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Track(s) taken from CDA67768

Seek him that maketh the seven stars

1995; commissioned by the Friends of the Royal Academy of Arts
author of text
Amos 5: 8; Psalm 139: 12

Wells Cathedral Choir, Matthew Owens (conductor), Jonathan Vaughn (organ)
Recording details: June 2009
Wells Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: September 2010
Total duration: 6 minutes 41 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

Other recordings available for download

Tenebrae, Nigel Short (conductor), Jeremy Filsell (organ)
Huddersfield Choral Society, Aidan Oliver (conductor), Thomas Trotter (organ)


'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)
Of Seek him that maketh the seven stars (1995) Dove has written that ‘the theme of light, and starlight in particular, is an endless source of inspiration for composers’. The anthem was commissioned by the Friends of the Royal Academy of Arts for their annual service in St James’s Church, Piccadilly in London, and Dove thought that these images would also have a special meaning for visual artists. The organ part creates a musical image of the night sky with its twinkling stars which he says ‘sets the choir wondering who made them. The refrain “Seek him” starts in devotional longing but is eventually released into a joyful dance, finally coming to rest in serenity.’

from notes by Paul Spicer © 2010

À propos de Seek him that maketh the seven stars (1995), Dove a écrit que «le thème de la lumière, celle des étoiles en particulier, est une source d’inspiration infinie pour les compositeurs». Cet anthem répond à une commande de la Royal Academy of Arts pour son service annuel en St James’s Church, Piccadilly (Londres) et Dove a pensé que ces images auraient un sens particulier pour des plasticiens. La partie d’orgue produit l’image musicale du ciel nocturne, avec ses étoiles scintillantes—une image qui, selon Dove, «pousse le chœur à se demander qui les a faites. Le refrain “Seek him” commence dans l’aspiration dévotionnelle mais se libère finalement en une danse joyeuse, avant de se reposer dans la sérénité».

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

Über Seek him that maketh the seven stars (1995) schrieb Dove, dass „das Thema Licht, und vor allem Sternenlicht, eine nie versiegende Quelle der Inspiration für Komponisten ist“. Die Hymne wurde von der Royal Academy of Arts für ihren jährlichen Gottesdienst in der St. James’s Church im Londoner Stadtteil Piccadilly in Auftrag gegeben, und Dove meinte, dass diese Bilder auch besondere Bedeutung für bildende Künstler haben könnten. Der Orgelteil erzeugt ein Bild vom Nachthimmel mit seinen funkelnden Sternen, von denen Dove sagt, dass sie „den Chor fragen lassen, wer sie gemacht hat. Der Refrain ,Seek him‘ beginnt mit ehrfürchtigem Sehnen, wird schließlich in einen fröhlichen Tanz entlassen und endet in feierlicher Ruhe.“

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

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