Notes & Reviews:
Jonathan Dove wrote There Was a Child as a tribute to a friend's son who died tragically young. Filled with both joyous celebration and heartfelt emotion, it's a big, warm-hearted modern masterpiece in the spirit of Britten and vaughan Williams - following in an evergreen english tradition and featuring the combined forces of the CBSO and CBSO Chorus, Youth Chorus and Junior Chorus with soloists Joan Rodgers and Toby Spence.
Jonathan Dove's There Was a Child is a major addition to the choral repertoire, and will surely be taken up by societies up and down the country, perhaps with reduced orchestration for economy's sake. Emotionally soul-baring, sharing an umbilical cord with Finzi's Intimations of Immortality and even Dies Natalis, this panorama of a young life draws texts from so many fine poets and therefore demands consummate clarity of presentation.
American Record Guide, March / April 2013
In recent years he has gravitated toward choral music and people have noticed. Dove's music never gets in a rut and is, I think, remarkably expressive of the sentiments contained in the poems. It certainly conveys the excitement of a concert event, as well as the extra-careful engineering that works to keep the elements in balance. Toby Spence flatters Dove's every intention in the tenor solos. Soprano Joan Rodgers makes lovely sounds.
Recording information: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (06/18/2011).
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Works DetailsDove, Jonathan : There Was a Child, oratorio for 2 soloists, triple chorus & orchestra
- Performers: Joan Rodgers (Soprano); Toby Spence (Tenor)
- Conductor: Simon Halsey
- Ensemble: City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
- Running Time: 49 min. 29 sec.
- Period Time: Contemporary
- Form: Cantata/Oratorio