Voices of Hope directed by Simon Fidler will perform Will Todd’s Passion Music with Soprano soloist Shaneeka Simon.
Will Todd’s 40-minute work highlights different points in the Passion story and continues the fusion of jazz and choral music so successfully blended in Todd’s Mass in Blue
“Fans of Will Todd’s jazz-soul style will be delighted to learn that he has now written a substantial work for Passiontide, Passion Music. . . . This is the work of a confident composer. The nine movements have at their heart a vibrant setting of the Seven Last Words; and Todd has the confidence to link these outbursts with his own text. The musical vocabulary is absolutely self-assured, leading us through a great variety of moods. The composer also has the self-belief to take old, familiar words and give them new tunes . . . Next Easter, if not Bach, why not Todd?” – Jeremy Jackman, Choir & Organ, March 2019
“Although the faster movements (such as ‘A new commandment’) rock along with tremendous rhythmic verve, it is the unaccompanied moments of relative stillness which are especially affecting, for example ‘My love has died for me'” – Malcolm Riley, www.gramophone.co.uk, March 2019
“British pianist Will Todd has gained a significant reputation as a choral composer, with much of his work deriving from the jazz idiom . . . the work speaks authentically in its idiom with no trace of artifice or contrived expression. Despite the jazz language, the choral parts are well suited to church choirs trained in a more classical vein. On the other hand, the solo requires a singer with considerable skill and comfort in improvisation, jazz vocal technique, and potentially scat singing . . . Choirs will likely find the rhythm, with its characteristic syncopations, the most challenging aspect of the music. Melodies are catchy, part writing is intuitive, and ranges are modest. For any ensemble willing to embrace the jazz style, this work could be a welcome addition to the Lenten repertoire.” – Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, March 2019