Artist : The Holst Singers Release Date : September 27, 2010 Label : Hyperion
In 1997, the Holst Singers and Stephen Layton produced a disc that immediately became a cult classic and a best-seller and now the same forces return with IKON II. The extraordinary quality of the music is unmistakable and immediately enthralling.
Artist : The Holst Singers Release Date : February 14, 2005 Label : RCA Red Seal
'Veil Of The Temple' is a truly stunning world première recording of John Tavener's biggest scale choral work to date. Taken from the recordings of the full all-night vigil, beautifully presented here as a 2 SACD (hybrid) in 5.1 Dolby Surround, with a comprehensive 70-page booklet containing full texts and notes.
Artist : The Holst Singers Release Date : December 22, 2001 Label : Hyperion Catalog ref. : CDA67297
Unquestionably one of the choral masterpieces of the 20th century, Alfred Schnittke's Concerto for Mixed Chorus is an extended setting (about 40 minutes' duration) of words from 'The Book of Lamentations' by the Armenian monk Grigor Narekatsi (951-1003). Written in 1984/5, it is scored for a very large choir and for this recording Holst Singers were augmented by large contingents of London's finest singers.
Artist : The Holst Singers Title : Grechaninov: Vespers Release Date : November 1, 1998 Label : Helios, Hyperion Catalog ref. : CDH55352
Grechaninov was initially taught by Anton Arensky in Moscow, and then later, in 1890, he went to St Petersburg to study with Rimsky-Korsakov. It was he who influenced his style and helped him launch his professional career. After the Revolution, Grechaninov became increasingly uneasy in Soviet Russia, and in 1925 left for ever. In 1946 he took American citizenship. An unusually versatile and prolific composer, he wrote operas, symphonies, chamber music, over 250 songs, and a great deal of music for children. He has been described as the most representative composer of his generation writing for the Orthodox service. Vespers is part of the All-Night Vigil service, and Grechaninov's setting was composed, premiered, and published in 1912. This precedes Rachmaninov's setting by three years. It appears to have lain dormant for some eighty years until it was revived in America for its first performance of modern times in 1995.
Artist : Christine Brewer, Graham Johnson, The Holst Singers Release Date : July 1, 1998 Label : Hyperion Catalog ref. : CDJ33031
This thirty-first issue in The Hyperion Schubert Edition presents a programme of Schubert's religious music. While the composer's own religious stance might best be described as 'ambivalent', he nonetheless turned to religious texts throughout his short life. Here we have the mighty ballads Hagars Klage (in which Hagar, concubine to Abraham, laments her exile in the desert) and Mirjams Siegesgesang (which sees the prophetess Miriam rejoicing in the Israelite camp after Pharaoh and all his troops have been drowned in the Red Sea). The latter work includes a sizeable role for chorus.
Artist : The Holst Singers Release Date : May 1, 1997 Label : Hyperion Catalog ref. : CDA66928
James Bowman regards this disc as the most inspiring he has recently recorded; and the Managing Director of Musica Russica writes: 'I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this project ... I hope this will not be the last recording of Russian music by the excellent Holst Singers!'
The tradition of Russian choral music stands today as rich and diverse as at any time in its long history, and this recording brings movements from the Liturgies by Tchaikovsky and Gretchaninov together with seven beautiful pieces by Georgy Sviridov, including three Sacred Choruses which he successfully steered through Communist prohibition under the guise of incidental music for the theatre.
Artist : The Holst Singers Release Date : November 1, 1995 Label : Hyperion Catalog ref. : CDA66825
This recording brings together a selection of Britten’s choral music for Christmastide, a season much enjoyed by the composer to the end of his life and one in which he celebrated in an extraordinarily diverse manner. The earliest work isA Hymn to the Virgin, composed in 1930 to an anonymous fourteenth-century text. Christ’s Nativity is a fascinating work from Britten’s student days which is here receiving its premiere recording.
A Boy was Born has always been a central part of the repertoire. The sequence of five highly individual and virtuoso variations are set for mixed voices and boys’ choir while A Shepherd’s Carol, written in the 1940s after Britten’s return from America reflects the easy, laid-back approach of American popular music of that period.
Artist : The Holst Singers Release Date : October 1, 1995 Label : Hyperion Catalog ref. : CDA66777
Vaughan Williams’s small-scale choral works are a comparatively lesser-known aspect of his art. The majority of these compositions arose from his folksong-collecting activities at the turn of the century; this recording brings some of his finest folksong arrangements together with other a cappella works. They cover the whole of the composer’s long career. The Holst Singers are the foremost amateur choir in London. Under their musical director Stephen Layton they regularly perform on Radio 3 and Classic FM and in the major concert venues. The choir is joined for several songs by the renowned soloists Ian Bostridge and Michael George.