Tra­di­tion and imag­i­na­tion from a bright young tal­ent

An­thony Burton wel­comes a fine in­tro­duc­tion to one of Eng­land’s most promis­ing new cho­ral com­posers

BBC Music Magazine - - Choral & Song -

The wings of the wind; Up­held by still­ness; Trin­ity Fauxbour­dons; Phos hi­laron; Ju­das mer­ca­tor pes­simus; The Lord’s Prayer; The spirit breathes*; etc.

Choir of Trin­ity Col­lege, Cam­bridge/stephen Lay­ton; *Alexan­der Hamilton (or­gan) Hype­r­ion CDA 68191 76:00 mins Owain Park, born in Bris­tol in 1993, is al­ready well es­tab­lished in a dou­ble ca­reer as com­poser and cho­ral con­duc­tor (no­tably as direc­tor of the up-and-com­ing Ge­su­aldo Six). ★e’ll have felt very much at home here: fa­mil­iar, as a for­mer or­gan scholar of Trin­ity, Cam­bridge, with the col­lege’s out­stand­ing choir and its in­spir­ing direc­tor Stephen Lay­ton, and with the chapel where the warm but clear record­ing was made. And in the list of singers on the ses­sions, there he is among the basses; he even con­trib­utes one firmly con­fi­dent solo.

One fea­ture of his mu­sic is its wide range of his­tor­i­cal ref­er­ence. Me­dieval fauxbour­don tech­niques, echoes of Byrd, Sheppard and Tomkins, the drones and slow-mov­ing har­monies of the Ortho­dox tra­di­tion, Latin texts pre­vi­ously set by Stan­ford, as Trin­ity or­gan­ist, for the Choir: all these find a place in this col­lec­tion, clothed in Park’s own mu­si­cal lan­guage, which is con­tem­po­rary in ori­en­ta­tion but with res­o­nant har­mony which falls eas­ily on the ear. ★e chooses texts imag­i­na­tively and has a spe­cial gift for ra­di­ant cho­ral ‘or­ches­tra­tion’, ef­fec­tively lay­er­ing solo and tutti voices. ★e also ex­cels at stretch­ing vir­tu­oso choirs such as Trin­ity’s to their con­sid­er­able lim­its – as well as or­gans and or­gan­ists; The spirit breathes was com­mis­sioned (with a spe­cially writ­ten poem by Rowan Wil­liams) to show off a new in­stru­ment in Canada.

Al­to­gether, this is a wel­come in­tro­duc­tion to a com­poser of im­pres­sive achieve­ment and con­sid­er­able prom­ise. Lay­ton and his crack team of singers have done their col­league and friend proud. PER­FOR­MANCE RECORD­ING

At­trac­tive vir­tu­os­ity: the Choir of Trin­ity Col­lege, Cam­bridge

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.