Surging up again?
GORDON RUMSON investigates the sacred choral music of Caleb Simper, (no longer) sung throughout the civilized world
I have developed a knack for finding obscure composers. Recently when trying to select music for the Christmas season I happened upon an ancient and very battered pile of scores by Caleb Simper. Who? Now in religious music composers are generally so nondescript, so anonymous that music stores catalogue their works by title and not by name, but here was a name I'd not ever come across.
The Nativity of Christ - A Sacred Cantata (with carols) by Caleb Simper
I played through the piece (that's part of the knack of finding obscure composers: one must read through the music). It was tuneful, well crafted for the voice, of clear form (though repetitive) and quite harmonious. There was a faint resemblance to Stainer, though without the unctuous chromaticism.
Copyright © 13 December 2003
Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Canada