Utrumne est Ornatum
The Music of Mark Gotham
Tom Hollander* narrator
The Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge – Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir
directed by Sarah MacDonald
‘‘Utrumne est Ornatum’ (Decorated or Not) is a prayerful motet attesting to God's presence in any and all places. in a church or concert hall, it is powerful enough to stop you in your tracks... The choirs are chameleon-like in their ability to change color, tone, timbre, mood, and idiom on the absolute fly...’
American Record Guide September 2018
‘From the extreme brevity of the snappy opening college grace through to the wit of the concluding ‘community opera’ this is absolutely absorbing, full of novelty, thought- provoking, by turns entrancing and entertaining. ’
Organists’ Review September 2018‘
The excellent Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, gives shimmering interpretations of a technically testing programme...As the music builds in so many permutations, you are left with original works of beauty in which Sarah MacDonald guides her singers to great heights.'
Choir and Organ September 2018
Sarah MacDonald and the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, continue their exploration of new British choral works in the debut recording of compositions by Mark Gotham.
This new disc features a selection of recent sacred choral works together with three solo instrumental items. It ends with the riotous community opera The Pied Piper of Hamelin where Selwyn College Choir are joined by Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir, brilliantly characterful as the rats, baritone Jonathan Midgley as the Mayor, and distinguished actor and Selwyn alumnus, Tom Hollander, as the narrator.
Critical comment from previous disc os Selwyn College Choir on Regent
‘Sarah MacDonald draws radiant sound from her choir.’
‘...performed better than one can ever imagine.’
‘The music is as timeless, spacious, and rapturous as you
would hope for. The performances by the choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge are sublime, and the recording captures them in all their glory’
‘Sensitive, precise and well-balanced’
Benedictus (the ‘short’ grace) Shanna Hart: organ 1:11
Isomorphic Fantasy John Bachelor: organ solo 5:21
In the bleak mid-winter 4:36
Puer natus est nobis – Chant, anon 0:27
Gloria Puer natus est nobis 3:15
Drop, drop slow tears – Orlando Gibbons (1583–1625) 1:21
Drop, drop slow tears Katie Lodge: trumpet; John Bachelor: organ 5:45
Valediction Katie Lodge: trumpet solo 1:51
Utrumne est Ornatum 4:10
Thou art a sea without a shore Shanna Hart: organ 5:48
Set me as a seal Alexander Goodwin: organ 4:09
Tessellations Christina McMaster: piano solo 7:06
The Pied Piper of Hamelin* Jonathan Midgley: baritone 14:46
Total playing time: 60:03
Mark Gotham is a composer and music theorist based at the University of Cambridge, UK, where he works as an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Music, College Lecturer, and Director of Music-Making at Churchill College, and Director of Music and Director of Studies in Music at Murray Edwards College. His works have been performed by many artists including the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and the BBC Singers.
Mark Gotham’s compositional technique is directly linked to his theoretical research where small cells of an idea - be they melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic - are explored, developed, and adorned into an intense and gripping large-scale structure.