"SANCTUS" JADCD 1081 (10th ANNIVERSARY JADE CD)
Works by: Eric Gross, Colin Brumby, Derek Strahan, Ann Carr-Boyd, Dulcie Holland, Robert Allworth, Lawrence Bartlett, Richard Austin. Duration: 71'06"
SUMMARY - scroll down for REVIEW &Track List
"Sanctus" opens with 6 Organ Voluntaries composed in 1972 by Allworth, ranging in mood from the contemplative to the celebratory, in honour of Saint Catherine Laboure who was visited by the Virgin Mary in a vision in 1830. These and a short occasional piece by Brumby are performed by Lawrence Bartlett at the organ of St. Michael's, Vaucluse. Bartlett's own 'Ceremonial Te Deum' is performed by organist Bransby Byrne and the choir of St. Andrews Cathedral - a live recording made in 1988 at a special Bicentennial service in the presence of Prince Charles and Princess Diana!
Secular music is represented by solo piano works by Carr-Boyd ('Saturn' 1978) and Austin (Impromptu No. 4, 1998); by two lyrical works of Dulcie Holland, for String Quartet and for Mandolins; by the virtuosic 'Triptych for solo violin' (1991) by Gross, and by a recent live recording by Georg Pedersen of Strahan's 'Suite No. 1 for Solo Cello', a Suite of Jazz Dances.
Made at a concert by the Ku-Ring-Gai Virtuosi, this performance was well reviewed by John Carmody in the Sun Herald, who wrote: "... Like the baroque (cello) suites, this is made up of dance movements and there is real wit in hearing boogie-woogie, a tango and blues coming from a solo cello. The composer never laboured the jokes and Georg Pedersen handled it with aplomb. I almost expected him to waltz off, partnered by his curvaceous cello ..." Music critic Fred Blanks, writing in the North Shore Times in January 1999, listed this performance as one of "the eight most striking performances of Australian music which came my way in 1998."
REVIEW ON MUSICWEB http://www.musicweb.uk.net
This disc, showcasing music by a number of Australian composers, is issued by Jade Records, the company formed by composer Robert Allworth. It is one of a remarkable number of discs that Jade has issued dedicated to the Australian contemporary scene.
Allworth says that he draws much inspiration in his composition from the sacred aspects of Roman Catholicism. This is evident in the first piece on the disc, a group of six voluntaries, written in honour of Saint Catherine Laboure and the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Again, Allworth uses a very effective mixture of slow, held chords against plainchant-like themes. It is only in the later voluntaries that the fuller tonal palette of the organ comes in to play.
The next item is the first of three curiosities, an historical track from 1979 of the Sanctus from Palestrina's "Missa Aeterna Christi Munera" recorded live. The choir, singing in English, give a creditable performance but there is quite a bit of tape hiss and ambient noise. This item is really limited interest to the general listener.
The next curiosity is an organ piece written for the Gospel procession, arranged from an extract from Saint-Saens' Third Symphony. This tuneful extract has had the misfortune to be catchy enough to be taken out of context for various purposes, even for a pop song. The Gospel procession is completed by a short voluntary by Dom Gregory Murray. A final curiosity is a short hymn by John Keble from the 19th Century St. Alban's Tune Book.
Lawrence Bartlett's "Ceremonial Te Deum" is a lively attractive work for choir and organ. It was commissioned as part of the Australian Bicentennial celebrations and sung at a service on 31st January 1988 in the presence of the Prince of Wales. This recording was made at that occasion. The choral part is rather syncopated and rhythmically interesting, supported by spicy harmonies. It sounds fun to sing and would be a most useful piece in a choir's repertoire.
Colin Brumby's "All Glory, Laud and Honour", a lively choral prelude based on the well known hymn, is the last sacred piece on the disc. All the remaining ones are of a secular nature.
Ann Carr-Boyd plays here own piano solo, "Saturn". A piece with exposed melodic lines over percussive chords. You almost feel that a work for instrumental ensemble is trying to break out. Dulcie Holland's string quartet, "Salute to Jacques" is an attractive, well-made piece in a melodic, rather English manner. In fact Holland studied at the Royal College of Music in the 1930s, with John Ireland. Later, in the 1950s, she studied in London with Matyas Seiber. Holland's other work on the disc, "Lonely Valley", is for an ensemble of mandolins. To her credit, Holland has constructed an atmospheric work which manages to avoid all suggestion of the Russian balalaika ensemble.
Eric Gross's three movement piece for solo violin, "Triptych", is quite a strenuous work. Rather chromatic and expressionist, it nonetheless displays considerable melodic power. Violinist Alexey Guliyantsky gives a brilliant performance which was recorded during a concert tour in Yalt, Ukraine.
