There are two recordings that will be released in the next few months or so that I’m really looking forward to. First is Beyond All Mortal Dreams by Trinity College, Cambridge, directed by Stephen Layton. Second is a so-far unnamed album by the Phoenix Chorale of Ola Gjeilo‘s music.
Trinity College at Cambridge is known for all their wonderful performance. I first had the opportunity to see them while they were preparing and performing for an Evensong service in their chapel. It was a remarkable performance and included Arvo Pärt’s “Nunc dimmitis,” which was incredibly powerful. They also sang a piece called “O vis aeternitatis,” by American composer, Frank Ferko. I’d never heard of him nor the piece but was amazed at the moving aesthetic of it.
Since then, Stephen Layton has decided to record an entire album of American a cappella works including this piece by Ferko. In addition, it has works by Stephen Paulus, William Hawley, Healey Willan, and curiously Ola Gjeilo. Some of the finest works of each of these composers will be represented if fine form. I’ve listened to some of the samples Hyperion Records posted on their their website and I’m very excited to hear the rest. It sounds very promising. This is a promising step for some English musicians who aren’t familiar with American choral music.
The Second recording also features the music of Norwegian-born composer Ola Gjeilo. He’s made quite the splash on the choral scene with some very defining qualities, and a distinctive sound. It’s difficult to define exactly what his music sounds like, but it’s his. Anyway, he’s now the composer-in-residence for the Phoenix Chorale, conducted by Charles Bruffy, and has written a number of pieces for them. Bruffy, in turn, decided to have the Chorale make a recording dedicated specifically to his music. This just finished the recording sessions yesterday (Monday) and already I can’t wait to start listening to it. It should be out this coming Fall or around then.
Here’s a video about the Phoenix Chorale recording Ola Gjeilo:
Anyway, here’s to waiting . . .