FRUITS OF GLORY
Young composers in church, with BASIL RAMSEY
Priory PRCD 676
This type of enterprising recording linked to the commissioning of new
church music provides considerable help for composers. Even so, I would
be surprised if such a venture could attract reasonable record sales. If
only it would, frankly for the stimulus young composers require to maintain
a steady flow of music in the smaller genres..
Peter Barley, who directs the music at St Marylebone Parish Church opposite
the Royal Academy of Music in London, knows well the responsibility of preserving
a tradition of new music in the Church as much as elsewhere. Herein are
collected recent anthems for this church and choir; the pleasing aspect
of which is the required addition of an orchestral instrument to the accompaniment,
thereby encouraging composers to experiment.
Another pleasing aspect of this venture is the opportunity for young
composers to face the challenge of a medium beyond the usual. The organ
itself demands understanding of its peculiarities as well as its specialities
to avoid mayhem; and mixed voices dovetailed into the picture demands similar
care to maintain balance.
That said, the ten young composers involved here have obviously solved
all this to their own satisfaction. From this point on, our subjective impressions
of these diverse styles are obviously to be regulated by our own experiences.
My votes go to the Romanian Luminita Spinu's thoughtful setting of
George Herbert's Let all the world in every corner sing [listen - track 8, 8:42-9:24], the English
Ruth Byrchmore for her sensitive approach to graceful words from Ecclesiasticus,
and Adam Gorb's choice of a dramatic text from the book of Revelation.
He takes an appropriate musical stance, and also uses a speaker [listen - track 10, 3:52-4:27].
It is not clear if the ten works are published or to be published, but
enquiry to Peter Barley at the Royal
Academy of Music will answer that question.
Copyright © 27 September 2000
Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK
CD INFORMATION - PRIORY PRCD 676
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