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Whitbourn: Living Voices (Son Of God Mass/ Requiem Canticorum)

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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  • Whitbourn: Living Voices (Son Of God Mass/ Requiem Canticorum)
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  • James Whitbourn: Luminosity (Luminosity And Other Choral Works)
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  • Whitbourn: Annelies (Westminster William Voices, Lincoln Trio) (Naxos: 8573070)
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Product details

  • Conductor: James Jordan
  • Composer: James Whitbourn
  • Audio CD (30 Aug. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B005CCJQK6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,510 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Son of God Mass
  2. Winters Wait
  3. Give us the wings of faith
  4. A brief story of Peter Abelard
  5. A Prayer from South Africa
  6. Living Voices
  7. Requiem Canticorum
  8. All shall be Amen and Alleluia

Product Description

Product Description

James Whitbourn is known for his boundless breadth of choral imagination (The Observer) resulting in compositions of brilliance and power. His extraordinary work for choir, saxophone and organ, Son of God Mass, receives a new recording from the young voices of one of Westminster Choir College of Rider Universitys finest chamber choirs under the leading American choral conductor James Jordan. It is heard alongside a collection of première recordings of other works associated with life and death, including the Requiem canticorum and Living Voices, a work to commemorate the dead of 9/11 with a poem by Andrew Motion.

Review

Here's another welcome collection from a truly original communicator in modern British choral music. Whitbourn's interest in the compelling combination of voices and the soprano saxophone dominates here, his 2001 Son of God Mass using the instrument in improvisatory, spiritual mode to link the sections of the mass and overlay a lithe counterpoint to the choir. Similarly, in Requiem canticorum, written last year, saxophonist Jeremy Powell spreads a healing balm over the whole piece, making it a profound, consolatory experience. And there's a bonus on this disc: Whitbourn's "Winter's Wait", the terrific carol he wrote for King's College, Cambridge last Christmas. The Princeton choir is directed by James Jordan with precision and poise. --The Observer,04/09/11

James Jordan directs the Priceton-based Choir with grip and sensitivity;he's notably successful in keeping the singers firmly focused throughout all the quiet,restrained music, where concentration and vocal support can so easily weaken. Performance **** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine,Nov'11

The choral highlight is undoubtedly the striking Winter's Wait which sets a text by the late Robert Tear.The tone of Westminster Williamson Voices is well honed,muscular and rich. --Gramophone,Nov'11

The Westminster Williamson Voices and organist ken Cowan …under the assured direction of James Jordan are outstanding. --IRR,Feb'12

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a very moving work both in text and music. James Whitbourn is masterful in his sensitive interpretation and deep appreciation of the beauty of the poetry, and consequently his inspirational music is both powerful and thoughtful. Through these settings he explores the spiritual essence of our being; through life, death and beyond. The hauntingly beautiful melodies illuminate the emotions of love, grief, joy and hope of which the texts speak. The soprano saxophone with organ is a wonderfully inspired combination and provides a thread which further links the pieces. The excellent choir of Westminster Williamson Voices makes this a fine choral work and a joy to listen to again and again.
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By S. H. Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Sept. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Naxos's second disc of choral music by British composer James Whitbourn (b.1963) includes his Son of God Mass (2001) and his "Requiem canticorum" (2010), along with several shorter pieces. Those who enjoy the choral music of, say, Karl Jenkins ("The Armed Man", for example) or Eric Whitacre should enjoy Whitbourn's immediately accessible style.

The Son of God Mass is scored for choir and organ, with the unusual addition of soprano saxophone. The normal liturgical movements are interspersed with interludes in which the saxophone takes centre stage. The music, which originates from a score Whitbourn wrote to accompany pictures of landscapes from the Holy Land, varies from the exuberant ("Gloria") to the heart-rending ("Lava me").

"Winter's Wait" is a melodious setting of a poem with a Christmas theme by the late, great tenor Robert Tear, and was written for King's College Choir, while "Give us the wings of faith" sets Isaac Watts' well-known poem. "A brief story of Peter Abelard" depicts the famous love-affair between Abelard and his pupil, Canon Fulbert's niece Heloise, and its dramatic consequences. This purely instrumental work (here for organ and saxophone) is a set of variations on Abelard's own hymn, "O quanta qualia". "A Prayer from South Africa" is a setting of a prayer by anti-apartheid activist Alan Paton, the antiphonal style of which reflects the origin of the text.

"Living Voices" (2001) was commissioned by the BBC for a broadcast in Westminster Abbey of a service conducted in the wake of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre. The music provides the backdrop to a spoken poem written by the then Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion. The lovely, plangent melody on the lonely saxophone is what gives this piece its emotional edge.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is modern, fully accessible (by this I mean possessed of great musicality), Church music of high quality. On eleven of the twenty tracks the soprano saxophone of Jeremy Powell is included. To those lovers of Choral works accompanied by an organ let me say right away that this additional instrument lends much to the overall effect - very like an extraordinarily gifted soprano vocalise line. A Mass and a Requiem are separated by five shorter but delightfully contrasting pieces. All in all a splendid effort from Naxos.
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Format: Audio CD
In this day and age of stress and strain it is so nice to find an album containing the most gorgeous music to totally relax and chill out too. I would highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys choral music. It is just beautiful. Nice to listen to with a cup of coffee.
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