£12.77 £10.64 Ex vat
The Canticle of the Sun
Charles Wood Singers
Philip Scriven organ
directed by David Hill
This beautiful new recording showcases some well-known sacred choral works by Charles Villiers Stanford and Charles Wood, together with the first recording of Philip Moore’s arrangement of Wood’s ‘It were my soul’s desire’ and four works by American visionary, Amy Beach. Her large-scale cantata with words by St Francis of Assisi, ‘The Canticle of the Sun’ is here presented in the first recording of the version with organ accompaniment, and two Psalm settings are receiving their first recording.
The Charles Wood Festival of Music and Summer School takes place annually in Armagh, Northern Ireland. It was founded in 1994 to celebrate and promote the legacy of Charles Wood, who received his early musical training in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, where this album was recorded. This unique Festival works to support, nurture and inspire the next generation of choral professionals.
The Charles Wood Singers, whose talents are showcased on this album, are aged between 18 and 28. This is their first commercial recording. They are accompanied by the accomplished organist, Philip Scriven, who is currently Organist-in-Residence at Cranleigh School.
Renowned for his fine musicianship, David Hill MBE is widely respected as both a choral and orchestral conductor. His talent has been recognised by his appointments as Musical Director of The Bach Choir, Music Director of Leeds Philharmonic Society, Associate Guest conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of Yale Schola Cantorum. He was Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers from September 2007 to September 2017 and is a former Music Director of Southern Sinfonia. In March 2018, he was honoured with the prestigious Royal College of Organists medal, in recognition of distinguished achievement in choral conducting and organ playing.
‘What an extraordinary contribution to our nation’s musical life [David Hill] has made.’ The Telegraph
Total Playing time: 72:59
* first recording
† first recording of the version with organ accompaniment
Recorded in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral Armagh on 25/26 August 2021
Producer and editor: Gary Cole
Engineer: David Walker
Sample audio extracts
‘There are too many harmonic delights and other felicities to mention specifically. Safe to say, simply, that it is worth hearing this recording just to fall in love with Beach’s little-known music. ’ Gramophone September 2022
‘Rolls-Royce choral sound that distinguishes this album; Hill really encourages the voices to flower, singing strongly through long phrases, creating lots of dynamic contrast and responding sensitively both to the music and to the texts.’ ★★★★ Choir and Organ September 2022
‘Would I recommend this disc on account of the Stanford and Wood, the Beach, or the performances themselves? I recommend it warmly for all each and all.’ Organists’ Review September 2022
‘fine and deeply moving performance by these young singers.’ Church Music Quarterly September 2022
‘David Hill’s excellent choir-training ability is fully revealed whilst the recording demonstrates the outstanding organ accompaniment of Philip Scriven… the overall ensemble highlights excellent dynamic control, the emphasis is on blend combined with extended beautifully performed melodic lines sung with so much ease..’ Cathedral Music Magazine 2/22
‘The programme is interesting and it’s impressively performed. The singing throughout is disciplined, committed and accomplished.’ MusicWeb February 2023