For his suite for unaccompanied cello, Derek Strahan has gone back to the baroque era for inspiration. Where Bach based his instrumental music on contemporary dances, Strahan has done the same. But in this case, he uses popular 20th century dances so that the movements are Prelude-Riffs, Tango, Boogie-Woogie, Blues, Soft-Shoe Shuffle, Fugal Jive, Coda. The opening prelude is rather expressionist, but soon becomes jazz-inspired in its rhythm and harmony. In all the movements, the rhythm and harmonic structure of the original are never far away. But Strahan occasionally leaves these behind and creates looser episodes. Georg Pedersen's playing is stunning, as in movements such as the tango and the boogie-woogie. He manages to include both melody and accompaniment in a way that has you struggling to believe that there is only one player.
The final piece on the disc is a short piano piece played by the composer, Richard Austin. Pleasantly reflective, it forms a quiet close to what is a fascinating disc.
TRACK LIST FOR 'SANCTUS'
TRACKS 1-6: Robert ALLWORTH (b.1943) Six Voluntaries for Organ in Honour of Saint Catherine Laboure and the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
TRACK 7: Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (1525 - 1594) Sanctus and Benedictus from Missa Aeterna Christi Munera
TRACK 8; Camille SAINT-SAÃ¨NS (1835 - 1921) arr. Colin SAPSFORD Gospel Procession
Dom Gregory MURRAY Interlude XX1
TRACK 9:John KEBLE (1792 - 1876) Ave Maria Blessed Maid
TRACK 10: Lawrence BARTLETT (1933 - 2002) Ceremonial Te Deum
TRACK 11: Colin BRUMBY (b.1933 ) All Glory, Laud and Honour
TRACK 12: Ann CARR-BOYD (b.1938) Saturn
TRACK 13: Dulcie HOLLAND (1913 - 2000) Salute to Jacques
TRACK 14: Dulcie HOLLAND - Lonely Valley
TRACKS 15 - 17: Eric GROSS (b.1926) Triptych for Solo Violin Op. 189
TRACKS 18 - 23: Derek STRAHAN (b.1958 ) Suite No. 1 for Solo 'Cello
TRACK 24: Richard AUSTIN (b.1943) Impromptu No. 4
PERFORMANCE CREDITS 9BY TRACK NUMBERS)
Charles Dale (tenor) (4)
Lawrence Bartlett (organ) (1, 6)
Colin Sapsford (organ) (3)
Brandby Byrne (organ) (5)
David Pitt-Owen (organ) (4)
Ann Carr-Boyd (piano) (7)
Gagliano Quartet (Fiona Zeigler (violin), Leonie Ziegler (violin), Greg Ford (viola), Pierre Emery (cello)) (8)
The Sydney Mandolins (Paul Hooper (mandolin), Adrian Hooper (mandolin), Joyce Bootsma (mandola), Barbara Hooper (guitar)) (9)
Alexey Guliyanitsky (violin) (10)
Georg Pedersen (cello) (11)
Richard Austin (piano) (12)
Choir of Christ Church, Saint Lawrence, Sydney/ Colin Sapsford (2)
The Phoenix Consort/Colin Sapsford (4)
Choir of Saint Andrew's Cathedral Sydney/Michael Deasey (5)
Recorded: November 1989, Church of Saint Michael, Vaucluse, Sydney (1); 1979, Christ Church Saint Laurence, Sydney Ã¢Â€Â¹ Live recording (2); 1979, Christ Church Saint Laurence, Sydney Ã¢Â€Â¹ Live recording (3); 1983, Church of St. Mary's Immaculate, Waverly, Sydney (4 ; 31/1/1988, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Town Hall Square, Sydney - ABC recording (5); 25/6/1997, Church of Saint Michael, Vaucluse, Sydney (6); 20/1/1996, Studios 301, Australia (7); 22/2/1998, Studio C, Australia (8); 4/4/1996, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (9); 1988, Yalta, Ukraine - Private Recording (10); 20/11/1998, Uniting Church, Turramurra, Australia - Live recording (11); 20/3/1998, Studio C, Australia (12)
JADE JADECD1081 [71.06]
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1. Voluntary No.1
2. Voluntary No.2
3. Voluntary No.3
4. Voluntary No.4
5. Voluntary No.5
6. Voluntary No.6
8. Gospel Procession
9. Ave Maria Blessed Maid
10. Ceremonial Te Deum
11. All Glory Laud and Honour
13. Salute to Jacques
14. Lonely Valley
15. Triptych for Solo Violin I
16. Triptych for Solo Violin II
17. Triptych for Solo Violin III
18. Solo Cello Suite #1 - Prelude-Riffs
19. Solo Cello Suite #1 - Tango
20. Solo Cello Suite #1 - Boogie Woogie
21. Solo Cello Suite #1 - Blues
22. Solo Cello Suite #1 - Soft Shoe Shuffle
23. Solo Cello Suite #1 - Fugal Jive
24. Impromptu No.4