This is the motet Vox dicentis: Clama
by Edward Naylor (1867–1934), who was organist of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Apart from an extensive body of church music, he also wrote an opera (The Angelus
, performed at Covent Garden in 1904), was one of the earliest advocates of musical authenticity, and an authority on Shakespeare and music. Vox dicentis: Clama
was composed in 1911 for King’s College, Cambridge, and sets texts from Isaiah describing the voice of one crying out in the wilderness. It is an extended work, in four distinct sections, with the choral textures frequently dividing into lush eight-part writing that consciously used the resonant acoustic of King’s chapel. The striking opening is almost operatic with a declamatory bass line and dramatic interjections from the rest of the choir. Particularly effective too is the final pastoral-like section, which features a solo treble setting words dwelling on the image of Christ the Good Shepherd, and an ending exploiting harmonic suspensions of caressing beauty.
from notes by Andrew Burn © 2006