I Heard A Voice - The Music of the Golden Age

I Heard A Voice - The Music of the Golden Age

by Stephen Cleobury
     
 
Times change even in conservative quarters, and so it is even in that bastion of English tradition, the King's College chapel in Cambridge, England. The all-male (men and boys) Choir of King's College, Cambridge, has been singing these English-language Anglican anthems for nearly 400 years, and the current director,

Overview

Times change even in conservative quarters, and so it is even in that bastion of English tradition, the King's College chapel in Cambridge, England. The all-male (men and boys) Choir of King's College, Cambridge, has been singing these English-language Anglican anthems for nearly 400 years, and the current director, British veteran Stephen Cleobury, has maintained its high quality, creating a lush sound that seems to proceed from a knowledge of the sonic nooks and crannies of the space where it is created. The group, by college statute, consists of 16 members, but sounds larger as the voices soar into the chapel's upper reaches and rebound -- never sounding muddy in Cleobury's hands. The "golden age" of the album's title was the flowering of musical and literary creativity under King James I, an era that produced the plays of Shakespeare and the flowering of the English madrigal. The anthems included here, mostly famous works, are a bit like sacred madrigals in their sensitivity to text; the new listener can sample the ebullient "O clap your hands" of Orlando Gibbons, track 9, for an idea of what this disc, and the music of this entire era, is all about. What's new in this recording is that the vocal pieces are lightly accompanied by instruments doubling the vocal lines -- they have mostly been sung a cappella in the past, but the judicious addition of instruments, as heard here, can clarify the texture rather than load it down, and these forces make a persuasive case for a less "pure" sound. The English historical-instrument ensemble Fretwork accompanies the singers and is heard in a few all-instrumental pieces, two of them examples of the "In nomine" polyphonic form attempted by English composers for the rest of the seventeenth century. A fine, basic performance that will serve buyers well in a general collection of Renaissance favorites.

Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle - Joshua Kosman
These ornate and densely wrought pieces of counterpoint get lovely performances.
Newark Star-Ledger - Bradley Bambarger
The best possible introduction to this repertoire.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/23/2007
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
0094639443024
catalogNumber:
94430

Tracks

  1. Alleluia, I heard a voice, anthem for 5 voices & organ
  2. When David heard (O my son Absalom), sacred madrigal in 2 sections for 6 voices
  3. Most mighty and all-knowing Lord, consort song for 4 voices
  4. Hosanna To the Son of David, anthem for 6 voices
  5. In Nomine No.1, for 4 viols
  6. Hosanna to the son of David, anthem for 6 voices
  7. O Lord, in thy wrath rebuke me not, anthem for 6 voices
  8. This Is the record of John, anthem for voices
  9. O clap your hands, anthem for 8 voices
  10. In Nomine a 4, for viols, MB26
  11. O Praise the Lord All Ye Heathen
  12. When David Heard That Absalom Was Slain, for 5 voices
  13. Fantasia, for 6 viols
  14. Rejoice, rejoice and singe
  15. O Sing Unto the Lord A New Song, for 7 voices & organ

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >