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Track(s) taken from CDH55421

The First World

composer
1992

Wells Cathedral Choir, Matthew Owens (conductor)
Recording details: February 2006
Wells Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: November 2006
Total duration: 2 minutes 6 seconds

Cover artwork: Three Ladies Singing (detail) by Louis Welden Hawkins (1849-1910)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
 
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Adam’s fall and the corruption of paradise are central concerns of The First World, a diptych for unaccompanied choir infused with bold chromatic harmonies and delicate alterations of timbre and texture. Harmonic uncertainty prevails throughout As the angels stood. Anna and Clare Needham’s aphoristic verse, written during their childhood, is delineated by a call-and-response structure in which divided choral voices represent the company of angels and a tenor soloist projects the serpentine villain’s beckoning call.

from notes by Andrew Stewart 2006

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