- 1IntroitusManuel Cardoso
- 2Emendemus in meliusWilliam Byrd
- 3Lugebat David AbsalonNicolas Gombert
- 4Memento homoWilliam Byrd
- 5Wie sich ein Vat'r erbarmetJohann Sebastian Bach
- 6Wie liegt die Stadt so wüstRudolf Mauersberger
- 7AbendliedJosef Rheinberger
- 8Leit uns mit deiner rechten HandJohann Sebastian Bach
- 9Nunc dimittisGustav Holst
- 10O come, let us sing unto the LordCheryl Frances-Hoad
- 11Our flags are wafting in hope and griefGabriel Jackson
- 12Tantum ergoMarco Galvani
- 13Cloths of HeavenMalcolm Archer
- 14A prayer of St Richard of ChichesterOliver Tarney
- 15Lux aeternaJames MacMillan
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Sansara: Cloths of Heaven
Directed by Tom Herring, Jack Butterworth, Benjamin Cunningham & Meghan Quinlan
- ConductorTom Herring, tr. 1,5,6,15
- ConductorJack Butterworth, tr. 9,11,13
- ConductorBenjamin Cunningham, tr. 2,3,4,12,14
- ConductorMeghan Quinnlan, tr. 7,8,10
The Observer Review ★★★★
Sansara: Cloths of Heaven ★★★★
“It’s not hard to find outstanding professional choral singing (we seem to be living through a golden age) so to stand out today a new choir has to have something else to offer in addition to perfect intonation and a clean, pure sound. Sansara, while possessing these qualities in abundance, marks itself out by having no single conductor. Instead, several individuals step out from the choir and direct according to their specialism, giving this impressive debut recording a real depth of insight. Careful narrative programming is also a plus, introducing us to several spectacular new pieces from Oliver Tarney, Marco Galvani and Malcolm Archer on a journey from darkness into light."
Reviewed: Stephen Pritchard for the Observer
About this Album
Released on Convivium Records, the album was recorded by the young professional choir at the chapel of Merton College, Oxford and features works from the Renaissance through to the early twentieth-century as well as music by contemporary composers James MacMillan, Gabriel Jackson and Cheryl Frances-Hoad.
The album – release on CD and in all digital formats – boasts several world premiere recordings including works from Sansara’s Associate Composers Oliver Tarney and Marco Galvani, and a new work written especially for the choir by Malcom Archer. The recording also features pieces by Rudolf Mauersberger and Nicolas Gombert, which alongside the work from Gabriel Jackson, were performed by Sansara at the 2015 London International A Cappella Choir Competition where the choir was awarded both First Place and the Audience Prize.
Tom Herring, Co-Founder and Conductor, Sansara, said: ‘For this project, the aim was to capture our approach to live performance and to record a narrative programme that takes the listener on an emotional and spiritual journey. Following the broad trajectory of a requiem, beginning with Cardoso’s Introitus (from his own six-part Requiem) and ending with James MacMillan’s Lux aeterna, this recording seeks to confront the darker aspects of human experience whilst also looking towards the future with optimism. As in our concert programmes, pieces from the masters of the Renaissance are presented alongside new compositions, five of which are recorded here for the first time.’
The title track for the recording was composed by Malcolm Archer:
‘I was delighted to be asked to write Cloths of Heaven for Sansara, and even more delighted that they chose to record it. It is a text I have wanted to set for some time, and their performance of this and other contemporary works is exemplary. Sansara are one of the most exciting young choirs to emerge in recent years, and this marvellous debut disc deserves much acclaim.’
Message from Sansara's artistic patron, Peter Phillips (Founder & Director of the Tallis Scholars)
Described As ‘one of the most dynamic new choral groups in the UK’ (Choir & Organ, 2016), Sansara is a passionate and innovative chamber choir uniting many of the UK’s finest young professional singers. Founded in 2013, the choir has rapidly gained a reputation for captivating performances of a broad range of repertoire, juxtaposing choral music old and new in ambitious and imaginative narrative programmes. In September 2015, Sansara won first prize and audience prize in the London International A Cappella Choir Competition, hosted by St John’s Smith Square in association with the Tallis Scholars.
Sansara is unique in that it has no single conductor. Instead, several conductors—who also sing in the group—direct the choir according to their particular musical specialisms. This makes the choir highly versatile and provides an increased sense of collaboration.
For more information about the choir, our upcoming concerts and projects, visit our website at www.sansarachoir.com, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SansaraChoir.
- 29 Aug 2017 Margaret Rizza: “The renowned composer of Christian choral music” (Cross Rhythms)
- 11 Aug 2017 “Words alone cannot begin to describe the emotional and dramatic content of this outstanding programme…” Angels of Creation (Organist’s Review – Editor’s Choice)
- 1 Jul 2017 “An intriguing and most rewarding disc combining Croydon Minster Choir and the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble… (Dr. Hugh Benham ★★★★★)
- 24 Jun 2017 “Beautifully written, deeply expressive of the texts… superlative performances” Dan Locklair’s Gloria (American Record Guide)
- 10 Jun 2017 “Cesari embraces the virtuosic…” James Ember: Traces for Solo Flute (La Folia)