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There are interesting subtleties to Hugill's word painting, for example his treatment of the word 'Golgotha' [listen -- track 11, 2:20-3:20] (Hebrew for 'The place of a skull'). Here the voices weave gently around the word, perhaps creating the impression of emptiness, or even of Cook's 'wind without mercy'.

Passion was first performed in 1999 by the Burgundian Cadence, and the group toured the work, including performances in Lincoln Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Southwark Cathedral, before making this very clear recording. This is unusual, striking and committed music, full of love both for the voice and for its religious subject, well-performed and recorded, and quite a phenomenon, not least since (or perhaps because) Robert Hugill is self-taught.

If you're in London this weekend, there's a chance to hear a selection of Hugill's choral music -- his Ave Verum, Cantate Domino, Lucis Creator Optime, In Principio and A Hymn to God the Father -- alongside works by Byrd, Mozart, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Elgar, Aurelio Porfori and Paul Ayres. The choir FifteenB, conducted by Paul Ayres and with Malcolm Cottle at the organ, perform at the Chelsea Festival -- 8pm, Saturday 26 June 2004 at St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Cadogan Street, Chelsea, London SW3 5BT, UK.

Copyright © 23 June 2004 Keith Bramich, Worcestershire UK


Robert Hugill - Passion

ZEN608 DDD Stereo 40'58" 2000 Robert Hugill

The Burgundian Cadence: Rupert Damerell, counter-tenor (Jesus); Simon Biazeck, tenor (Evangelist); Matthew Woolhouse, tenor (Evangelist, Damsel, Officer, Servant); Simon Gallear, bass (Pilate, Peter)

Robert Hugill (born 1955): Passion (1999) for a cappella vocal ensemble - The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to St John (words selected by the composer) with six interpolated poems (from 'The Tranquil Lake of Love' by Carl Cook, Vega Press, 1993)




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