Meditatio (music for mixed choir) - Áskelsson

Meditatio (music for mixed choir) - Áskelsson

BIS  BIS-2200

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Vocal

James MacMillan: A Child’s Prayer
John Tavener: The Lamb
Hugi Guðmundsson: Hvíld
Jón Leifs: Requiem
Morten Lauridsen: O nata lux
Eric Whitacre: Lux aurumque
Porkell Sigurbjörnsson: Nú hverfur sól í haf; Heyr himna smiður
Sigurour Savarsson: Nunc dimittis
Eriks Ešenvalds: O salutaris hostia.
Anna Thorvaldsdóttir: Heyr bú oss himnum á
Hörður Áskelsson: Hvíld
Hreiðar Ingi: Nunc dimittis
Arvo Pärt: Nunc dimittis

Schola Cantorum
Hörður Áskelsson (director)

Growing out of concerts given by Schola cantorum Reykjavicensis and Hörður Áskelsson on All Soul’s Day, Meditatio presents a programme of expressive choral works which interpret grief and bereavement in the light of hope and comfort. Apart from Jón Leifs’ singularly serene Requiem, the composer’s response to the death of his daughter in 1947, all the pieces date from the past 35 years – from The Lamb by John Tavener from 1982 to Nunc dimittis (2015) by Sigurður Savarsson, Icelandic composer as well as member of Schola cantorum. The ‘Canticle of Simeon’, as this song of praise from the Bible is also called, appears in two other settings on the disc – by Arvo Pärt and by Hreiðar Ingi who, like Savarsson, sings bass in the choir.

Four other Icelandic composers are represented on the disc, including the choir’s conductor Hörður Áskelsson and Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson, whose Heyr, himna smiður (Hear, Heaven’s creator) – a setting of a 13th-century hymn – has gained recognition far beyond Iceland. Otherwise the choir performs music by the Latvian composer Eriks Ešenvalds, the Scotsman James MacMillan – his A Child’s Prayer commemorates the victims of the school massacre in the Scottish town of Dunblane in March 1996 – and by Morten Lauridsen and Eric Whitacre, both from the U.S.A. Schola cantorum Reykjavicensis was founded in 1996 by Hörður Áskelsson, who remains its artistic director, and has appeared on a number of BIS recordings with music by Jón Leifs. The choir performs regularly in Reykjavík’s famous Hallgrímskirkja where the present recording took place

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PCM recording

Recorded in October 2015 at Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland, 24/96

Producer and sound engineer: Jens Braun (Take5 Music Production)

Equipment: BIS’s recording teams use microphones from Neumann and Schoeps, audio electronics from RME, Lake People and DirectOut, MADI optical cabling technology, monitoring equipment from B&W, STAX and Sennheiser, and Sequoia and Pyramix digital audio workstations.

Post-production: Editing and mixing: Jens Braun

Executive producer: Robert Suff
Comments (1)

Comment by William Hecht - October 6, 2016 (1 of 1)

The MacMillan, Lauridsen, and Whitacre pieces are the only ones I was previously familiar with, and, other than Tavener, Part and Leif's, they're the only composers represented on the disc of whom I'd previously heard. As the disc's title indicates this is music for a meditative or contemplative mood. Everything here is beautiful, and beautifully performed and recorded. Much of it is quite moving, though I find it makes it's greatest impact when listened to only a few tracks at a time.