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Hyperion Records

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Sunset Flock by Charlie Baird (b1955)
Private Collection / By kind permission of Alistair Groom
Track(s) taken from CDA67881
Recording details: January 2011
Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: March 2012
Total duration: 6 minutes 51 seconds

'Hansson's music shows off the choir's strengths to great advantage … it is their confident and committed performance that warrants a recommendation from the objective listener' (Gramophone)

'There's some lovely five-part canonic writing for women's voices in the Benedictus … the glowingly expressive Som när handen, the brightly rippling Salve regina and the mellifluous, resonantly multi-part Endless border are particularly impressive' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This marvellous disc … not only pays tribute to the Swedish composer's fresh, melodic, choral writing but also to the uniformly excellent vocal ensemble at Royal Holloway under their inspirational director, Rupert Gough. On the basis of this disc, these performers are wholly inside Hansson's sonic world … highly recommended' (Choir & Organ)

'The music on this disc is consistently good; Hansson’s beginnings as an arranger of folk and popular song have helped him develop gifts as a writer of contemporary choral music that really does exert a grip … the musical processes are sophisticated but always easy to follow. Endless border is a compact, seven-minute marvel … Rupert Gough’s young choir make a glowing sound, recorded in an acoustic which gives them plenty of air but never clouds the detail' (TheArtsDesk.com)

Salve regina
composer
2005; SSAATTBB unaccompanied; commissioned by the Landesakademie für die musizierende Jugend in Badenwürttemberg; dedicated to the Orpheus Vocal Ensemble
author of text
Antiphon to the Virgin Mary from Trinity until Advent

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Salve regina was commissioned by the Landesakademie für die musizierende Jugend in Baden-Württemberg and dedicated to the Orpheus Vocal Ensemble. There is a strong sense of plainsong modality from the outset and, as the piece progresses, fragments of chant-like melody are overlaid and manipulated like a musical collage. A fast 5/8 tempo gives way to a more lyrical compound time for ‘mater misericordiae’. The increasing opposition of rhythms lends urgency to the line ‘Ad te clamamus’ before subsiding into a moment of calm. Whilst the first half of the piece only alludes to plainchant (the fast 5/8 repetitions of ‘Salve regina’ in fact bearing the same outline as the Ambrosian chant), at the mid point ‘Eia ergo, advocata nostra’ Hansson introduces an unadorned quotation of the ferial version of the Gregorian chant. A single soprano voice sings the final tender line ‘o pia, o dulcis virgo Maria’ with the lyricism of the plainsong melody enriched with the purity and serenity of sustained C major chords beneath. The combination of rich and unresolved contemporary harmonies, with constant recollections of the plainsong antiphon, serves to create in this piece an atmosphere of prayer spanning the centuries.

from notes by Rupert Gough © 2012

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