Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Tarik O'Regan: Threshold of Night / Conspirare


Release Date: 09/09/2008 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 807490   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Tarik O'Regan
Conductor:  Craig Hella Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ConspirareCompany of Voices
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $20.98
SuperAudio CD:  $15.99
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews


Thirty-year-old British composer Tarik O'Regan has been very favorably represented on recordings so far--his Scattered Rhymes was issued to very positive reviews earlier this year, sharing a program (as well as musical and structural ideas) with Machaut's Messe de Nostre Dame. If you heard that work and liked it, you'll find much more to enjoy here; if you found the going through the three sections of Scattered Rhymes a bit difficult, you absolutely should not hesitate to give this program a listen. The seven works on offer here, all recorded for the first time (several commissioned for this CD), are not only significant and eminently worthy entries into the modern choral repertoire, but they also
Read more are accessible in the best sense of the word--that is, the music immediately reveals itself and rewards careful, serious listening. There's nothing to "figure out", no detailed explanations to read before listening (although the composer's brief notes on each work are useful and informative)--rather, O'Regan's intentions and realization of the texts speak for themselves through artful, consistently engaging choral writing.

It's not easy to describe the music, which is fundamentally tonal but not based on traditional ideas of melodic themes and harmonic movement, but there are some recurring structural and thematic features, including the use of imitative, often overlapping layers of melodic/rhythmic fragments; increasing and decreasing density of textures, which range from clusters to wider voicings, from solo voice and duet to octets and full choir, spiced with tangy dissonances and occasional, judiciously planted, unaltered chords or unisons; ostinatos and pulsing, momentum-building rhythms (reminiscent of minimalist techniques) usually in the instrumental accompaniment; and moods of high energy contrasted with ethereal, meditative quietness.

Most of these works are written for voices with strings--itself a rather unusual if very affecting combination that lends itself particularly well to O'Regan's harmonic and textural sensibility. The poetry also is intriguing--works by Edgar Allan Poe next to Emily Dickinson and Pablo Neruda. While much could be said about each of these pieces, highlights for me were two a cappella works--Threshold of Night and the setting of Neruda's Tal vez tenemos tiempo (Maybe we have time), the former notable for O'Regan's technique of over-layering and rhythmically staggering lines of text, lending remarkable dynamism to the interaction of the voices, while the latter is a marvelous evocation of the text by means of primarily homophonic structure (but what harmony!) complemented by careful, language-sensitive rhythmic articulation.

The works here were all written (or in one case, revised) within the past three years, but they are all quite distinctive and different, owing to O'Regan's concern for and ability to "get inside" the poetry and because, well, he's a truly gifted, skilled, creative artist who seems to be concerned with writing original music--no hooks, gimmicks, or formulas--that although variously challenging, people can hear and feel and perform and understand, music that's worthy and demanding of repetition, which will engender a desire for more. You may find this in the very lovely, affecting final minutes of the Poe setting, The Ecstasies Above, or in the profoundly moving middle section of Triptych ("As We Remember Them"), but if you love choral music, you'll definitely want to spend some serious time with these works--and you'll certainly want to hear more. Needless to say, the performances are first rate--this choir has an established reputation for excellence and has taken to O'Regan's music as if it were created just for them (which some of it was!). The sound, from one of North America's premiere recording and performance venues--the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, NY--is ideal. Don't miss this. [And if you can't wait, the recording is available for download through digital media outlets such as iTunes, Zune, and emusic.]

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Had I Not Seen the Sun by Tarik O'Regan
Conductor:  Craig Hella Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Conspirare,  Company of Voices
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2007; England 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
2.
The Ecstasies Above by Tarik O'Regan
Conductor:  Craig Hella Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Conspirare,  Company of Voices
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2006; USA 
Length: 17 Minutes 25 Secs. 
3.
Threshold of Night by Tarik O'Regan
Conductor:  Craig Hella Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Conspirare,  Company of Voices
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2006 
Length: 6 Minutes 19 Secs. 
4.
Tal vez tenemos tiempo by Tarik O'Regan
Conductor:  Craig Hella Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Conspirare,  Company of Voices
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2007; USA 
Length: 7 Minutes 49 Secs. 
5.
Care Charminge Sleepe by Tarik O'Regan
Conductor:  Craig Hella Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Conspirare,  Company of Voices
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2003/2007; England 
Length: 6 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: England (2003 - 2007). 
6.
Triptych by Tarik O'Regan
Conductor:  Craig Hella Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Conspirare,  Company of Voices
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2005; England 
Length: 17 Minutes 35 Secs. 
7.
I Had No Time to Hate by Tarik O'Regan
Conductor:  Craig Hella Johnson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Conspirare,  Company of Voices
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2007; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In