COMPOSERS: Dove,Filsell,L’estrange & Rr Bennett,Pott,Swayne,Tavener
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Mother and Child
WORKS: Works by Dove, Pott, Swayne, Filsell, Tavener, L’Estrange & RR Bennett
PERFORMER: Tenebrae; Jeremy Filsell (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: SIGCD 501
Well known for exploring the Renaissance repertoire from intriguing thematic viewpoints, Signum turns to recent choral music with a collection that draws its title from a new Tenebrae-commissioned Tavener score, but is no less appealing for its mix of works by other contemporary choral composers. One of them, Giles Swayne’s Magnificat, famous for its inclusion of Zulu warrior chants, is fast becoming a modern classic, and this performance is appropriately rowdy and rhythmical. From among the other more outgoing items in this well-balanced collection, its energy is matched only by the brightness of Jonathan Dove’s Seek Him that Maketh the Seven Stars and Jeremy Filsell’s appropriately Anglican setting of the Jubilate.
Of the more contemplative numbers, the floating, bitter-sweet airs of Alexander L’Estrange’s Lute-book Lullaby conceal some tricky discords, sung by Tenebrae with the same assurance that it brings to the more blended astringencies of Richard Rodney Bennett’s Donne-inspired The Seasons of His Mercies. Tavener’s effort is a pleasing 12-minute Marian ‘icon’. Altogether more challenging is Francis Pott’s My Song is Love Unknown, in which the verbal felicities of Crossman’s poem, familiar in John Ireland’s metrical setting, take second place to a powerfully dramatic and extended treatment of the text. Nicholas Williams