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Mike Sheppard: The Soul Rests Eternal

Sheppard,Mike / Dale / Eco / Sidwell
Release Date: 02/22/2011 
Label:  Signum U.k.   Catalog #: 232   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Caroline DaleMike Smith
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



M. SHEPPARD The Soul Rests Eternal Caroline Dale (vc); Steve Sidwell, cond; English CO SIGNUM 232 (56:15)


Composer Mike Sheppard writes that this music explores the “emotional landscape of grief, bereavement, and loss, but also hope, optimism, and a celebration of life and human relationships.” Sheppard was taken ill in January 2009 and decided to follow his heart, and to compose. This album is the first fruit of that decision.


The open spaces of the Prologue set the Read more scene (the Epilogue is a reflection of it). The sound world is reminiscent of Arvo Pärt in its barrenness. The effect of a cello ensemble is created by overdubbing. Film music forms the starting point for “Elegy for a Lost Son” (the second movement). Sheppard draws also upon Greek myth (Artemis), poetry (Robert Graves), and includes two memoria. One memoriam is for drummer Chris Dagley; the other forms the emotional center point of the piece, and is for a close family member of the composer’s, Michael Franklin. A “Lullaby” calls upon the English Pastoral tradition; sonically, “Tinitinnabulum” forms an effective contrast. Sheppard’s scoring can be effective, for example the re-creation of an organ at the opening of “Hymnus,” the 10th movement. “Ripples” (the 11th movement and the memoriam for Dagley) is probably the most active and is scored for cello, tuned percussion, and cymbals.


Caroline Dale, who I first encountered as a BBC Young Musician of the Year finalist, is as eloquent a soloist as one could hope for. One of the movements, the fifth (“Soliloquoy”) is unaccompanied and infinitely effective, especially when interpreted by Dale. Ultimately, though, this music is pleasantly sad rather than a response of any great depth. It makes reference to Minimalism, and seeks a stillness that is undeniably touching. The recording is excellent: present, and the perfect reflection of Sheppard’s haunting language.


FANFARE: Colin Clarke
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Works on This Recording

1. Prologue, for cello by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Caroline Dale (Cello), Mike Smith (Percussion)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
2. Elegy for a Lost Son, for cello & orchestra by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Caroline Dale (Cello), Mike Smith (Percussion)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
3. Artemis & Orion, for cello & orchestra by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Mike Smith (Percussion), Caroline Dale (Cello)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
4. Despite the Falling Snow, for cello & orchestra by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Mike Smith (Percussion), Caroline Dale (Cello)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
5. Lullaby, for cello & orchestra by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Caroline Dale (Cello), Mike Smith (Percussion)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
6. The Soul Rests Eternal, for cello & orchestra by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Mike Smith (Percussion), Caroline Dale (Cello)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 5 Minutes 32 Secs. 
7. Tintinnabulum, for cello & orchestra by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Caroline Dale (Cello), Mike Smith (Percussion)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 4 Minutes 31 Secs. 
8. A Remark You Made, for cello & orchestra by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Caroline Dale (Cello), Mike Smith (Percussion)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
9. Hymnus, for cello & orchestra by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Caroline Dale (Cello), Mike Smith (Percussion)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
10. Ripples, for cello & percussion ensemble by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Mike Smith (Percussion), Caroline Dale (Cello)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
11. An Ordinary Tuesday, for cello & orchestra by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Caroline Dale (Cello), Mike Smith (Percussion)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 4 Minutes 21 Secs. 
12. Ellie's Theme, for cello & orchestra by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Caroline Dale (Cello), Mike Smith (Percussion)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 5 Minutes 11 Secs. 
13. Epilogue, for cello by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Mike Smith (Percussion), Caroline Dale (Cello)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 
14. Soliloquy, for cello by Mike Sheppard
Performer:  Caroline Dale (Cello), Mike Smith (Percussion)
Conductor:  Steve Sidwell
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 

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