Music for Passiontide

Stabat Mater dolorosa: Music for Passiontide
Stabat Mater dolorosa: Music for Passiontide

PLAINCHANT: Stabat mater dolorosa
ORLANDE DE LASSUS: Tristis est anima mea
PLAINCHANT: O quam tristis et afflicta
THOMAS TALLIS: In ieunio et fletu
JOHN STAINER: God so loved the world
PLAINCHANT: Quis est homo qui non fleret
CARLO GESUALDO: Caligaverunt oculi mei
GRAHAM ROSS: Ut tecum lugeam*
PLAINCHANT: Pro peccatis suae gentis
JOHN SANDERS: The Reproaches
PLAINCHANT: Eia, Mater, fons amoris
ANTONIO LOTTI: Crucifixus a 8
PLAINCHANT: Sancta Mater, istud agas
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH: Er nahm alles wohl in acht
WILLIAM BYRD: Ave verum corpus
PLAINCHANT: Fac me tecum pie flere
THOMAS TALLIS: Salvator mundi I
ANTON BRUCKNER: Christus factus est
PLAINCHANT: Virgo virginum praeclara
WILLIAM BYRD: Ne irascaris/Civitas sancti tui
PLAINCHANT: Fac me plagis vulnerari
GRAHAM ROSS: Precor te, Domine*
PLAINCHANT: Christe, cum sit hinc exire
MAURICE DURUFLÉ: Ubi caritas et amor

* world première recordings

Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
Graham Ross | conductor

“This is immensely beautiful singing. … Balance and intonation are impeccable and every tiny nuance and inflection is lovingly nurtured. … One of the big successes is Gesualdo’s ‘Caligaverunt oculi mei’ – … with a choir which sings with such technical perfection as this, this is a performance which has real impact.  At the climax of Bruckner’s ‘Christus factus est’ … Ross keeps his powder dry right up to the moment when it all bursts out with spine-tingling effect.”  Marc Rochester, International Record Review

“I find it hard to believe that the music has ever been better sung than in this searing performance by the Clare choir, which I found very moving. … This is an outstanding disc.  For one thing, it’s a triumph of thoughtful and imaginative programme planning.  The singing of the Clare College choir is superb from start to finish.  The blend and tuning are immaculate, as is the control, and these young singers sing with finesse and commitment.  Graham Ross has clearly trained them expertly and knows exactly how to get the best out of them.”  John Quinn, MusicWeb International (Recording of the Month)

“Carefully chosen, elegantly sequenced and excellently sung: one of the most attractive new Easter recordings of the year.”  Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 CD Review

“A great seasonal Easter release. Its hard to imagine these performances better done.”  David Mellor, Classic FM (Connoisseurs’ Choice)

“highly satisfying … exemplary … Ross draws fine performances from his young singers.” * * * * * Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

“Not only a collection of some of the most beautiful choral music to be heard but exciting evidence of the evolving and unique identity of the Choir itself.  Victoria’s ‘O vos omnes’ … bears all the hallmarks – as do all the works on this disc – of a piece that has been extensively and intelligently crafted, which is not as prevalent a practice in the performance of this repertoire as it might always be.  The singing and, above all, direction are of such consummate musicianship that small perceived imperfections barely matter at all.”  Caroline Gill, Gramophone Magazine

“In Victoria’s ‘O vos omnes’ … there’s a collective sense that the Clare College singers have fully internalised the text’s meaning.  The swell of empathetic feeling on ‘sicut dolor meus’ (‘like unto my sorrow’) seems experienced from within, the hushed closing chord numbed yet glowingly blended, more than just a clever dynamic gesture.  In the Lassus motet ‘Tristis est anima mea’ the emotions are more externalised, the soaring, vibrato-free soprano line suggesting the kind of beauty which ineluctably brings a palpable edge of sadness with it.  The choir’s men also contribute strongly: I especially enjoyed the sinuously expressive phrasing of the tenors in Byrd’s ‘Ave verum corpus’, where the basic tempo is subtly tweaked to telling effect by Graham Ross. … Highly sentient, technically excellent performances, atmospherically recorded.” * * * * (Performance) * * * * * (Recording) Terry Blain, BBC Music Magazine

“Graham Ross has enhanced the rich legacy he inherited since becoming music director of Clare College Choir in 2010.  His choristers reflect the exceptional quality of Cambridge collegiate choral singing, arguably finer today than ever. … Ross encourages passionate singing in the polyphonic numbers: listen to John Sanders’ ‘The Reproaches’ or Bruckner’s ‘Christus factus’ est to experience the choir at full tilt.  But he never allows naked enthusiasm to undermine ensemble precision and immaculate intonation, cultivating instead a harmonious balance between music-making for the head and powerful expression for the heart.  The approach delivers outstanding results in Byrd’s double motet ‘Ne irascaris, Civitas sancti tui’ and especially in the world premiere recording of Ross’s ‘Precor te, Domine’, an impassioned contemplation of the crucified Christ’s dying body, intensified by keening sopranos and chilling choral incantations.” * * * * Andrew Stewart, Sinfini Music

“Special mention must be made of two world premiere recordings of pieces by the choir’s director Graham Ross, ‘Ut tecum lugeam’ and the spectacular ‘Precor te, Domine’.  The chanting and singing, a cappella throughout, is superb and the acoustic standard excellent.” * * * * * * * * * Stephen Whitehead, Cross Rhythms Direct

“You would hardly believe that the choir is still young in its present form.  Like Merton College, Oxford, they have come on in leaps and bounds and sound fully professional.” Brian Wilson, MusicWeb International

“richly moving music … affecting performances by one of Cambridge University’s best chapel choirs … The pivotal pieces here are world-premiere recordings of Latin works by the choir’s director, Graham Ross.  Both are undeniably modern works but are also accessible and deeply evocative of the complex emotions of the Easter season.  Highly recommended to all library collections.” Rick Anderson, CD HotList

“rapturously beautiful … tremendously uplifting … seamless performances”  The Buffalo News

“warm yet pure-toned emotion pours from these 27 voices, and a fine corps of basses grounds the whole with exemplarary gravitas ” Choir and Organ Magazine


Harmonia Mundi HMU907616

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