Series One of the BBC’s groundbreaking classical music programme follows renowned actor and former chorister Simon Russell Beale as he explores the flowering of Western sacred music. This four-part documentary series contains a rich mix of personal, political and musical stories and features some of the greatest music ever written, all performed by Harry Christophers and his award-winning choir, The Sixteen.
On Meine Seele (My soul), Canadian countertenor Matthew White breathes new life into sacred cantatas by German composers who preceded Bach. Listeners are invited to rediscover forgotten works by such 17th-century German masters as Franz Tunder, Christoph Bernhard, and Philipp Heinrich Erlebach. Alexander Weimann is one of the most sought after harpsichordists, ensemble directors, soloists and chamber music partners of his generation.
The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, an exclusive Chandos artist, here presents its third release on the label. Established in the 1670s, the choir has a long and distinguished tradition of performing religious music and here offers distinguished interpretations of sacred works by Orlande de Lassus. Of its most recent release, Hear My Words: Choral Classics from St John’s (CHSA5085), The Telegraph wrote: ‘The boy treble voices bring lustre and freshness to the sonority and the singing throughout is stirring and polished.’
Compilations are highly useful in understanding the works of the inexhaustibly tuneful British composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695). He had a few big hits, like the Funeral Music for Queen Mary (which is included here) and the opera Dido and Aeneas (which isn't). But much of his best music is scattered around in small bits, residing within genres that are rather odd from today's perspective. Purcell spent much of his short adult life as a theater composer, and his incidental music, for example, is filled with perfect miniatures…