LUX MEMORIAQUE

Globally released 6 October 2017

  

From the very earliest days of their formation in 2009 Harmonia Sacra has been strongly committed to the performance of new choral works and the support of both established and emerging choral composers. Almost every one of the choir's concerts has included contemporary works, with names such as John Tavener, Arvo Pärt, Eric Whitacre, James Macmillan and David Bednall featuring prominently. Every year, on Advent Sunday, in the ethereal acoustics of the church of St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol, the choir performs a very popular Advent Reflections evening concert, the programmes of which typically comprise appropriate seasonal choral music, as well as world premieres of new contemporary choral works. The long-term relationship which the choir has forged with Lawrence Whitehead, in particular, has produced three works which, together with the majority of items on this CD, are recorded here for the first time. These have been juxtaposed with new works by Robert Hugill, Jonathan Lee, David Bednall and Peter Leech, many of which are set to texts which deal with the subjects of heavenly light and remembrance, hence the title of the CD. The choir is extremely grateful to Adrian Farmer for providing the inspiration for this project, which is dedicated to the memory of the very fine organist and composer Christopher Manners LRAM, who died suddenly in 2013. Click here for list of tracks

Review

THE CARDINAL KING

Music for Henry Benedict Stuart in Rome, 1740 - 91 

The music recorded on this album, performed by Cappella Fede in collaboration with Harmonia Sacra, presents for the first time the hitherto repertoire composed by the many musicians associated with, and employed by Henry Benedict  Stuart (1725 - 1807), a grandson of King James II of England and VII of Scotland, the brother of 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' and the last in the direct line of Jacobite succession. Sitting on the cusp of the Baroque and the Classical, these pieces likewise tread a delicate path between innocence and grandeur, between charm and formality, and suggest that the Cardinal, for all his power may have been a gentle man Click here for list of tracks



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PRINCELY SPLENDOUR

Choral works from 18th-century Rome

With ‘Princely Splendour’ Harmonia Sacra take the listener on a journey through the tantalising and exquisite sound world of sacred music associated with Cardinals and Princes of the Church in eighteenth-century Rome. Highlights include the first recordings of works by Giovanni Battista Costanzi, Sebastiano Bolis and Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni, composers working in the circle of patronage around Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart, brother of Bonnie Prince Charlie and last in the direct line of Stuart succession. A musical celebration of the richness of his cultural surroundings and deep solemnity of his religious devotions. Click here for list of tracks​

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CHERUBIM & SERAPHIM

Russian Orthodox choral works from Catherine the Great to Nicholas II

In Russia, despite the westward vision of Tsar Peter the Great by 1700 the repertory of the St Petersburg Imperial Chapel Choir was still dominated by a style heavily dependent upon homophony. Stronger Western influences would be felt when central European musicians flocked to take up opportunities in Russia during the first decades of the eighteenth century. A courtly preference for Italian music grew, reaching a high point during the reign of Catherine the Great (1762-96), influencing two centuries of ethereal and spine-tingling Orthodox choral works  Click here for list of tracks



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