David Bednall: Sudden Light (Choral Works)

There is something in the music of David Bednall that speaks of the English genius; it is present in his harmonic language, in its extended diatonic chords and shimmering polytonal beauty, and there too in the folk-like melodies of many of the works on this recording. His art grows from the ground of native tradition, that of the Anglican cathedral and collegiate choir and its revival in the decades since the First World War; it owes a debt to those who ‘collected’ English folksong, while it was still there to collect; and it connects with the richness of English lyrical poetry. A disciple of Vaughan Williams, Finzi or Howells?

His music also harbours traces of Messiaen, Duruflé and Vierne. The Epiphoni Consort and their director Tim Reader are passionate advocates of Bednall’s music, and this enterprising debut recording – opening with the ravishing depiction of luminosity that is his 40-part motet Lux orta est iusto – serves to highlight why Bednall is well on his way to becoming one of the UK’s best-loved living choral composers. The Epiphoni Consort was established in 2014 to bring together singers who have advanced vocal and choral training but other primary careers.

"It’s a bold composer who takes on the Thomas Tallis of Spem in alium at his own game, but David Bednall does just that…The results are impressive…Bednall’s setting is constantly evolving and shifting in perspective, in ways which do decisively beyond mere mimicry of Tallis’s original composition."


"The group is certainly equal to the demands of Bednall's music, with a bright, well-produced sound"

"All the music on this disc is very fine and full of interest. David Bednall is a highly accomplished and eloquent choral composer and there are many choice examples of his art here. He’s exceptionally well served by The Epiphoni Consort who give assured and expert performances, their singing full of conviction. Clearly, Tim Reader has prepared them very thoroughly for this assignment."

"Meeting the demands of music that often occupies the extremes of the range, Epiphoni offer consistently efficient performances."

"The composer David Bednall and the Epiphoni Consort choir are both rather new on the scene as of the 2010s, but here they've produced a top-notch recording of music that's firmly rooted in theEnglish choral tradition, yet absolutely distinctive"

Producer: Paul Baxter

Recording venue(s): Church of St John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood, London

Recording dates: 28-30 October 2016

Physical format: Jewel case

Number of discs: 1

Number of tracks: 17

Total playing time: 70:54

First UK release date: July 21, 2017

Album ID: DCD34189

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