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Gleams of a remoter world

author of text

Both Gleams and Water lilies come from the same period in my life, when I was continuously influenced by Alpine landscapes. I made many visits, especially to the cul-de-sac valley of Kleinwalsertal in Austria, and my first Mass setting and trumpet concerto A Shooting Star were a direct result of experiencing the landscape there in different seasons.

Gleams however, slightly predates those and was influenced by a singing job I did with the Schütz Choir, travelling round the Dolomites. Views of the mountains straddling different countries gave me the idea for having the Shelley words ‘sleep and death’ echoing in different languages, and so a solo quartet sings ‘sonno e morte’ and ‘schlaf und tod’ distantly. In this recording, we took advantage of the space in St Paul’s church and placed the soloists behind the main body of the choir. The Alpine influence has been a constant in my composing life, as it has embraced other themes as well, in particular Shelley (and, just lately, Byron) and Turner. The watercolour views of chasms on Mont Blanc had an effect also on Vorarlberg, a guitar duet written just after Gleams. In Gleams I tried to give a mystical sense of height and depth as well as the feeling that snow falling is like the ‘veil of life and death’ that Shelley talks of in Mont Blanc. Shifting weather gives different aspects on the landscape.

from notes by Judith Bingham © 2008


Bingham: Remoter worlds & other choral works
SIGCD144Download only


Track 1 on SIGCD144 [6'49] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD144 track 1

Recording date
1 February 2008
Recording venue
St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Michael Emery
Recording engineer
Marvin Ware
Hyperion usage
  1. Bingham: Remoter worlds & other choral works (SIGCD144)
    Disc 1 Track 1
    Release date: November 2008
    Download only
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