Strong, stirring spirituals and tuneful, jazz-flavoured settings of Shakespeare’s timeless lyrics are the mouth-watering ingredients of the Cambridge Singers’ album Feel the Spirit. John Rutter has written vivid arrangements of seven well-loved American spirituals for choir, with soloist Melanie Marshall and the BBC Concert Orchestra joining together with the Cambridge Singers for this world première recording.
Another notable ‘first’ is jazz legend George Shearing’s captivating cycle of Shakespeare settings, Songs and Sonnets. Those who associate George Shearing with instrumental jazz (and of course with his immortal Lullaby of Birdland) will be astonished and delighted at the youthful charm and skilful word setting of this cycle. The final touch of sparkle is added by Proms favourite Wayne Marshall’s piano with Malcolm Creese on bass.