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Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989): Stabat Mater; Mass for Five Voices; Judica Me; Michael Berkeley (b.1948): Touch Light / David Wordsworth, The Marian Consort

Album Summary

>Berkeley, Lennox : Stabat Mater, for 6 solo voices & 12 instruments, Op. 28
>Berkeley, Lennox : Mass for 5 voices, Op. 64
>Berkeley, Lennox : Judica me, for chorus, Op. 96/1
>Berkeley, Michael : Touch Light, for soprano, countertenor & string quintet
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Lennox Berkeley's Stabat Mater derives from one of the most fertile and inspired periods of his compositional life. A masterpiece, and until now the last of his major works to go unrecorded, it was written for a concert tour by his close friend Benjamin Britten's English Opera Group; hence the unusual but effective scoring for six solo voices and twelve instrumentalists. Delphian artists The Marian Consort - with five acclaimed discs of early music to their credit - now show their versatility in a cappella and accompanied music by both Lennox and his son Michael Berkeley. They are partnered in the larger works by the Berkeley Ensemble, whose performances are enriched by their intimate knowledge of these composers' music. The same can be said of conductor David Wordsworth, who has known and worked with both composers, and who here realises a long-cherished ambition to direct this important addition to the catalogue.

The Guardian, 28th July 2016
There's earnest beauty in it and the instrumental playing on this recording is spot on - the Berkeley Ensemble under David Wordsworth clinches the balance of chaste, plaintive and urgent.

Choir & Organ, July/August 2016
A spellbinding experience.

Classical Music, August 2016
An inspired and moving major work... by turns eerie, poignant and powerful.

classicalsource.com, October 2016
An enlightening and enriching release, which is also excellent in terms of recording and presentation.

MusicWeb International, July 2016
This is a very important disc in that it presents an unjustly neglected English vocal work of the highest quality; furthermore, the performance is superb... Admirers of Lennox Berkeley's music should put this disc at the top of their shopping list.

Record Review, July 2016
Extraordinary and surprisingly intimate...Macmillan somehow manages to blend the feel of plainchant with his own kind of Celtic ornamentation. It's lean, spoare, intimate, startingly beautiful, and with an atmosphere that stays with you after the final quintet froom Hebrides Ensemble has drifted out of reach.

Sunday Times, 17th July 2016
Stabat Mater shows Lennox Berkeley at his most beguilingly austere, with quasi-medieval vocal writing - Rory McCleery's alto solo is outstanding - fastidiously embroidered by chamber ensemble.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Britten Studio, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh (2016-03-26&2016-03-28&2016-).



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Works Details

>Berkeley, Lennox : Stabat Mater, for 6 solo voices & 12 instruments, Op. 28
  • Performers: Nicholas Ashby; Zoe Brookshaw; Benedict Hymas (Tenor); Clare Lloyd-Griffiths; Rory McCleery
  • Conductor: David Wordsworth
  • Ensemble: Berkeley Ensemble
  • Notes: Britten Studio, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh Music (2016-03-26&2016-03-28&2016-)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Berkeley, Lennox : Mass for 5 voices, Op. 64
  • Performers: Nicholas Ashby; Zoe Brookshaw; Benedict Hymas (Tenor); Clare Lloyd-Griffiths; Rory McCleery
  • Conductor: Rory McCleery
  • Notes: Britten Studio, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh Music (2016-03-26&2016-03-28&2016-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1964

>Berkeley, Lennox : Judica me, for chorus, Op. 96/1
  • Performers: Nicholas Ashby; Zoe Brookshaw; Benedict Hymas (Tenor); Clare Lloyd-Griffiths; Rory McCleery; Jonathan Stainsby (Voice)
  • Conductor: Rory McCleery
  • Notes: Britten Studio, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh Music (2016-03-26&2016-03-28&2016-)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1978

>Berkeley, Michael : Touch Light, for soprano, countertenor & string quintet
  • Performers: Zoe Brookshaw; Rory McCleery
  • Conductor: David Wordsworth
  • Ensemble: Berkeley Ensemble
  • Notes: Britten Studio, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh Music (2016-03-26&2016-03-28&2016-)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 2005