Set upon the Rood: new music for choir & ancient instruments

Three years after the runaway success of In Praise of St Columba, its previous collaboration with piper Barnaby Brown, the ever-innovative Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge reunites with Brown – now also joined by lyre player Bill Taylor and ancient brass specialists John and Patrick Kenny.

All four are members of the European Music Archaeology Project, whose own ongoing collaboration with Delphian has captivated listeners and reviewers with its glimpses of the sound of Europe’s ancient instruments. Here, those extraordinary sonorities blend with and emerge around the Caius singers’ committed contributions in seven richly conceived new pieces; a world premiere commission by Sir James MacMillan sets up the Celtic theme.

"Triplepipe, aulos, carnyx and Loughnashade horn: the odds are firmly against you ever having heard these dinosaurs of musical instrument history in action. This intriguing CD resurrects their sounds, in works by seven contemporary composers…the Gonville and Caius Choir responds with élan and versatility to the constantly shifting demands…their effort is worth it: genuinely new sounds and combinations are created in this shape-shifting project"

"Suddenly sound and music exist in a single sonic continuum and the effect is exhilarating–both ancient and fundamental but undeniably modern...This is a disc that will leave you bewildered in the best possible way, assaulted and seduced by deeply unfamiliar sounds."

"splendidly performed"

"The performers throw themselves into everything with attention-grabbing fervour. Singing that impresses with great intensity, accuracy and often quite terrific power (theatrical opportunities are gleefully exploited) does full justice to all, including outstanding works by James MacMillan and Stuart MacRae"

"Under their director Geoffrey Webber, The Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge have carved out an impressive reputation for exciting programmes of new and ancient music–and for very impressive singing from the young choir. This recording of contemporary compositions, many commissioned by the choir, combines old and new in imaginative ways."


Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording venue(s): Merton College, Oxford
Recording dates: 29-31 August 2016
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 12
Total playing time: 68:20
Release date: 19 May 2017
Album ID: DCD34154

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