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Ronald Corp: Dhammapada

Corp / Apsara Choir
Release Date: 08/09/2011 
Label:  Stone Records   Catalog #: 80055   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Stone Records now follow up their CD of Ronald Corp’s songs with this Buddhist sequence to words by Francis Booth (b. 1949). I learn from the very basic notes that the Dhammapada is ‘The Buddha’s path to truth” – a manual for living and a hand held up against materiality. The singing is alternated with tracks featuring a rich range of bells recorded by Booth at locations sacred to Buddhists. The sung texts are in English apart from the Buddham saranam gacchami (tr. 2). All the words are printed in the booklet. I had half expected the singing to be spare and even skeletal; nothing of the sort. The writing mixes white, open, aureate tones familiar from the English cathedral-pastoral tradition of Holst and Howells with Oriental shadings and Read more profound bass notes. There is about it perhaps a touch of John Tavener – certainly it is from the same broad shelf. Ambiguous tonalities arise from deeper notes sliding and slipping like tectonic plates as they hum around the white lambent upper line. In Dhammapada 1 and 2 there’s a striking slow-motion ululating chant which evokes joy. The bell tracks are in large part ‘stopped’ and having hardly any of the luxury that surrounds resonance. The opposite applies to Sarnath, to the ringing Ting-Sha and to the deeper gong tones of Sravasti 3. In Dhammapada 4 the reverential tone is broken by the ecstatic playfulness of “The world is like a bubble on a pond” – very fast and smiling. This is a reverential but life-enhancing yet unassertive sequence that will please followers of Corp and the world’s many choirs and their audiences. It makes a fitting companion to Dutton’s Tomorrow Child CD and a contrast to the same company’s disc of Corp’s orchestral music. Let us hope that we will not have to wait long for recordings of Corp’s major choral-orchestral works.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sravasti 1, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 0 Minutes 47 Secs. 
2.
Buddham saranam gacchami, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
3.
Mahabadhi 1, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 1 Minutes 16 Secs. 
4.
Homage, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
5.
Sravasti 2, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 1 Minutes 20 Secs. 
6.
Dhammapada 1, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 7 Minutes 52 Secs. 
7.
Kushinagar, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 1 Minutes 22 Secs. 
8.
Dhammapada 2, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 7 Minutes 28 Secs. 
9.
Mahabadhi 2, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 1 Minutes 42 Secs. 
10.
Dhammapada 3, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 8 Minutes 19 Secs. 
11.
Ting-sha, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 1 Minutes 10 Secs. 
12.
Dhammapada 4, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 55 Secs. 
13.
Sravasti 3, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 0 Minutes 54 Secs. 
14.
Dhammapada 5, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 8 Minutes 21 Secs. 
15.
Sarnath, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 0 Minutes 51 Secs. 
16.
Meditation on the four sublime states, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
17.
Sravasti 4, for chorus by Ronald Corp
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Venue:  St. Alban's Holborn, UK 
Length: 1 Minutes 5 Secs. 

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