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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
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Sir Richard Rodney Bennett was respected as one of Britain’s most versatile musicians with a varied compositional output including numerous film scores alongside half a century’s work as a writer and performer of jazz. Responding to a commission to write for the 2006 St Cecilia service held in St Paul’s Cathedral, Bennett chose to avoid traditional texts in favour of one from a family member. The poetry of M R Peacocke (Bennett’s sister Meg) has been likened to the language of Elizabeth Bishop for its ‘bristly perceptive clarity for minutiae’ (David Morley in The Guardian). Bennett sets these Verses on St Cecilia’s Day across six choral parts, unusually dividing the two middle voices, lending a distinctive harmonic richness to the middle register of his choral palette.
Let there be dark: a veiling,
Shadow upon shadow laid,
An eyelid raised to droop again,
The morning scarcely learned
Before a single candle
Can give account of light more clear
Than daytime knew before.
Let there be silence: hollow
Upon hollow in the ear, echo
Rippling, rhyming itself away
Till emptiness seems all
And the first cry of a bird’s enough
To astonish us to waking
And boughs to bud again.
Out of our forgetting,
Out of our loss we make
In the fall of the year this image
Of our great need: conjure a saint—
Figure without fault who brings
Sweet discipline of music to us—
And call on her—Cecilia.