Margaret Rizza: Ave Generosa


Explore this exciting new collection of choral music by Margaret Rizza, performed by Gaudete Ensemble, directed by Eamonn Dougan.

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About this release

“For this collection, I have chosen 13 texts and set them to music. These prayers, hymns and antiphons speak to me in different ways about the mystical world of which we are all a part.” Margaret Rizza

Foreword by Margaret Rizza

“Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world, but let your minds be remade and your whole nature thus transformed.” (Romans 12:2 The New English Bible)

St Paul writing to the Romans bids us to venture beyond the pattern of this present world and to journey into a another realm which allows our minds to be remade and our whole nature transformed. Entering into this world can be a spiritual awakening which was experienced by many of the mystics.

For this Musical Journey with the Mystics, which Tim Ruffer (RSCM) suggested I composed as another collection, I have chosen thirteen texts and set them to music. These prayers, hymns and antiphons speak to me in different ways of the mystical world of which we are all a part.

About the artists

Margaret Rizza

margaret-rizza-1024Margaret Rizza studied at the Royal College of Music, London and at the National School of Opera, London and continued her training in Siena and Rome, Italy.

She sang professionally for 25 years, under the name of Margaret Lensky. She has sung at many of the leading concert and operatic venues and under such conductors as Benjamin Britten, Igor Stravinsky and Leonard Bernstein. She also gave premieres of works by John Tavener, Thea Musgrave and Richard Rodney Bennett.

From 1977 to 1994, she went on to teach singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. During her years at Guildhall she worked on many outreach projects taking groups of students to share their music with people in prisons, hospitals, hospices, inner city schools, MS centres, schools for the blind and working with people with physical and learning difficulties. She was also involved with Live Music Now, a wonderful organisation founded by Yehudi Menuhin who wrote “I can only think of music as something inherent in every human being – a birthright. Music co-ordinates mind, body and spirit.” Read more

Eamonn Dougan

Eamonn Dougan is an inspirational communicator with a wide-ranging repertoire and is a renowned vocal coach and baritone. Eamonn is Associate Conductor of The Sixteen, founding Director of Britten Sinfonia Voices, Music Director of the Thomas Tallis Society, and Chief Conductor for Jersey Chamber Orchestra. Read more

Gaudete Ensemble

The Gaudete Ensemble was formed and directed by Margaret Rizza as a small parish choir for St Thomas’ Church in Sevenoaks. As it developed it went on to do many concerts and recordings. For these recordings the group was augmented with students and young professional singers from London. A CD of chants arranged and directed by Margaret Rizza made it to number 1 in the Classical Charts in 2007.

Eamonn Dougan first met Margaret Rizza while recording her works. In 2010 he directed the Gaudete Ensemble, now made up entirely of professional musicians, in the recording Mysterium Amoris which was released on the Naxos Label. Recorded in February 2020, Ave Generosa is also directed by Eamonn Dougan and features music published by the RSCM.

CD Booklet
  • Veni Jesu - Margaret Rizza
  • Fire of love - Margaret Rizza
  • My child - Margaret Rizza
  • O Sapientia - Margaret Rizza
  • O Clavis David - Margaret Rizza
  • O Oriens - Margaret Rizza
  • Mary slept - Margaret Rizza
  • Ave Maria - Margaret Rizza
  • Oculi mei - Margaret Rizza
  • Ave generosa - Margaret Rizza
  • O speculum columbe - Margaret Rizza
  • Mysterium amoris - Margaret Rizza
  • Trinity Blessing - Margaret Rizza
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Catalogue number: CR056

Conductor Eamonn Dougan
Performers Gaudete Ensemble
Programme Notes Margaret Rizza
Artist Photography
Benjamin Harte / Gregor Zednik
Cover Image The Theotokos of Vladimir. Reproduction of the Theotokos of Vladimir icon, XII century. The State Tretyakov Picture Gallery. Akg-images / Sputnik. Cover image, Texts & Translations, including any copyright material, reproduced with permission arranged and granted by the Royal School of Church Music, 2020.
Creative Director Mike Cooter
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Additional Information

2020 Sessions (tracks 1, 3-8, 11 & 13)

Engineering & Mastering Mike Hatch & Tom Lewington
Editing Adaq Khan
Recording Location St Augustine’s Church, Kilburn, February, 12th & 13th, 2020
Producer Andrew King

2010 Sessions *(tracks 2, 9, 10 & 12)

Engineering & Mastering Daniel Lock & Mike Hatch
Recording Location St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London, 2010
Producers Robert Hollingworth & Margaret Rizza

*from the Naxos CD Mysterium Amoris (8.573039) and used here with permission

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