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John Joubert (b.1927): Choral Music / Paul Spicer, Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir

Notes & Reviews:

Somm's celebration of John Joubert's 90th birthday brings to the catalogue yet more new riches, this time no less than seven premiere recordings fo his choral music. South of the Line was recorded last June at the Birmingham Conservatoire and poignant is the fact that it was commissioned from the composer for the opening of the Adrian Boult Hall and the last music heard there for this recording, before its demolition. Choirs are at the heart of John Joubert's music and it is by his choral music that he seems to communicate most directly with audiences. He once commented. 'Communication is important to me. I want to be understood, enjoyed and used.' It's perhaps for this reason, this capacity for dramatic articulation of meaning, that his choral music holds such a certain place in the listeners' hearts. Indeed he has composed choral music throughout his career winning, in 1952, a Novello Anthem competition with O Lorde, the Maker of Al Thing set to a poem by Henry VIII. The lullaby-like There is no Rose is another work with af irm place in the English choral repertoire, and another setting of an ancient text. Incantation, Pilgrimage Song and Three Portraits as well as Sonnet, This is the Gat eof the Lord, Autumn Rain and Be Not Afeard, his most recent work a commission for Novella honouring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, are all first recordings.


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