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Hyperion Records

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Sacred and Profane Love (c1515) by Titian (c1488-1576)
Galleria Borghese, Rome / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDH55438
Recording details: April 2000
Temple Church, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: March 2001
Total duration: 4 minutes 44 seconds

'The programme is delightful and the choir excellent … this has to be one of the strongest winners of the choral award in recent years' (Gramophone)

'Polyphony's brand of singing, clean as a whistle, rhythmically wonderfully alive, impeccably tuned and voiced, polished yet always fervent, is justly renowned, and on this disc it serves Britten's a capella choral music extremely well' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Musically impeccable, carefully wound and tuned, superbly balanced—a magnificent display of sheer beauty of choral sound' (American Record Guide)

'After hearing their latest CD of choral works by Britten, nothing will dissuade me from the conclusion that Polyphony under Stephen Layton is the best chamber choir in the country' (The Evening Standard)

'A valued possession … highly recommended' (Cathedral Music)

'Polyphony's exceptional energy, technical prowess and expressive flexibility make the most of every word and mood throughout this hour-long programme. This engrossing anthology of words and music comes highly recommended' (The Age, Melbourne)

Chorale after an old French Carol
First line:
Our fathers whose creative will asked
composer
Autumn 1944; based on the tune Picardy
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
During his early career, Britten undertook occasional commissions from the BBC in order to supplement his longer-term concert and operatic work. In the autumn of 1944 he contributed music to a radio programme entitled A Poet’s Christmas, broadcast by the Home Service on Christmas Eve and also featuring music by Michael Tippett. Britten’s contribution was his Chorale after an old French Carol, with a text by W H Auden (who had been Britten’s close friend and collaborator in the period from 1936 to 1942). The Chorale’s text was part of an unachieved Christmas Oratorio on which Britten and Auden intended to collaborate. Britten’s setting is based on the hymn tune ‘Picardy’, known in France as ‘Romancero’; it lay unperformed for many years, but was resurrected in 1961 when Imogen Holst conducted its first airing since the original broadcast in 1944.

from notes by Mervyn Cooke © 2001

Other albums featuring this work
'A Christmas Present from Polyphony' (NOEL2)
A Christmas Present from Polyphony
MP3 £4.50FLAC £4.50ALAC £4.50Buy by post £4.50 NOEL2  Super-budget price sampler — Last few CD copies remaining  
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