Giles Swayne: Convocation

When a powerful team of new music exponents come together, magic will happen; when the music is by Giles Swayne, a composer whose light shines brilliantly in its own unique direction, the results will entrance. This disc offers a bracing sonic experience – vividly communicative music performed with rare verve, passion and youthful vibrancy.

"The two choirs on this disc… enter whole-heartedly into the spirit of the music."


"The stark mixture of menace and lament (A Convocation of Worms) is a gift for a composer with Swayne’s propensity for questioning received social and religious conventions from the inside…the effect of the whole is powerful and memorable. Stephen Wallace and Michael Bonaventure do it proud…this is a highly commendable enterprise.”

"The young singers and those who have worked with these choirs as educators and directors are to be congratulated on their standard of performance in these interesting and challenging works."

"Swayne pushes at the boundaries of choral singing to create works of excitement and beauty. The extract from his 1995 setting of Blake's The Tiger crackles with dark, dangerous mystery in a thrilling performance...The counter-tenor Stephen Wallace expresses the terrifying madness in the solo cantata A Convocation of Worms with almost psychopathic feverishness. Swayne is undoubtedly the finest choral composer writing today."

"This disc is staggeringly good. The contrasts in choral colour are a testament to Mike Brewer, whose extraordinary talent produce such inspiring results with these two choirs, both of which must surely be able to give their professional counterparts a run for the money. These are committed and astonishing performances that deserve to be heard widely."


"This is a great CD, one of the most exciting choral recordings heard this year."


"Those interested in contemporary vocal music should seek out this excellent recording."


"The performances are equally magical. Bonaventure’s sense of drama matches countertenor Stephen Wallace’s in A Convocation of Worms to perfection, while The National Youth Choir of Britain and Laudibus, both under the direction of veteran choral conductor Mike Brewer, exhibit a precision and exuberance that are further enhanced by a rich, vibrant sound. This is choral singing of the very first rank. Excellent recorded sound and superb booklet notes by Anthony Burton complete a virtually perfect release."

Release Date: 16 October 2006
Catalogue No: DCD34033
Total playing time: 1:18:40
Recorded on 15-16 August 2004 at Tudor Hall School, Banbury; 8-9 January 2005 at St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town; 29-30 November 2005 at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh.
Producer: Paul Baxter
Engineers: Adam Binks & Ben Mills
24-bit digital editing: Paul Baxter & Adam Binks
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter
Design: Margareta Jönsson
Photography: Paul Baxter & Raymond Parks
Cover image: Getty Images

Album Booklet

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