STABAT MATER, MARIAN SUITE, AVE MARIA
Jennifer Pike violin
Benenden Chapel Choir
David Bednall organ, Edward Whiting director
Editor's Choice Gramophone
‘This is the fourth Regent CD to feature music by David Bednall (b1979), one of Britain’s leading choral composers. The first disc, ‘Hail, Gladdening Light’ (5/07), was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice, and feel that this new release - featuring an entirely Marian-themed programme - will also prove to be a decisive milestone in his compositional development.’ Gramophone awards issue 2016
'It's impact is profound enough to leave scars and haunt your soul.’
Classical Music Sentinel August 2016
I haven’t been this affected by a new musical composition in a long while...Bednall’s musical imagination is equal to every twist and turn of the text....
The performing forces are marvelous. Jennifer Pike deserves all the acclaim she has won so far, and she performs beautifully here. The Benenden Chapel Choir is perfect, their pitch and blending first-rate. The composer himself is at the organ and all are strongly led by Edward Whiting. If you enjoy contemporary choral music, you owe t to yourself to hear this. If you love the text of the Stabat Mater, get this. Maybe it won’t change your musical world, but it will certainly make it more complete.’
American Record Guide November 2016
‘'His Stabat Mater is an engrossing and substantial composition... from which Bednall extracts maximum emotional and dramatic effect...Regent's open-spaced recording enhances the excellent Kent-based Benenden Chapel Choir whose contribution is to be loudly applauded.’
Choir & Organ September 2016
‘Jennifer Pike represents luxury casting on this recording and her performance is outstanding – as you’d expect from an artist of her calibre.... The Benenden choir here number 28 girls with an age range of 13 to 18. I’m full of admiration for the sheer quality of their singing – the tone is consistently fresh and appealing – as well as the discipline, commitment and intelligence with which they sing this challenging piece. This is clearly a very fine choir indeed....
The recorded sound is excellent, achieving a fine balance between the three elements of choir, violin and organ. The documentation is comprehensive.’
John Quinn, MusicWeb October 2016
David Bednall already has an eclectic range of musical stops to his career. Yet, as a new CD of his Stabat Mater shows, he is also firmly established as one of the leading choral composers of his generation, possessed of a clear and expressive musical voice that has delighted performers and audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.’
Choir and Organ July/August 2016
This fourth release on Regent entirely devoted to compositions by David Bednall is the first recording of his Stabat Mater and Ave Maria, both commissioned by Beneden Chapel Choir, and his Marian Suite for solo Violin and Organ, written especially for this recording.
Bednall’s unique setting of the ancient Stabat Mater text telling of Mary’s grief at the foot of the cross on Good Friday is a compelling large-scale work for upper voices and organ, and featuring an extensive part for solo violin. In this recording this is played by the internationally-renowned violinist, Jennifer Pike. These performers will also be giving the first UK live performance of the work on Friday 17 June, 7pm, at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square, London.
In keeping with the Marian theme the disc has a wonderfully-attractive new setting for the same forces of the well-known Ave Maria text. Jennifer Pike and the composer also play a new three-movement Suite for solo Violin and Organ, based on Marian plainchant themes.
David Bednall is recognized as one of the leading choral composers of his generation and has recently completed a PhD in Composition with Professor John Pickard at the University of Bristol. He is Organist of The University of Bristol, and Sub Organist at Bristol Cathedral. He studied the organ with Dr Naji Hakim and David Briggs, and was Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral.
The first CD of his choral music - Hail, gladdening light with Wells Cathedral Choir under Matthew Owens - was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice, and a second disc with the Wells Choir, Flame Celestial, received much critical praise, including a Gramophone recommendation. The recording of his Requiem with the choir of St Mary’s, Calne, conducted, as here, by Edward Whiting, was a Classical Music magazine ‘Recording of the Fortnight’. Other highlights have included Missa Sancti Pauli, commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral for the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, and commissions for the new music wells 68–08 festival. His Christmas Cantata, Welcome All Wonders, commissioned by The Queen’s College, Oxford, was released in 2013.
Renowned as a violinist with ‘dazzling interpretative flair and exemplary technique’ (Classic FM), Jennifer Pike has taken the musical world by storm with her unique artistry and compelling insight into music from the Baroque to the present day.
Reviews of previous recordings of David Bednall’s works on Regent:
‘…this pungent, turbulent style; it is music in a perpetual state of climax…’
BBC Music Magazine, March 2007
‘...David Bednall is announced as an important and individual voice...This is immensely inspired writing.... magnificently captured in this superlative recording.’
Gramophone, Editor’s Choice May 2007
‘With each new exposure to the music of 30-year old organist and composer David Bednall, I become ever more impressed with both the quality of his writing and its originality.’
‘…ingenious, inspiring, and very appealing…’
American Record Guide, May/June 2011
Stabat Mater 57:42
I Prelude 5:10
II Stabat mater dolorosa 8:52
III O quam tristis 4:17
IV Quis est homo 4:58
V Vidit suum dulcem 1:55
VI Eia, Mater, fons amoris 5:15
VII Sancta Mater 4:38
VIII Fac me tecum 5:39
IX Virgo virginum 3:49
X Fac me plagis vulnerari 7:34
XI Christe, cum sit hinc exire 5:22
Marian Suite for violin and organ 12:16
I Ave Maria 3:58
II Mary’s Lullaby 5:04
III Ave maris stella 3:15
Ave Maria 4:25
Total Playing time: 74:07