Discantvs: In The Artists’ Hall


Music performed by Discantvs, directed by Bruce Ramell.

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About this release

The pieces on this recording are a sample of Discantvs’s repertoire, which is largely sacred and from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries.

Commissioned Programme Note

As a group, Discantvs enjoys performing music which has a certain gravitas. That rather elusive factor is where the music seems to enable the singer and listener to hear something beyond the notes so that the beauty of the music acts as a sort of portal. If this depth is indeed there in the music, then the composer is the one who has in fact opened the door and so one of the endeavours of the choir is to allow the music to speak and not overlay it with “our” performance.

Who are these composers? We have found ourselves singing many pieces by two particular Englishmen. Peter Philips (1560 – 1628) and Richard Dering (c1580 – 1630) were both practising Catholics at a time when this was dangerous in England. They both show an awareness of the developing Italianate style of the early C16.

Alongside these, we place Robert Ramsey (fl. 1616 – 44), William Byrd (1543 -1623), Tallis (c1505 – 1585) and Robert Parsons (? – 1570). We also include two continental composers Hans Leo Hassler (1564 – 1612) and Thomás Luis de Victoria (1548 – 1611).

The selection is interspersed with vocal and instrumental interludes. The vocal ones are rounds or extracts from larger pieces which we have enjoyed singing in an odd moment such as at a mealtime, in a square in Madrid or on a coach journey. The two recorder pieces are in fact madrigals.

The final piece is a setting of a collect from Evensong by one of our singers, David Goymour. We have delighted in singing this in a number of English cathedrals.

(Bruce Ramell, 2010)

About the artists


Convivium Records Artist

Discantvs (a choir of about 22 voices) was set up in 1988 under its present director, Bruce Ramell. It was originally formed to serve needs within the School of Economic Science in London, under whose auspices it continues to operate.

Many of its performances continue to be related to needs and projects of the school and over the years this has led to performances in many places in England and abroad. For example, during its twentieth year in 2008 the choir sang in St James Piccadilly London, Art in Action (a festival near Oxford), Merton College Oxford, Birmingham, Guildford and Winchester cathedrals, Valetta cathedral (Malta) and Deventer (Holland).

Bruce Ramell

Bruce Ramell

Bruce Ramell is a retired headmaster and a long-time member of the School of Philosophy and Economic Science, London.

He worked first as an analytical chemist and then, having gained a master’s degree in musicology, taught music and mathematics.

CD Booklet
  • Benedite Il Signor - Emilio De' Cavalieri
  • Dixit Maria - Hans Leo Hassler
  • Ave Maria - Robert Parsons
  • Musica est Dei - Orlande De Lassus
  • O Sapientia - Robert Ramsey
  • Now Is the Month of Maying (Recorders) - Thomas Morley
  • Tibi Laus - Peter Philips
  • O Nata Lux - Thomas Tallis
  • Audite, Silete - Michael Praetorius
  • The Silver Swan (Recorders) - Orlando Gibbons
  • Deo Gratias - William Byrd
  • Ne Timeas Maria - Tomás Luis De Victoria
  • Jubilate Deo - Peter Philips
  • Ave Virgo Gloriosa - Richard Dering
  • O Magnum Mysterium - William Byrd
  • Alta Trinita Beata - anon.
  • Alamaine (Recorders) - Richard Dering
  • Jubilate Deo - Richard Dering
  • Lighten Our Darkness - David Goymour
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Catalogue number: CR003

Choir Discantvs
Conductor Bruce Ramell

Photography Various
Engineering Adrian Green, Kevin Hodgson
Mastering Adaq Khan
Producer Adrian Green
Creative Director John Bevan
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Recorded 2010
Venue The Artist’s Hall, Waterperry House, Oxford
Total Duration 43 mins


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