When Love Speaks: Choral Music by Owain Park

The Epiphoni Consort follow up on their acclaimed debut, of music by David Bednall, with a portrait album of another young choral composer on the ascendant.

Owain Park’s musical tracks were set early, when he joined the choir of St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol as a boy chorister. Subsequently organ scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, he draws - while still only in his twenties - on a specially English tradition of text-setting and choral writing which links him to figures such as Stanford and Vaughan Williams.

His innate understanding of the medium is shown in the skilfully contrasted weights and colours of Shakespeare Songs of Night-Time, one of two Shakespeare cycles included here, and the Epiphoni Consort singers make the most of the luxuriant chordal writing that characterises Park’s style as a whole - what his former teacher John Rutter has described as ‘towers of sound’.

The choir is joined by a solo violin for the call and response patterns of Antiphon for the Angels, while Sing to me, windchimes movingly sets loss and yearning alongside poetic images of spring and youth.

"Listening to the extraordinarily accomplished works that are here recorded for the first time, it is hard to believe that at the time of writing, the composer is short of his 27th birthday .... Park has developed a strong individual voice ... he has something new to say. There are many magical moments in this collection, admirably demonstrated by the excellent Epiphoni Consort. Highly recommended"

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"As the contents of this CD demonstrate, Owain Park has made the most of the chances that have so far come his way. The pieces assembled here evidence a seriously impressive young composer who has a natural affinity with choirs ... This is pure singing from start to finish ... Owain Park has been uncommonly well served by Tim Reader and The Epiphoni Consort. The singing is consistently fine and impeccably disciplined. The choir’s sound is a pleasure to hear and their diction is crystal clear. The several soloists from within the choir all acquit themselves very well. The excellent impression this choir made on me in their David Bednall disc is completely reinforced here. Paul Baxter has given them an ideal recording: the sound is expertly focused and clear. Nowhere is Baxter’s engineering skill shown to better advantage than in the magical yet crystal clear sound at the end of Holy is the true light."


read the full review here

'The level of originality and imagination from a composer still in his 20s is very impressive. Park is willing to explore adventurous harmonies and to cover a wide range of emotions in his work ... The Epiphoni Consort sings splendidly. Every element one looks for in choral singing can be found here—blend, balance, intonation, and clarity of diction, along with depth of feeling. Occasional solos drawn from the choir are beautifully sung, and the recorded sound is just about ideal'


Release Date: 26 June 2020
Catalogue No: DCD34239
Total playing time: 1:17:00

Recorded: 25-27 October 2020

Venue: St John The Evangelist, Upper Norwood

Producer: Paul Baxter


15.Holy is the True Light

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