The Call of Wisdom
The English Chamber Orchestra
Signum Classics label
This compilation of his works includes the premiere recording of a new comission 'The Call of Wisdom', which on June 5th 2012 will be presented on the occasion of a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral for the Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II. On this disc, Nigel Short conducts superlative performances of his works by his BBC Music Magazine Award-winning choir Tenebrae and the English Chamber Orchestra.
1.The Lord is My Shepherd (4.48)
2. Stay With Me, Lord (7.44)
3. The Call of Wisdom (5.12)
4. Man Unkind (5.09)
5. My Lord Has Come (3.25)
6. That We May Love Again (6.21)
7. Vidi Speciosam (7.04)
8. Among Angels: Part 1: Fear Not (5.35)
9. Among Angels: Part 2: Find only Joy (4.19)
10. Among Angels: Part 3: Seek out Light (4.45)
11. You Have Seen the House Built (5.42)
12. I Sing Because (6.39)
What people are saying:
"Is Will Todd slowly morphing into the new John Rutter? This soothingly mellifluous collection of 12 short choral pieces suggests as much. Tenebrae, a crack choir, sings it all immaculately." BBC Music Magazine
"Will Todd's moment in the glare of popular consciousness came in June when his anthem The Call of Wisdom was sung at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee service in London. Given here in a version for SATB and accompanied by a bland electronic organ rather than the St Paul's Cathedral behemoth, it loses some of the original 'aaah' factor but, under the graceful direction of Nigel Short, the 22 mixed voices of Tenebrae imbue it with a warm, comfortable glow.
Words like 'exciting' and 'adventurous' do not readily associate themselves with any of the choral pieces on this disc but these uniformly excellent performances do not merely induce a deeply satisfying sense of well-being, they also occasionally send the hairs on the back of the neck rising. Nowhere does this happen more than in the atmospheric orchestral clusters which set the scene for 'Man Unkind', an extract from Todd's 1995 oratorio St Cuthbert, or the restrained power of That we may love again, superbly caught in Signum's richly atmospheric recording.
Without in any way diminishing the quality of the unaccompanied items - and the luminously dense harmonies of Vidi speciosam are quite inspired -what distinguishes the music on this disc is the ingenious interweaving of Tenebrae with the English Chamber Orchestra. Todd certainly knows what he is about: the three-part Among Angels achieves a delicious integration of harp and voices, while he creates a lovely feeling of timelessness as the sopranos float effortlessly around the rich string textures of Stay with me, Lord, at a whisker over seven and a half minutes the longest single track on this disc of miniature but perfectly formed musical marvels." Marc Rochester, Gramophone
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