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Allegri: Miserere; Britten, Etc / Short, Filsell, Tenebrae


Release Date: 11/28/2006 
Label:  Signum U.k.   Catalog #: 85   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  John TavenerJohn IrelandSergei RachmaninovAlexander Sheremetiev,   ... 
Performer:  Andrew RuppJeremy FilsellChris WatsonNatalie Clifton-Griffith,   ... 
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The strength of Tenebrae, their brand, if you like, is the breadth of range from almost kitschy murmuring to the full-throated beltissimo. The former brings welcome intimacy to the Britten Hymn to St Cecilia, while the latter powerfully propels Holst's Psalm 148 to its conclusion, albeit in youthful, fresh-sounding style. The disc ends with that locus classicus of English choral singing, Faire is the Heaven, in which one would be forgiven for thinking Spenser's final words,'such endlesse perfectnesse' refer to the choir themselves rather than the state of Heaven. Some successful spatial effects in the engineering, and overall nicely captured.

5 out of 5 Stars for Performance, 5 out of 5 stars for Sound
Read more /> -- BBC Music Magazine

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From choral 'hits' to the less well known, Tenebrae are on top form.

Once again, Tenebrae and their director, Nigel Short, have put together a programme that ranges from the Renaissance to the 21st century, from the neglected to the familiar, with no sense of strain. Some of the familiar pieces are, perhaps, rather too familiar. I wish I had a million dollars for every recording of the two Tavener pieces in my collection, let alone every time I've heard them sung. They are radiantly beautiful and emotionally affecting, but perhaps their space would have been better given over to something less often performed. Moreover, while Tenebrae's readings are typically impeccable, displaying fastidious craftsmanship, there are other versions (St John's College Choir, Cambridge, for example on Naxos, 1/01) that are warmer, more transcendental.

Tenebrae's special merits, their exceptional diction and sharp focus, are better suited elsewhere, not least on the two Russian liturgical pieces and Britten and Auden's Cecilian homage, which reminds us how the composer brought out the best in the poet. The singing here is particularly crisp and agile.

The most recent composition is Lukaszewski's Ave Maria, a more-than-worthy addition to the considerable list of settings of this prayer. The earliest is Allegri's Miserere. The celebrated solo part with its top C is here entrusted to Grace Davidson (placed rather far back in the reverberant middle-distance) who sings well enough to disarm purists preferring the part to be taken by a treble.

Other highlights in this interesting recital are the pieces by Lotti, Kodály and Harris, and Nigel Short's setting of the popular tune widely known as Barbara Allen.

-- Barry Witherden, Gramophone (11/2006)

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"in many ways the best is saved for last. Sir William Harris’s sumptuous setting for double choir of words by Edmund Spenser is, for me, one of the glories of English church music. It moves from the rarefied celestial atmosphere of the quiet opening to the blazing conviction and excitement of the passage at “And those eternall burning Seraphims” – Tenebrae are marvellous here – before the pacific mood returns at the close. The performance of this miniature masterpiece is thrilling in every respect. Indeed, I feel that here Nigel Short and his singers come close to realising the “endlesse perfectnesse” of which Spenser speaks.

This is an outstanding disc, which I have enjoyed greatly. The sheer quality of singing has always impressed me on the previous discs I’ve heard from this choir and, indeed, when I’ve heard them live. This new release is as good as any I’ve heard from them. The engineering is excellent and the disc comes with a good booklet including full texts. Another winner from Tenebrae!"

-- John Quinn, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Song for Athene by John Tavener
Performer:  Andrew Rupp (Baritone)
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; England 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Notes: St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London (01/05/2006 - 01/07/2006)
This selection is sung in English and Latin. 
2.
Ex ore innocentium by John Ireland
Performer:  Jeremy Filsell (Organ)
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London (01/05/2006 - 01/07/2006) 
3.
The Lamb "Little Lamb, who made thee?" by John Tavener
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; England 
Date of Recording: 05/17/2004 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, Highgate, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: English 
4.
Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op. 31: Cherubic Hymn by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London (01/05/2006 - 01/07/2006)
This selection is sung in English and Latin. 
5.
Rejoice now heavenly powers by Alexander Sheremetiev
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Vladimir Morosan.
St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London (01/05/2006 - 01/07/2006)
This selection is sung in English and Latin. 
6.
Hymn to St Cecilia, Op. 27 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Chris Watson (Tenor), Natalie Clifton-Griffith (Soprano), Grace Davidson (Soprano),
Anna Stéphany (Alto), Simon Grant (Bass)
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; England 
Date of Recording: 05/17/2004 
Venue:  St. Michael's Church, Highgate, London 
Length: 10 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
Ave Maria by Pawel Lukaszevski
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Version: 2003
St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London (01/05/2006 - 01/07/2006)
Composition written: 1992.
Composition revised: 2003. 
8.
Crucifixus a 8 by Antonio Lotti
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London (01/05/2006 - 01/07/2006) 
9.
Miserere mei Deus: Miserere mei by Gregorio Allegri
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano), Ben Turner (Countertenor), Grace Davidson (Soprano),
Matthew Brook (Bass)
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Italy 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 11 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London (01/05/2006 - 01/07/2006) 
10.
Evening Song by Zoltán Kodály
Performer:  Julia Doyle (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; Hungary 
Date of Recording: 07/08/2005 
Venue:  All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Hungarian 
11.
Barbara Allen by Traditional
Performer:  Matthew Brook (Bass)
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Written: England 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: This selection is sung to the text of "The Dying Soldier".
Arrangers: Nigel Short; Mack Wilberg.
St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London (01/05/2006 - 01/07/2006) 
12.
Psalms (2), H 117: no 2, Psalm 148 by Gustav Holst
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; England 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London (01/05/2006 - 01/07/2006)
This selection is sung in English and Latin. 
13.
Faire is the Heaven by William Henry Harris
Conductor:  Nigel Short
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; England 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London (01/05/2006 - 01/07/2006) 

Featured Sound Samples

Song for Athene (Tavener)
Miserere (Allegri)
Esti Dal (Kodály)

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