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Simpson: Canzona, etc / Best, Corydon Singers, Quinn, et al

Album Summary

>Simpson, Robert : Canzona for brass
>Simpson, Robert : Media morte in vita sumus, motet for chorus, brass & timpani
>Simpson, Robert : Tempi, for chorus
>Simpson, Robert : Eppur si muove, for organ
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Like Beethoven, Robert Simpson generally conceived his music instrumentally rather than vocally. He confessed to being uneasy when faced with the task of word-setting. However, the music on this recording leaves no doubt that Simpson's handling of choral forces is capable of a wide expressive range and great physical impact.

'Music of a deep and searching mind. An important release. Dedicated performances and state-of-the-art sound' (Classic CD)

'Iain Quinn joins the long line of dedicated performers who have made Hyperion's Simpson series such a consistent triumph' (Gramophone)

'All the performers do the music proud. Simpson aficiados will need no persuasion to buy this marvellous disc, but enthusiasts for the organ and choral music of our century have every reason to make its acquaintance too' (Hi-Fi News)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Simpson would never have claimed that choral music was his métier. Yet for lovers of his music there's something especially revealing about the two pieces recorded here. In Media morte in vitasumus ('In the midst of death we are in life') he deliberately reverses the scriptural motto in order to articulate his personal 'anti-pessimist' creed. The musical setting for chorus, brass and timpani is appropriately austere, and Simpson's words are translated into Latin for the sake of universality.

Tempi for a cappella chorus is a jeu d'esprit, the text consisting entirely of Italian tempo and character markings. The Corydon Singers offers superbly confident performances, as does the Corydon Brass Ensemble which also shines in the comparatively well-known Canzona.

It's impossible to avoid comparisons with Nielsen when it comes to the 31-minute Eppur si muove ('But it does move') for organ. This 12-minute ricercare followed by a 19-minute passacaglia sets its jaw squarely against conventional organ-loft grandiosity. Its intellectual monumentality is clearly in the Commotio mould, though it's considerably tougher going than Nielsen's late masterpiece. Iain Quinn joins the long line of dedicated performers who have made Hyperion's Simpson series such a consistent triumph. Recording quality leaves nothing to be desired.



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Works Details

>Simpson, Robert : Canzona for brass
  • Conductor: Matthew Best
  • Ensemble: Corydon Brass Ensemble
  • Notes: St. Jude's, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London and Winchester Cathedral (10/04/1997-10/06/1997)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1958

>Simpson, Robert : Media morte in vita sumus, motet for chorus, brass & timpani
  • Conductor: Matthew Best
  • Ensemble: Corydon Brass Ensemble
  • Notes: St. Jude's, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London and Winchester Cathedral (10/04/1997-10/06/1997)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1975

>Simpson, Robert : Tempi, for chorus
  • Conductor: Matthew Best
  • Ensemble: Corydon Singers
  • Notes: St. Jude's, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London and Winchester Cathedral (10/04/1997-10/06/1997)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1988

>Simpson, Robert : Eppur si muove, for organ
  • Performer: Iain Quinn (Organ)
  • Notes: St. Jude's, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London and Winchester Cathedral (10/04/1997-10/06/1997)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern