Ēriks Ešenvalds (b1977): Psalm 67

Ešenvalds setting of Psalm 67 was premiered by Stephen Layton and Polyphony in Amsterdam in 2012  a very traditional Anglican chant sounding baritone solo is responded to by the full choir singing a very chordal setting of the text. It’s very chromatic writing which shifts and mixes mood between praise and apprehension. The chant melody…

Ēriks Ešenvalds (b1977): Amazing grace

Let’s start the week with Ēriks Ešenvalds’ arrangement of Amazing Grace he wrote it in 2004 for the Latvian youth choir Kamēr. The idea behind Ešenvalds arrangement is both simple and daring he treats it as a set of variations within a chorale taking the tune and varying it each time it’s heard. We first…

Ola Gjeilo: The Lake Isle

Let’s start the week with Ola Gjeilo’s setting of some of the verses of Yeats’ The Lake Isle of Innisfree. in his remarks introducing the piece Gjeilo says: Guitar is one of my absolute favourite instruments, and I love the sound of guitar and piano doubling each other in rhythmic patterns, which happens a lot…

The Georgia Boy Choir – A Red, Red Rose

The Georgia Boy Choir singing The Red, Red Rose, by James Mulholland. This performance was recorded on May 23, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the beginning of its China Tour during the wedding of Hannah Jordan LoRusso and Duane Griffith Rivaud White at Tenth Presbyterian Church. If you’re not familiar with it "A Red, Red…

Gerald Finzi (1901-1956): God is gone up

This is the second of Finzi’s three opus 27 anthems,  it’s a setting of a text from the Preparatory Meditations by the Puritan poet Edward Taylor (1642–1729) combined with Psalm 47 which Finzi wrote in 1951 for a St Cecilia’s Day Service at St Sepulchre’s Church, Holborn. The performance below was given by The Georgia…

Patrick Hawes (Born 1958): Song of Songs

The sixth and last in Hawes’ enchanting series of songs based upon the Song of Songs – I find the series as a whole so good that it’s hard to single out any of them but this ecstatically joyful song — the penultimate in the series is nevertheless very special. Enjoy :-). mfi

Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957): Rakastava (The Lover)

Sibelius is best known for his seven symphonies and numerous tone poems but he wrote a great deal of excellent music in other genres including choral music. In fact he was interested in choral throughout his active career – he wrote his first choral songs while he was studying at the Helsinki Music Institute in…