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Weir: All The Ends Of The Earth; Finnissy, Etc / Webber


Release Date: 06/27/2006 
Label:  Signum U.k.   Catalog #: 70   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Judith WeirAnonymousJames D.E. WeeksBayan Northcott,   ... 
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Although this won't be for everyone, the music on this program offers an unusual opportunity to hear what some of today's most capable and interesting choral composers are up to. Many of the works were written within the last five or six years, and in keeping with the "theme" of the program, each of the new compositions has some connection to medieval forms and styles, be it structural, harmonic, melodic, textual, or some combination. And while these connections are plain to the ear, ultimately the compositional techniques--the harmonic language in particular--are decidedly modern, so that even the completely tonal works indulge heavily in dissonance, cluster effects, complex rhythms within and among voices, and textural and Read more timbral devices that both exploit and push the boundaries of vocal/choral technique.


There's nothing strikingly innovative here, but there are some engaging and memorable pieces, beginning with Judith Weir's All the Ends of the Earth, a remarkable study in color and texture based on an early 13th-century organum by Perotin that somehow conveys an atmosphere of distant time and place and mystic, celebratory ritual. Likewise Bayan Northcott's Salve Regina arises directly from medieval chant yet unfolds in a weirdly twisted melodic direction, controlled by quirky rhythms and set to stark harmony just short of grotesque. Another highlight is Gabriel Jackson's Thomas, Jewel of Canterbury, a setting of a text from a 14th-century composition that uses a wide variety of choral effects and fancy rhythmic embellishments, along with drones and slides, to meld the ancient with modern.


The Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge is impressively at home in this consummately difficult repertoire, making as good a case for both the original medieval works and the modern ones as we could wish for. Even better is how the choir brings these centuries-apart works together into a coherent and sensible program. I may not be putting this into my CD player that often, but I'm happy to have heard it and certainly will remember the music in future encounters with such ever-intriguing composers such as Judith Weir, Robin Holloway, and Gabriel Jackson.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. All the Ends of the Earth by Judith Weir
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1999; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
2. Winchester Troper: Kyrie eleison by Anonymous
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Medieval 
Written: by 900; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Arranger: Susan Rankin. 
3. Sint lumbi vestri precincti by James D.E. Weeks
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2004; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
4. Vir perfecte by Anonymous
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Medieval 
Written: by 1240; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
5. Votive Antiphons (4), Op. 7: no 1, Salve Regina by Bayan Northcott
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1999; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
6. Gemma nitens by Anonymous
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
7. Sacred Motets (7): no 6, Stabant autem iuxta crucem by Michael Finnissy
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991-1992; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
8. Quam pulchra es, MB 44 by John Dunstable
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
9. Votive Antiphons (4), Op. 7: no 2, Alma redemptoris mater by Bayan Northcott
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2000; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
10. Alma redemptoris mater à 5 by Geoffrey Webber
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 2004; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
11. Missa Canonica "Bianca": Sanctus by Robin Holloway
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Version: 2004
Composition written: England (1965).
Composition revised: England (2004). 
12. Missa Canonica "Bianca": Agnus Dei by Robin Holloway
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Version: 2004
Composition written: England (1965).
Composition revised: England (2004). 
13. Stella maris illustrans omnia by Anonymous
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
14. O Jesu nomen dulce by Jonathan Harvey
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1980; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
15. Mater ora filium by Anonymous
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
16. Thomas, Jewel of Canterbury by Gabriel Jackson
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2004; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
17. Campanis cum cymbalis/Honoremus dominam by Anonymous
Conductor:  Geoffrey Webber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gonville and Caius College Choir Cambridge
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; England 
Date of Recording: 09/2004 
Venue:  Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: Latin 

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