‘LENNOX BERKELEY AT HIS MOST BEGUILINGLY AUSTERE’ (Sunday Times)
This month’s Editor’s Choice in Classical Music magazine is a rare gem – a premiere recording from one of the twentieth-century’s greatest British composers, whose entire catalogue is otherwise already committed to disc. Copies are already flying off the shelves after it shot straight into the Top 10 of the Specialist Classical Chart in the first week of its release.
Lennox Berkeley’s Stabat Mater derives from one of the most fertile and inspired periods of his compositional life. A masterpiece, and until now the last of his major works to go unrecorded, it was written for a concert tour by his close friend Benjamin Britten’s English Opera Group; hence the unusual but effective scoring for six solo voices and twelve instrumentalists.
Delphian artists The Marian Consort – with five acclaimed discs of early music to their credit – now show their versatility in a cappella and accompanied music by both Lennox and his son Michael Berkeley. They are partnered in the larger works by the Berkeley Ensemble, whose performances are enriched by their intimate knowledge of these composers’ music. The same can be said of conductor David Wordsworth, who has known and worked with both composers, and who here fulfils a long-cherished ambition to direct this important addition to the catalogue.
Order this new release direct HERE before midday on Monday 15 August for the special price of £10.99 + £1.50 P&P (Normal price £14.99 + P&P).
L. Berkeley: Stabat Mater – Lento: Stabat Mater dolorosa
L. Berkeley: Stabat Mater – Allegro: Pro peccatis suae gentis
L. Berkeley: Stabat Mater – Andante: Christe, cum sit hinc exire
M. Berkeley: Touch Light
Praise for this recording:
‘AN INSPIRED AND MOVING MAJOR WORK… BY TURNS EERIE, POIGNANT AND POWERFUL.’
– Classical Music Magazine, August 2016, EDITOR’S CHOICE
‘LENNOX BERKELEY AT HIS MOST BEGUILINGLY AUSTERE.’
– Sunday Times, July 2016
‘SIX SOLO VOICE AND 12 INSTRUMENTALISTS WEAVING TOGETHER A SOLEMN SORT OF NEO-CLASSICISM, ALL JAGGED-EDGED MYSTICISM AND GLIMMERING TRIADS. THERE’S EARNEST BEAUTY IN IT AND THE INSTRUMENTAL PLAYING ON THIS RECORDING IS SPOT ON – THE BERKELEY ENSEMBLE UNDER DAVID WORDSWORTH CLINCHES THE BALANCE OF CHASTE, PLAINTIVE AND URGENT.’
– Guardian, July 2016
‘THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT DISC IN THAT IT PRESENTS AN UNJUSTLY NEGLECTED ENGLISH VOCAL WORK OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY; FURTHERMORE, THE PERFORMANCE IS SUPERB… ADMIRERS OF LENNOX BERKELEY’S MUSIC SHOULD PUT THIS DISC AT THE TOP OF THEIR SHOPPING LIST.’
– Music Web International, July 2016