Pitts: The Peace of Jerusalem; Sanctus and Benedictus; A Thousand Years; My Dove; The ‘I AM’ Sayings of Jesus

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COMPOSERS: Pitts
LABELS: Hyperion
WORKS: The Peace of Jerusalem; Sanctus and Benedictus; A Thousand Years; My Dove; The ‘I AM’ Sayings of Jesus
PERFORMER: Tonus Peregrinus/Antony Pitts
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67668

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Antony Pitts and Tonus Peregrinus are probably best known for their series of excellent early music recordings for Naxos, showcasing such seminal figures as Léonin, Perotin, Adam de la Halle and Dunstaple; but with Hyperion they have embarked on a programme of recording works by Pitts himself, and Alpha and Omega is a companion album to Seven Letters (2005).

Embracing both large public works (the a cappella coda for an oratorio, Jerusalem-Yerushalayim commissioned for a concert hall in Israel) and intimate occasions (the Sanctus and Benedictus were written for the silver wedding of Pitts’s parents), all the pieces here confirm the composer’s command of the entire history of choral music.

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The eight voices of Tonus Peregrinus take the range of harmonic environments, sinuous melodies and complex textures in their stride. The beauty of the choir’s sound is as impressive as its technical accomplishment, doing full justice to their director’s fascinating, inventive compositions. Barry Witherden