New disc: Songs of Renewal

Our next project: a new recording of British contemporary music for SOMM records

Following May’s whistle-stop tour of the choral music of Roderick Williams in the Assembly Rooms for the Bath Festival, Bath Camerata’s concert diary goes a little quiet until the autumn, so it might appear that we’re ‘knocking off’ early this season in order to put our feet up.  Not a bit of it!

In fact, we’ve already started rehearsals for our next project: a CD of British contemporary music, both spiritual and secular, to be recorded for SOMM records over a three-day weekend at the end of June.

The concept for this CD started back in 2016 when Bath Camerata turned thirty.  To mark the occasion, we commissioned three new works on the theme of ‘renewal’, and we gave the world premieres of all three pieces at our Wells Cathedral Good Friday concert this year.  At the heart of our new recording will be two of these works, – ‘Songs of Renewal’ by Will Todd and ‘Everyone Sang’ by Roderick Williams – as well as Jonathan Dove’s fantastic song cycle, ‘The Passing of the Year’.  Alongside these, Ben has programmed other recent compositions which chime with our ‘renewal’ theme, by Judith Weir, Huw Watkins and Tarik O’Regan.  The CD will therefore be a vibrant collection of new choral works, all in English, most of which haven’t been recorded until now.

We’re already hugely enjoying working on this programme – the music is fresh, rhythmic and energetic, but also warm, earthy and thoroughly accessible.  Some of it is a cappella, but not all – the Jonathan Dove, for instance, has an incredible piano accompaniment and we’re delighted to have Huw Watkins playing this with us.  We’re also looking forward to being joined by soprano Elizabeth Cragg (one of the soloists for our St John Passion at St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol back in February), and percussionist Jeremy Little on marimba, for Judith Weir’s two beautiful settings of poems by ee cummings.

This will be Camerata’s first CD under Benjamin Goodson’s directorship.  It’s going to be a pretty intensive way to spend a weekend, but it will also be an enormously invigorating and, we hope, immensely rewarding process.  The CD will become available in the 2018/19 season.  We can’t wait to hear it.

PRS Foundation