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Track(s) taken from CDA67818

Seven O Antiphons

Nos 1 & 3: 26 March 1995 Vilnius; No 2: 2 December 2003 Vilnius; No 4 & 7: 3 December 2003 Vilnius; double choir, apart fro No 5
author of text

Royal Holloway Choir, Rupert Gough (conductor)
Recording details: January 2010
St Alban's Church, Holborn, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: November 2010
Total duration: 19 minutes 2 seconds

Cover artwork: Tree by Charlie Baird (b1955)


'His music has a timeless and highly atmospheric quality. Textures and nuances are used with great perception … the effect on the listener is best summed up as being one of 'contemplative meditation'. Rupert Gough has wrought wonders with his Egham choristers. Their tone glows warmly, with a firm bass-line and bell-like top soprano and tenor lines. Pitching is spot-on and climaxes are beautifully controlled  … the sumptuous swimming acoustic of St Alban's, Holborn, is perfect for this delicious music' (Gramophone)

'Vytautas Miškinis might be the best thing to happen to choral societies since Morten Lauridsen … the Choir of Royal Holloway sing with excellent intonation and blend' (International Record Review)

'The clarity and translucence of Royal Holloway's young voices, expertly trained and throroughly prepared for this demanding job, ideally suits Miškinis' infinitely subtle art. Gough and his choristers are outstanding … exquisite in their hypnotic contrasts and folk-like purity' (Classic FM Magazine)
Miškinis began setting some of the Seven O Antiphons in 1995 but did not complete the set until 2003. Their uniformity lies in the consistent use of double choir with considerable use of overlaid harmonies. In O Adonai and O Rex gentium the second choir merely provides a harmonic backdrop to the more narrative first choir. By contrast, in O Radix Jesse the first choir simply repeats the phrase ‘O Radix Jesse’ as an echo at the end of each phrase from the second choir. The final section of this antiphon makes clever use of ostinatos with each phrase of slightly different lengths so that the resulting texture alters subtly as the pieces subsides ‘al niente’. Different from the other antiphons is O Oriens, which uses a single choir but with the addition of soprano and tenor soloists singing in octaves for a recapitulation of the opening theme.

from notes by Rupert Gough © 2010

Commencées en 1995, mais achevées seulement en 2003, les Sept antiennes O tirent leur uniformité de l’usage constant d’un double chœur, avec énormément d’harmonies imbriquées. Dans O Adonai et O Rex gentium, le second chœur se contente d’offrir une toile de fond harmonique au premier chœur, davantage narratif. Par contraste, dans O Radix Jesse, le premier chœur se borne à répéter la phrase «O Radix Jesse», comme un écho à chaque fin de phrase du second chœur. La section finale de cette antienne use avec intelligence d’ostinatos dans chaque phrase plus ou moins longue, d’où une texture qui se modifie subtilement quand la pièce s’évanouit «al niente». À la différence des autres antiennes, O Oriens utilise un seul chœur, mais ajoute des solistes soprano et ténor chantant en octaves pour une réexposition du thème inaugural.

extrait des notes rédigées par Rupert Gough © 2010
Français: Hypérion

Miškinis begann schon 1995 mit der Vertonung von Sieben O-Antiphonen, vollendete sie aber erst im Jahr 2003. Ihre Gleichförmigkeit beruht in der konsequenten Verwendung eines Doppelchors mit beträchtlichem Einsatz von überlagerten Harmonien. Im O Adonai und O Rex gentium steuert der zweite Chor lediglich die harmonische Kulisse für die vom ersten Chor gesungene Erzählung bei. Im Kontrast dazu wiederholt der erste Chor im O Radix Jesse einfach die Worte „O Radix Jesse“ als Echo am Ende der einzelnen Phrasierungen des zweiten Chors. Der letzte Abschnitt dieses Antiphons macht geschickten Gebrauch von Ostinati, wobei die leicht unterschiedlichen Längen der einzelnen Phrasierungen bis zum Absinken nach „al niente“ eine subtil sich ändernde Struktur erzeugen. O Oriens unterscheidet sich von den anderen Antiphonen, indem es nur einen Chor, jedoch mit zusätzlichen, die Wiederholung des einleitenden Themas in Oktaven singenden Sopran- und Tenorsolisten verwendet.

aus dem Begleittext von Rupert Gough © 2010
Deutsch: Henning Weber

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