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Track(s) taken from CDA67968

The night is darkening round me

2005; originally for male voices
author of text

Kate Telfer (soprano), Royal Holloway Choir, Rupert Gough (conductor)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: June 2012
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: July 2013
Total duration: 6 minutes 21 seconds

Cover artwork: Front illustration based on a photograph by Dr Tracy Langkilde, Pennsylvania State University Biology Department.


'The Choir of Royal Holloway's championship of the music of the Baltic countries is a true feather in their cap, as this recording proves once again … these simple, memorable melodies are couched in Kõrvits's lush (but never too lush) arrangements … performances and recording are outstanding' (Gramophone)

'Kõrvits is euphoniously fanciful, threading together elements of Lutheran hymnody with runic song, and vocal ornamentation with chamber-musical textures … this Baltic compilation is given gently sympathetic performances by the student singers of Royal Holloway College and the Britten Sinfonia under Rupert Gough' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This album proclaims the excellence of British choral singing and the remarkable quality of contemporary choral music from the Baltic countries. If you think that only indigenous choirs can bring out the best in music from this part of the world, then these magnificent performances, the latest in a Hyperion series, will make you think again … melodies to die for … this is a lovely work that casts its spell immediately. Gough and his forces deliver a spellbinding performance' (International Record Review)
In her poem The night is darkening round me (written in 1837) Emily Brontë introduces us to a character in the first stanza who remains unidentified throughout the whole of the poem. All we know is that the voice of the poet is bound by a ‘tyrant spell’ which prevents them from moving. Kõrvits was immediately enchanted by this text: ‘It has a power and courage inside it. It does not leave you neutral.’ Originally written for male choir, Kõrvits later rearranged the work for mixed voices. Finding the text ‘dark, but somehow bluesy’, Kõrvits uses a mezzo-soprano singing ‘with a folk or even blues style’ as the narrator. Many colourful effects are employed in the choral parts around this narrative and the ‘tyrant spell’ constantly pulls the music back to the rather sinister harmonies based around C minor heard at the beginning.

from notes by Rupert Gough © 2013

Dans la première strophe de The night is darkening round me (écrit en 1837), Emily Brontë nous présente un personnage qui demeure non identifié durant tout le poème. On sait juste que la voix des poètes est liée par un «charme tyrannique» qui empêche tout mouvement. Kõrvits fut d’emblée enchanté par ce texte: «Il recèle puissance et courage. Il ne vous laisse pas indifférent.» Il conçut son œuvre pour un chœur d’hommes avant de la réarranger pour voix mixtes. Trouvant le texte «sombre mais, d’une certaine façon, bluesy», il prend pour narratrice une mezzo-soprano qui chante «dans un style populaire, voire blues». Maints effets pittoresques servent les parties chorales autour de ce récit et le «charme tyrannique» ramène constamment la musique vers les harmonies assez sinistres du début, bâties autour d’ut mineur.

extrait des notes rédigées par Rupert Gough © 2013
Français: Hypérion

In ihrem Gedicht The night is darkening round me (geschrieben 1837) stellt Emily Brontë in der ersten Strophe einer Person vor, über die im Gedicht sonst nichts Näheres mitgeteilt wird. Man erfährt nur, dass das lyrische Ich von einem „tyrant spell“ („tyrannischen Zauber“) gebannt ist, der jede Bewegung verhindert. Kõrvits war von diesem Gedicht sofort hingerissen: „Es ist voller Kraft und Mut. Man bleibt davon nicht unberührt.“ Kõrvits hat das ursprünglich für Männerchor geschriebene Werk später für gemischte Stimmen umgearbeitet. Der Komponist, der den Text „dunkel, aber irgendwie bluesartig“ findet, läßt einen Mezzosopran „im Volkston oder sogar im Bluesstil“ als Erzähler singen. Die Chorstimmen bringen viele farbige Effekte in die Erzählung, und der „tyrannische Zauber“ führt die Musik beständig zurück zu den ziemlich düsteren Harmonien, die auf dem c-Moll des Anfangs beruhen.

aus dem Begleittext von Rupert Gough © 2013
Deutsch: Christiane Frobenius

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