Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Recording Lazarus Requiem in Exeter Cathedral

The recording of the Lazarus Requiem reaches its climax tonight and tomorrow night when we overdub the choirs in Exeter Cathedral. I rehearsed the Exeter Philharmonic Choir last night and they are raring to go! It was great to have the tenors and basses bolstered by the cathedral lay clerks - what a great bunch of guys. I have been nothing short of overwhelmed by the kindness, generosity and support of the Philharmonic Choir members. They made me feel at home from the word go, and they have prepared the music with such a sense of commitment. I have every confidence that they are going to deliver everything I had hoped for on this recording.  I must also thank Andrew Millington (the Director of both the Cathedral and Philharmonic Choirs) for handing over the baton and for becoming a good friend of both myself and my music. David Davis (the Assistant Director of Music) will be adding the new organ part later this evening.  He too has been an invaluable support as accompanist through all the rehearsals. What a great player!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Lazarus recording begins

Well, today we begin recording the Lazarus Requiem and I am so excited! It's seven years now since I completed the work, and finally we are beginning the process of getting it on to a CD. I am shortly to take the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and then it will be straight to the recording venue to meet up with Andrew Mellor (the excellent engineer from Floating Earth). Later in the afternoon, I plan to have an hour's session with the two soprano soloists - Elin Manahan Thomas and Rachael Lloyd - so that we are focused on the sort of sound we want. Becasue they sing mainly with the cathedral choir in the six tableaux, I don't want this to be too 'operatic' but more pure and ethereal. There is one  three-hour session this evening during which we will record the big duet between Elin and Rachael - the Lux Aeterna. Tomorrow, Thomas Walker will take part in the sessions.  He sang the role of Christ at the premiere and suits it so perfectly! It will be great to see him again. I am  also really looking forward to meeting and working with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Monday, 2 January 2012

New Year - New Ventures

A very happy new year to all of my followers and friends! I'm feeling very optimistic about 2012, not only because the Lazarus Requiem is to be recorded at last - but also because I seem to be working at a high level of creativity.  In particular, I want to produce more choral music, and there are already the seeds of ideas for new Christmas and Easter works. A Blue in Blue mark two is also on the cards. Two highlights of the year are going to be the performance of the Lazarus Requiem in Exeter Cathedral on March 17th and the UK premiere of my Te Deum in Rochester Cathedral on November 3rd.