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Richard Blackford Mirror of Perfection and Choral Anthems

3 customer reviews

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Richard Blackford Mirror of Perfection and Choral Anthems + Blackford: Not in Our Time
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Product details

  • Performer: Ying Huang (soprano), Bo Skovhus (baritone), Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Olivia Robinson (solo soprano), Iain Farrington (organ), et al.
  • Orchestra: Bournemouth Sinfonietta
  • Conductor: Richard Blackford, David Hill
  • Composer: Richard Blackford
  • Audio CD (15 Oct. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nimbus Alliance
  • ASIN: B009K41C36
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,288 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Richard Blackford, Mirror Of Perfection
2. Richard Blackford, A Westminster Te Deum
3. Richard Blackford, On Another's Sorrow
4. Richard Blackford, I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
5. Richard Blackford, From The Song of Songs
6. Richard Blackford, A Lullaby of the Nativity
7. Richard Blackford, I Will Sing To The Lord

Product Description

Product Description

Richard Blackford is one of the pre-eminent concert and media composers of the UK. His music has been performed and broadcast all over the world and has been featured in the Adelaide, Cork, Montepulciano, Brighton, Cheltenham, Long Island and Berlin Festivals. His feature film credits include City of Joy, Prometheus and Song for a Raggy Boy, the latter winning eleven international film festival awards. He is the most performed media composer in Germany, having over one hundred and forty drama feature credits to his name for ZDF alone. UK TV credits include the acclaimed BBC BAFTA-nominated drama Fingersmith, A Little Bit of Lippy, Summer Solstice, Ruth Rendell Mysteries, 1940s House, Family, Finding Sarah, Preston Front and Shell Seekers, starring Vanessa Redgrave. In 2008 Richard was appointed the first ever Composer in Association with the Brno Philharmonic, who gave the world premiere of his Violin Concerto. Both of his critically acclaimed choral works Mirror of Perfection and Voices of Exile were the subjects of television documentaries and have been frequently broadcast on Classic FM and BBC Radio 3. September 2011 saw the premiere of another major choral work Not In Our Time, commissioned for the Centenary of the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, at the Cheltenham Music Festival. It was subsequently performed to great acclaim in Chicago in 2012.

Review

A clue to the age of this recording is in the credits: this is one of the last made by the much-lamented Bournemouth Sinfonietta, sent to the wall by spending cuts in 1999. Their fine playing in Richard Blackford's plangent Mirror of Perfection only serves to highlight what the south west lost when they disbanded. Blackford takes the delightful, little-known poetry of St Francis of Assisi and builds a powerful cantata of great lyrical beauty, enhanced here by Ying Huang and Bo Skovhus, who exploit his ravishing solo melodies to the full. We spring forward to today with the BBC Singers and a set of Blackford's muscular anthems that includes a beguiling Christmas hit: A Lullaby of the Nativity. --Stephen Pritchard, The Observer

On the evidence of this CD Blackfords music is technically accomplished, tuneful, very accessible and makes an immediate impression on the listener: all these are qualities which surely any composer needs if they re to write effectively for the stage or the screen as Blackford does. Mirror of Perfection is the title of a biography of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), written by one of his companions, Brother Leo of Assisi, shortly after the saint s death. The texts selected by the composer are seven poems by St. Francis which are sung in Italian with the exception of the fifth poem, Canticle of the Birds , for which a nineteenth-century French translation is used. The music is lyrical, unfailingly attractive and it seems to me that Blackfords music fits the words very well. Blackford writes well for voices and the chorus parts sound rewarding. The children are involved in the fifth and seventh movements and they do well, singing with fresh, clear tone and in a most appealing way. The orchestral writing is skilful, colouring the score very nicely even though Blackford has been quite restrained in terms of the forces employed. In short, this is a very pleasing work which I can imagine would appeal to other choirs. The performances of these anthems by the BBC Singers are as expert as you would expect from this ensemble and Iain Farrington s organ accompaniments are excellent. I can imagine A Lullaby of the Nativity becoming very popular because this mainly gentle piece for choir and organ is very pleasing. As I indicated earlier the music on this disc is accomplished, accessible and makes an immediate impression on the listener. I enjoyed it and the performances are certainly convincing. --John Quinn, Musicweb-international.com

'Not In Our Time' - a centenary commission for the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus - was premiered at this year's Cheltenham Festival on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, and explores the concept of religion as a pretext for war with 21st century texts juxtaposed with those of the First Crusade, 1000 years before. --Richard Blackford

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wantage on 28 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD
This recording is a real pleasure and I have listened to it several times now. Set to words by Francis of Assisi in seven canticles. The canticles are very varied, excellent soloists in Bo Skovhus, baritone and Ying Huang, soprano. The Canticle of Peace is particularly lovely. You would never know this composer is more well known for TV and film work. For me it brought to mind, in places, the sound world of Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Highly enjoyable, very attractive choral work. You also get six choral anthems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meals M on 8 Nov. 2012
Format: Audio CD
I had to listen to this several times - this is not music that immediately reveals its joys - but I found it quite began to grip me after 5 or 6 hearings. This is no bad thing. The soloists are excellent; the choir impressive and the whole plays like an 'event'. This is not background stuff. Track four - 'Canticle of Love II' is my favourite: the melody represents to me the sacred and it soars (Ying Huang, soprano), but there is a consistent driving undertone (the profane?) this is what haunts. The bell or bells seem to break in at just the right moment to unite the sacred and the profane. Stirring stuff. Play it in the dark, or on your own in the car and give something new a cahnce!
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By D. M. Robertson on 28 Feb. 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I'm singing Mirror of Perfection with my choral society shortly and, never having heard it, I bought this CD. It's a wonderful performance and I recommend it - it's a wonderful and emotional piece of music for anybody to listen to.
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