<< -- 3 -- Shirley Ratcliffe JOURNEYING INTO SPACE
Douglas Young's Canticle is outstanding. Here is a composer
who has a great feeling for choral writing and Auden's text has fired
his imagination. Beautifully crafted, a simple soprano melody is the catalyst
around which a delicate harmonisation weaves [listen
-- track 9, 0:03-1:30]. Inspired writing occurs in every voice
[listen -- track 9, 2:04-2:44]. The composer
uses Auden's own words 'labyrinth of choice' to summarise
his approach to this composition. The climax provides an excellent example
of this ; the performance is also outstanding as is the soprano soloist
[listen -- track 9, 3:41-4:35].
Chaucer's translation of a text by Boethius provides the words for
Elisabeth Lutyens' The country of the stars. Written in 1963, this
9 minute 30 second work is as refreshing and fresh today as it was nearly
40 years ago. Lutyens' remote star world is lean and sparse and her
music shows an innate feeling for the text. The mood is set right at the
beginning [listen -- track 14, 0:01-0:52].
With an enviable conciseness she creates a breathtaking atmosphere, not
one note too many, not one note out of place. The singers enter completely
into the spirit of the piece and the soprano soloist is particularly fine
[listen -- track 14, 6:00-7:19].
The disc shows that choral writing was alive and well in the latter part
of the 20th century and illustrates what remarkable progress amateur singers
have made during the same period.
Copyright © 1 September 2001
Shirley Ratcliffe, Norfolk, UK
CD INFORMATION - USK 1224CD
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM CROTCHET
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