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Track(s) taken from CDA67576

The clouded Heaven

First line:
Be with me Lord
author of text
"Be with me Lord" and "If Thy presence" sections
author of text
"I could not lightly pass" section, from On First Entering St John's Cambridge

St John's College Choir Cambridge, David Hill (conductor), Paul Provost (organ)
Recording details: January 2006
St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2006
Total duration: 4 minutes 50 seconds


'David Hill's Advent programme imaginatively mingles antiphons, carols, hymns and motets. Favourites alternate with relative rarities such as Edward Naylor's Vox dicentis: Clama, whose sumptuous sonorities unfold gloriously in the chapel's acoustic … the John's choir, fielding what sounds like a vintage crop of trebles, sings throughout with its trademark mixture of refinement and gutsy energy' (The Daily Telegraph)

'This recording holds some of the most exquisite choral singing I have ever heard. They must be one of the finest choirs in England. Not only is the technical standard dazzlingly high, but the readings are engaging, animated and sensitively shaped' (American Record Guide)

'Blend, balance, intonation and diction are all unfailingly top-drawer, and the choir's unanimity of phrasing and dynamic shading come across as something quite special … both engineering and annotation are well up to the same standard' (Fanfare, USA)

'This is a very fine disc indeed … the overall impression with which I’m left is one of great satisfaction and pleasure. The programme has been assembled with great imagination and the execution is well nigh flawless. When one adds in excellent and very atmospheric sound, first rate notes and texts and translations, it all adds up to a very distinguished package indeed. I shall be surprised if I encounter a finer CD of Christmas music this year' (MusicWeb International)
As Judith Bingham (born 1952) is both a composer and singer it is perhaps hardly surprising that choral and vocal music have featured prominently among her compositions, (including a Mass written for Westminster Cathedral). The clouded Heaven was commissioned jointly by The Dean and Chapter of Winchester Cathedral and by Ruth Daniel, a long-standing supporter of St John’s Choir. It received simultaneous premieres at Winchester Cathedral and St John’s College, Cambridge, sung by their choirs directed by David Hill and Christopher Robinson respectively, at their 1998 Advent Sunday services. Bingham’s choice of texts reflect both commissioners, a conflation of words from a prayer by the seventeenth-century Bishop of Winchester, Lancelot Andrewes, and William Wordsworth’s On First Entering St John’s Cambridge. The music has a quality of anxiousness reflecting Bingham’s inspiration behind the work: ‘I always think of Advent as the time when the Magi are making their unsafe journey towards the Nativity and so wanted to suggest a spiritual journey into the unknown. I was hugely influenced at that time by my experience of an Alpine starry landscape and wanted to try and capture my feelings of awe and wonderment in the music.’

from notes by Andrew Burn © 2006

Judith Bingham (née en 1952) étant à la fois compositrice et chanteuse, il n’est guère surprenant qu’elle ait surtout écrit de la musique chorale et vocale (dont une messe pour la cathédrale de Westminster). The clouded Heaven fut commandé conjointement par le doyen et le chapitre de la cathédrale de Winchester et par Ruth Daniel, qui soutient depuis longtemps le St John’s Choir. L’œuvre fut créée simultanément à la cathédrale de Winchester et à St John’s College par les chœurs de ces deux institutions, respectivement dirigés par David Hill et par Christopher Robinson lors du service dominical de l’Avent de 1998. Les textes choisis par Bingham—une prière de Lancelot Andrewes (évêque de Winchester au XVIIe siècle) et On First Enterting St John’s Cambridge de William Wordsworth—reflètent les deux commanditaires. La musique exhale une angoisse qui traduit l’inspiration sous-jacente de Bingham: «Je vois toujours l’Avent comme le moment où les Rois mages accomplissent leur périlleux voyage vers la Nativité, d’où ma volonté de suggérer un voyage spirituel dans l’inconnu.»

extrait des notes rédigées par Andrew Burn © 2006
Français: Hypérion

Da Judith Bingham (geb. 1952) sowohl Komponistin als auch Sängerin ist, überrascht es wohl kaum, dass Chor- und Vokalwerke unter ihren Kompositionen einen hervorstechenden Platz einnehmen (einschließlich einer für die Westminster Cathedral geschriebenen Messe). The clouded Heaven („Der bewölkte Himmel“) war ein Auftragswerk von sowohl dem Dekan und Domkapitel der Winchester Cathedral als auch Ruth Daniel, die den Chor des St John’s College schon seit langem fördert. Die Uraufführung des Stückes erfolgte gleichzeitig in der Winchester Cathedral und im St John’s College, Cambridge in den Sonntagsgottesdiensten im Advent 1998, und wurde von den jeweiligen Chören unter der Leitung von David Hill in Winchester und Christopher Robinson in Cambridge gesungen. Binghams Textauswahl zollt beiden Auftraggebern Tribut. Der Text ist eine Mischung aus Worten von einem Gebet des im 17. Jahrhundert lebenden Bischof von Winchester, Lancelot Andrewes, und William Wordsworth’ On First Entering St John’s Cambridge („Beim ersten Betreten des St John’s Cambridge“). Die Musik hat einen ängstlichen Charakter und spiegelt damit Binghams Gedanken über dieses Werk wider: „Den Advent stelle ich mir immer als eine Zeit vor, wenn die Heiligen Drei Könige ihre gefährliche Reise zur Geburt Christi antreten, und deshalb wollte ich eine mentale Reise ins Unbekannte darstellen“.

aus dem Begleittext von Andrew Burn © 2006
Deutsch: Elke Hockings

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