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Hyperion Records

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Michael by Arild Rosenkrantz (1870-1964)
Courtesy of Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries, London / Private Collection, Denmark
Track(s) taken from CDA67832
Recording details: July 2010
Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: July 2011
Total duration: 2 minutes 16 seconds

'In the fourth year of Stephen Layton's directorship the Trinity choir's sense of corporate ease and confidence is such that nothing phases them. The singing is beautifully blended, the parts sensitively balanced, the absence of spurious vibrato a constant pleasure. Typically outstanding Hyperion sound caps this warmly recommendable issue' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Maestro Layton is a master of shading and dynamic control, so there's always a sense of ebb and flow to the glowing harmonies that animate this music' (American Record Guide)

'First, a health warning: it is impossible to do anything else but listen once the opening track of this glorious album begins … here is music making of the highest quality. I don’t have the space to mention all of the choral wonders on this disc but I can say with certainty that it is an album that will repay repeated listening for years to come' (Classic FM Magazine)

Two Motets
First line:
Quis color ille vadis, seras cum propulit umbras
composer
1981; SSAATTBB SSAATTBB unaccompanied; composed for the Gregg Smith Singers

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Two Motets of 1981 were composed for the Gregg Smith Singers, and are conceived of very similar material. Unusually for choral music, the Latin texts are poetic rather than biblical, and contain no sacred elements at all. Mosella is a fragment of a longer work by the fourth-century poet Ausonius—a celebrated evocation of the scenery experienced along the course of the river Moselle—and in this stanza we are treated to the soothing sight of water reflecting the light of dusk. For the second poem, Te vigilans oculis by Petronius, the scene shifts to an anguished poet lying sleepless in bed, longing for his lover. The contrasts in thematic material from the first motet are magnified by their very similarity, as Hawley shifts to a darker mode in reflection of the text. Both motets end with prolonged and unresolved suspensions to sharply differing effect: unending beauty in the first instance, and ceaseless torment in the second.

from notes by Gabriel Crouch © 2011

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