Richard Allain Choral Music

Celebrating ten years since the inception of Merton College’s choral foundation, the choir’s seventh Delphian recording follows the themed anthologies which brought it such immediate critical acclaim with what will be the first in a series of close collaborations between the choir and individual living composers.

Richard Allain writes music across a wide spectrum of genres; he and Benjamin Nicholas have put together a programme showcasing his oeuvre – from a setting of the Evening Canticles, animated then impassioned, to a sumptuous reimagining of the spiritual Don’t you weep when I am gone and Allain’s most performed work, the wedding anthem Cana’s Guest.

"A stimulating and beautifully sung collection, which connoisseurs of the great British choral heritage should rush to buy."

"These beautifully shaped performances by a finely constituted and fearless mixed choir, offer a convincing array of colour, texture and dynamics."

"A number of these pieces were commissioned for the Merton Choirbook, and The Magi’s Gifts in particular is approached with obvious affection and real understanding for its carefully interwoven structure. This is Benjamin Nicholas’s tenth year at the head of the choir, and he has them singing with relaxed authority and confidence."

"luminous textures, subtle word-painting, and a predominantly tonal idiom spiked with unexpected dissonances."

"I enjoyed every piece on this programme. Richard Allain has an obvious empathy for the human voice. In addition to that, he has a fine and discerning feel for the texts he sets.His choral textures are full of interest and the music falls gratefully on the listener’s ear.This is all eminently approachable and very worthwhile music. The performances of theMerton College choir are up to their usual very high standard and Paul Baxter has recorded them expertly."

Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording venue(s): Chapel of Merton College, Oxford
Recording dates: 26-28 June 2017
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 14
Total playing time: 64:08
First UK release date: September 21, 2018
Album ID: DCD34207

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