Saint Louis Firsts
Saint Louis Chamber Chorus
From the city that brought the world its first true ‘skyscraper’, a ground-breaking recording of eleven choral works, ten of them new commissions by the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, from a diverse range of global composers.
For six decades the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus has dedicated itself to presenting the finest examples of choral literature. In recent years there has been an emphasis on presenting the work of living composers. In the mid-1990s a ‘composer in residency’ program was begun which flourishes to this day, and numerous supporters began to commission new works especially for this choir. The fruits of their generosity may be heard on this recording of which all but tracks 3 and 8 are first recordings.
The works embrace the full gamut of choral techniques and emotional depth from the vibrantly rich harmonies of Bob Chilcott’s ‘Before the ice’, and Howard Elvey’s ‘An Evening Song’ to the extreme virtuosity and agility of Judith Bingham’s ‘Solomon And Love’. New choral techniques are explored in Ugis Praulins’ work, and Sydney Guillaume’s exquisite ‘Le Dernier Voyage’ brings a twenty-first century take on sensual French-influenced impressionism.
The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus has an enviable reputation in the US and beyond. This is the choir’s fifth release on Regent and all have received outstanding critical recognition.
'The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus is a group of beautifully blended, very talented singers who perform under the inspired direction of Philip Barnes. Of the eleven works here, ten are SLCC commissions. Inventive and diverse, these pieces require technical ability and sensitive musicianship, and this group never falters.’
***** Choir & Organ June 2016 ‘
This disc is a musical exploration, beautifully sung, inviting the listener to share the enthusiasm of the singers and the inspiration of the composers. Here are beauty and variety, both well worth pursuing.’
Organists’ Review September 2016
‘...the singing throughout the 75 minutes of this disc is outstanding.’
Cross Rhythms March 2016
Psalm 23 Trevor Jones (b. 1949) 6:48
Slow Gold Clare Maclean (b. 1958) 6:03
Before The Ice Bob Chilcott (b. 1955) 6:46
Good Day, Sir Christëmas! Francis Pott (b. 1957) 4:27
An Evening Song Howard Helvey (b. 1968) 3:41
Ode To Love Sasha Johnson Manning (b. 1963) 4:00
Solomon And Love Judith Bingham (b. 1952) 14:40
A Contemplation Upon Flowers Richard Rodney Bennett (1936–2012) 4:09
Iam Ver Egelidos Ugis Praulins (b. 1957) 6:56
Aquileia Judith Bingham 6:16
Le Dernier Voyage Sydney Guillaume (b. 1982) 11:49
Total Playing time: 75:37