Madrigali: Fire & Roses

Michael Stillwater

Music of Morten Lauridsen and others Performed by Con Anima Chamber Choir

Music composed by Morten Lauridsen, together with music by Paul Mealor and others. From the collection, 'Music from Shining Night: A Morten Lauridsen CD Treasury', as seen recorded in the film 'Shining Night' in a beautiful 16th century Scottish chapel.

A luminous collection of a cappella choral works spanning five centuries, the showpiece of which is the Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal cycle, by Paul Mealor himself, of which the first movement was personally chosen by Prince William and Kate Middleton (now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) as the musical centerpiece of the April 2011 Royal wedding service. 

An impressive choral work that superbly combines the clean and open harmonies of the Renaissance, with the more distant harmonic intervals of today, and sits within a pitch range that always serves the four individual voice parts extremely well. An evocative work that at times demands vocal gymnastics from the singers, but most of all commands a beauty and richness of sound too often absent from today's music.

The Scottish Con Anima Chamber Choir is quickly establishing a reputation as a choral ensemble that can comfortably adapt to the various demands of music past and present, as evidenced on this new recording. From John Ward, to Gustav Holst, to Morten Lauridsen, their delivery enhances the music's character and style, and never sounds as if out of its element. The blend of voices from the basses to the sopranos is always in perfect equilibrium, and could be compared to a supple and malleable fabric that conductor Paul Mealor can easily mold and shape to fit the music at hand.



Morten Lauridsen: Madrigali: Fire and Roses (6 pieces) & Chanson eloignee

Paul Mealor: Now sleeps the crimson petal (4 pieces) 

Claudio Monteverdi: Se per havervi, oime 

Carlo Gesualdo: Luci serene e chiare

Vincenzo Ruffo: Io piango

Girolamo Scotto: Amor, io sento l'alma 

Yvo Barry: Quando son piu lontan 

Henricus Schaffen: Ov'e, lass' il bel viso 

Anon (15th cent.): There is no rose

John Ward: Upon a bank with roses set about

John Wilbye: Lady, when I behold the roses set about

Gustav Holst: Now sleeps the crimson petal 

James MacMillan: So deep 

Divine Art Records