I have been commissioned by the Three Choirs Festival and the Elgin Master Chorale to write a 45-minute piece for tenor, chorus and orchestra. The texts for this multi-movement piece are by Ha-Nagid, Leopardi, Doris Kareva, Walt Whitman, Kenneth White, St Ambrose and Wallace Stevens. The first performance will be given by Nick Pritchard, the Three Choirs Festival Chorus and the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by David Hill in Worcester Cathedral on 31 July 2020, with the US premiere in November 2021.
The Delphian recording of The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ continues to receive outstanding reviews. It was an ‘Editor’s Choice’ in the April edition of Gramophone magazine, who called it “…an effective, emotionally charged contemporary Passion…”. BBC Music Magazine named it ‘Choral and Song Choice’ in their May/June issue – “…an imaginative, moving and majestic telling of the Passion story that deserves the widest of audiences.” Musicweb described it as “a score of great importance” and “…a compelling, dramatic narrative and a deeply thoughtful series of reflections on the narrative…” while Classical Music Daily called it “Richly imaginative and strikingly coloured…a work of deep spirituality and profound dramatic impact that complements the ecstatic sorrow of the story within a well nigh perfect musical structure. ” For theArtsdesk.com, is was a “…very singable work, one which would take a hard heart not to love…” and Choir and Organ magazine called it “…modern, majestic and deeply moving…”, awarding it the maximum 5 stars in the March/April edition. And for AllMusic it is simply”…the most persuasive setting of the Passion to have appeared in many years.”
Celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year, The Sixteen will include Ave Maria in their 2019 Choral Pilgrimage programme alongside works by James MacMillan, Eric Whitacre, John Tavener and several early Tudor masterpieces. The pilgrimage starts at King’s Place in London on 3 April and continues throughout the year with nearly thirty concerts in all. In advance of the first concert a new CD, An Enduring Voice, containing the entire Pilgrimage programme, will be released on 1 March.
Also available in March is the ORA Singers‘ new recording Desires, which includes I am the Rose of Sharon, originally written for Opus Anglicanum.
On 29 March Delphian Records will release the premiere recording of The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Benjamin Nicholas conducts the Choir of Merton College, Oxford (who commissioned the piece for the Merton Choirbook), the Oxford Contemporary Sinfonia and soloists Emma Tring and Guy Cutting. In the first review of the new CD to be published, Choir and Organ magazine has described the work as “Quite unlike any Passion you’ve heard before…modern, majestic and deeply moving.”