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Track(s) taken from CDA67768

Run, shepherds, run!

2001; commissioned by the Spitalfields Festival in memory of Christopher Robert Vaughan
author of text
The Angel's Song, from the collection Flowers of Sion

Wells Cathedral Choir, Wells Cathedral School Chapel Choir, Matthew Owens (conductor)
Recording details: June 2009
Wells Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: September 2010
Total duration: 5 minutes 28 seconds

Cover artwork: Seated Angels with Orbs in their Hands (c1348-1354) by Ridolfo di Arpo Guariento (c1310-c1370)
Museo Civico, Padua, Italy / Alinari / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'Dove's fresh, diatonic idiom is coupled to a matchless sense of word-setting … he writes most gratefully for the voice, with the intensity of Kenneth Leighton, the bravura of Britten and the timeless ecstasy of Tavener … the Wells choristers tackle everything with aplomb, élan and evident enjoyment' (Gramophone)

'Matthew Owens has clearly prepared the choir with scrupulous sensitivity, and conducts with an incisive freshness … Dove's music is splendidly effective and brightly expressive' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Wells is currently enjoying a superb top line, rewardingly displayed in this collection of Jonathan Dove's radiant choral works, including a first recording of his sparkling Missa Brevis' (The Observer)

'Wells must currently stand as England's finest cathedral choir, and its legacy of promoting contemporary church music will remain long after every treble voice here has become a baritone, tenor or bass … as it stands today, that top line has unfailing precision of pitch and unaffected beauty of tone, while the men possess the flexibility and collective musicianship to underlay that top line with impeccable textural clarity and satisfying tonal depth … few will not respond to the sparkling and angelic 'Wellcome, all wonders in one sight!' … while 'Run, shepherds, run!' … adds a moment of high drama, reminding us vividly of Dove's operatic credentials … this disc offers some moments of pure magic and many truly uplifting experiences' (International Record Review)

'Into thy hands, using as texts two 12th-century prayers, offers evidence that modern religious choral music need not descend into wince-inducing happy-clappy idiocy. Dove charms and beguiles us, and the performances by the Wells Cathedral Choir under Matthew Owens are faultless. There’s also the recording quality, with the cathedral acoustic offering just enough reverberance to give the voices a heavenly glow' (TheArtsDesk.com)
Run, shepherds, run! underlines Dove’s preoccupation with and feel for drama and the dramatic. This was a Spitalfields Festival commission, celebrating the life of Christopher Robert Vaughan, who died in his late thirties. Vaughan was a local resident in Spitalfields and Patron of the Festival who left part of his estate to funding the Festival’s ‘Learning and Participation’ programme. (This was not the only work commissioned from Jonathan Dove in memory of Vaughan as he was also asked to write a community cantata On Spital Fields to celebrate Vaughan’s life.) The poem—‘The Angel’s Song’ by William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585–1649), from a collection called Flowers of Sion—is energetic and ideal for Dove’s purposes. The music was written to be performed with audience participation and they need to be taught their ‘refrain’ before the performance. In fact the music is quite complex as the audience part is divided up as the piece progresses, first into two parts and then into four parts, all of whom sing with a section of the choir. As Dove writes in his preface: ‘The four-part division presents the audience with quite a challenge: it may result in a degree of happy chaos, but this is all part of the fun.’

The main theme that runs throughout is also taken by the audience. Dove treats it in a number of different ways and, imaginatively (and helpfully), before the audience’s first entries their phrases are sung strongly by the choir, which they then imitate. The model for much of this piece is Britten’s A Boy was Born in which he has a constantly repeated energetic figure passed around the vocal parts over which is sung a binding longer-note melody (sung by the boys’ choir in Britten’s case). The result is very exciting and strongly energized.

