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Marvellous Light
Choral Works of Ben Ponniah
Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge
directed by Sarah MacDonald
Stream Or Download
SKU: regcd495 Categories: ,


Continuing their pioneering series of discs devoted to new music by young British composers, the Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, under the direction of Sarah MacDonald, Introduce an exciting new and distinctive voice in the world of choral composition.

Ben Ponniah began composing in 2007 during a post-postgraduate gap year. At the core of his music is his own personal journey with faith, his love of the natural world, and his training as a singer and a jazz pianist.

He has a voice of great interest and attractiveness; his music combines the harmonic richness and colour of Poulenc and early Messiaen, with elements of Latin American and jazz to produce a heady mixture of sensual and exotic choral textures, but all with a natural flair for writing for voices. The text is paramount, and words are vividly painted. This is definitely a voice to watch!

Track List

Three Marian/Christmas Anthems
Ave Maria
A hymn to the mother of God
O magnum mysterium
Four Lenten Anthems
O sacrum convivium
Judas mercator pessimus
When David heard
Four Evening Anthems
Bring us, O Lord God
Lighten our darkness
O Lorde, the maker of al thinge
God be in my head
Requiem in Blue
Introit and Kyrie
Pie Jesu
Agnus Dei
Libera me
In paradisum

Total Playing time: 65:39

Production credits

Recorded in the Chapel of Selwyn College, Cambridge, 7/8 July 2016

Producer and engineer: Gary Cole

Assistant Engineer: Andy Gammon

Editors: Steve Swinden & Gary Cole

Sample audio extracts


‘He’s a name to watch. Sarah MacDonald draws radiant sound from her choir.’
BBC Music February 2018 ****‘

This CD shows the emergence of a fresh talent on the choral scene. Freely acknowledging the influence of other composers, Ben Ponniah uses it with great subtlety to complement his individual talent. His lines, flowing lyrically, show his training as a singer. Ponniah’s portraying of a sacred text is heartfelt but never sinks to an over-elaboration…. This is a name to watch. ’ Choir and Organ May/June 2018

The clarity of diction and impeccable tuning from the choir make this piece a must for repeated hearings and also a grand find for Christmas programming….I recommend this disc to choral directors and choirs who are daring enough to explore a new voice in the choral art and to those who need a refreshing pause lo listen to such beautiful music, both written and performed. Kudos to Regent Records, Ben Ponniah, Sarah MacDonald, and the choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, for undertaking such a worthwhile project. ’ American Choral Journal December 2018

‘…well executed by Sarah MacDonald’s choir with its nice ensemble. One can feel the warmth in their singing and their controlled techniques as they are called upon for some exciting choral effects…The highlight of the disc is Requiem in Blue, a wonderful rich palette that works brilliantly.’  **** Organists’ Review March 2018 

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