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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The group’s expanding recording catalogue has received critical acclaim, and not all of it is close harmony. Under its previous name, Collegium Regale, the group released two albums promoting under-appreciated composers from the European Renaissance on the Signum label. The 2006 recording of music by Orlando Lassus received five-star reviews from The Times and The Daily Telegraph, the latter listing it in its top ten discs of the year. In 2008, Collegium Regale recorded music by Giaches de Wert transcribed for the first time by a member of the group, and receiving its first performance since the late 16th century. This release was similarly well received.
More recent recordings by the King’s Men have featured contemporary music. After hours and Twelve days of Christmas, both released on the King’s College label, feature pop and jazz arrangements, as well as festive favourites and more reflective music. After hours reached No 1 on the iTunes Classical Charts, and both albums received five-star reviews from the press. (We're possibly most proud of Gramophone's review of Twelve days of Christmas, which described the album as having 'all the cosiness and geekiness of a garish Christmas jumper'.)
These contemporary styles of music include some particular favourites among the Choral Scholars. From spiritual songs to Michael Jackson, they are almost always arranged for close harmony by current or former members of the group and give the singers a chance to perform something a bit different from music sung from the stalls of King’s College Chapel.
After leaving King’s, many members of the King’s Men seek to continue a career in music and the group boasts an impressive array of alumni. The baritone Gerald Finley and the tenor Andrew Kennedy are both former members, as is the Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic, Edward Gardner. Perhaps the most famous close harmony group there is, The King’s Singers, was set up by a particularly enthusiastic year of Choral Scholars in 1968. Former Choral Scholars grace the ranks of almost every professional choir in the UK today including The Monteverdi Choir, The Sixteen, Polyphony and the Swingle Singers. Not everyone goes into the music industry, though, and this is reflected by the variety of degrees listed in the line-up to the right. Recent leavers have joined Teach First, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and the tech industry, as well as continuing with further education.
Unlike its professional 'competitors', The King’s Men faces the ever-present challenge of a membership in a perpetual state of flux. With most students completing their degrees in three years, it only takes two years for the majority of personnel in the King’s Men to change. In some respects, though, this can be a tremendous strength, for each year heralds a fresh set of voices and ideas about where the group should go. Indeed, The Times once wrote that ‘the mystery is how the Choir achieves its gorgeous blend with such transitory, albeit overlapping, personnel’. That it has flourished for so long is testament to its ability to change in new and interesting directions while retaining its high standards of musical integrity.