from notes by Paul Spicer © 2010

Run, shepherds, run! souligne combien Dove a le sens et le souci du drame et de la chose dramatique. C’est une commande du Festival de Spitalfields pour célébrer la vie de Christopher Robert Vaughan, mort à presque quarante ans. Vaughan habitait Spitalfields et légua une partie de son domaine pour alimenter le programme «Learning and Participation» du Festival, dont il était par ailleurs mécène. (Pour honorer sa mémoire, Jonathan Dove se vit commander une autre œuvre, On Spital Fields, une cantate municipale.) Le poème—«The Angel’s Song», écrit par William Drummond de Hawthornden (1585– 1649) et emprunté au recueil Flowers of Sion (les Fleurs de Sion)—est énergique et sert à merveille le propos de Dove. La musique a été conçue pour être jouée en faisant participer l’auditoire, qui doit commencer par apprendre son «refrain». En réalité, cette musique est fort complexe car le public est scindé à mesure que la pièce progresse, en deux puis en quatre parties, qui chantent chacune avec une section du chœur. Comme l’écrit Dove dans sa préface: «La division en quatre parties est un vrai défi pour le public: il peut en résulter un certain chaos joyeux mais cela fait partie intégrante du plaisir.»

Le thème principal, qui court de bout en bout, est également négocié par le public. Dove le traite de plusieurs manières et, avec imagination (et obligeance), le chœur chante puissamment les phrases du public, qui n’a plus qu’à l’imiter lorsqu’il fait son entrée. Cette pièce s’inspire beaucoup de A Boy was Born de Britten: les parties vocales se passent une figure vigoureuse constamment répétée, par-dessus laquelle survient une mélodie-lien en notes plus longues (assumée par le chœur de garçons chez Britten). Le résultat est absolument passionnant et bourré d’énergie.

extrait des notes rédigées par Paul Spicer © 2010
Français: Hypérion

Run, shepherds, run! unterstreicht Doves Begeisterung für das Theater und sein Gefühl für Drama. Dies war ein Auftragswerk für das Spitalfields Festival zur Feier des Lebens von Christopher Robert Vaughan, Einwohner der Londoner Gemeinde Spitalfields und Schirmherr des Festivals, der in seinen späten Dreißiger Jahren starb und einen Teil seines Besitzes zur Finanzierung des Teilnahme- und Lernprogramms des Festivals hinterließ. (Jonathan Dove erhielt außerdem einen Auftrag für eine Gemeindekantate mit dem Titel On Spital Fields zum Gedenken an Vaughan.) Das Gedicht „The Angel’s Song“ von William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585–1649) aus einer Sammlung namens Flowers of Sion ist kraftvoll und eignet sich hervorragend für Doves Zwecke. Die Musik wurde mit dem Ziel der Mitwirkung des Publikums komponiert, das seinen „Refrain“ vor der Aufführung lernen muss. Die Musik ist tatsächlich recht komplex, denn die Rolle des Publikums wird im Lauf der Entwicklung erst in zwei und dann in vier Teile gegliedert, von denen jeder mit einem Teil des Chors zu singen ist. Dove schreibt im Vorwort: „Die vierteilige Struktur stellt das Publikum vor keine leichte Aufgabe, die in fröhlichem Chaos enden mag, aber das gehört zum Spaß an der Sache.“

Das Hauptthema, das sich durch das gesamte Stück zieht, wird ebenfalls vom Publikum übernommen. Dove behandelt es auf unterschiedliche Weise und lässt die Phrasierungen fantasievoll (und hilfreich) zuerst kraftvoll vom Chor vorsingen, bevor sie vom Publikum imitiert werden. Die Vorlage für einen Großteil dieses Stücks ist Brittens A Boy was Born, in dem eine ständig wiederholte energievolle Figur nacheinander von den Singstimmen übernommen wird, die von einer darüber liegenden (in Brittens Fall vom Knabenchor gesungenen) Melodie aus längeren Noten miteinander verbunden werden. Das Ergebnis ist sehr aufregend und reich an Energie.

aus dem Begleittext von Paul Spicer © 2010
Deutsch: Henning Weber

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