New Westminster Williamson Voices Recording To Be Released February 16
Silence Into Light, a new recording of the Westminster Williamson Voices, conducted by James Jordan, has been released by GIA Choral Works. It's available for purchase beginning on February 16.
With a title inspired by the architecture and writings of Louis I. Kahn, the recording is, according to Dr. Jordan, about pieces that are varying musical angles of refracted human light through sound. “This recording project was a deeply emotional journey for me; the same can be said for the choir,” he says. “The repertoire selections are from my personal musical journey, reflecting works that cast light into me for one reason or another.”
Recorded at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, the recording explores many choral sound worlds, with music that expresses varying musical angles of refracted human light through sound. “While the CD titled is Silence Into Light, the order of the music actually progresses in reverse order: from Light to Silence,” says Jordan. “In fact, the recording ends with one of the most arresting silences in the choral repertoire, the end of Arvo Pärt’s, Prayer after Kanon; that silence is after the last “Amen” chord.”
Other works on the recording are Eric Whitacre’s Lux Aurumque, James Whitbourn’s Pater Noster, Brian Schmidt’s Lead Me On, and "Ubi caritas" from Quatre and Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens by Maurice Duruflé, as well as works by Mendelssohn, Jackson Hill, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Albert Becker and Gail B. Poch. The recording of Dan Forrest’s Entreat Me Not to Leave You is dedicated to the memory of Westminster Professor Lindsey Christiansen, who died last year. “I hope that not only our love for her, but the light she gave us all is refracted in what you can hear on this disc,” says Jordan.
One of Westminster Choir College’s select ensembles, Westminster Williamson Voices has been lauded by reviewers and audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Gramophone magazine has praised the ensemble’s “intimate and forceful choral artistry” with a tone that is “controlled and silken in sustained phrases as they are vibrantly sonorous in extroverted material.” American Record Guide praised the ensemble as “without peer.” Nominated for a 2013 Grammy® award for its recording of James Whitbourn’s Annelies, Westminster Williamson Voices is in residence each summer at Westminster’s Choral Institute at Oxford.
James Jordan has been praised throughout the musical world as one of America’s pre-eminent conductors, music psychologists, writers and pedagogical innovators in choral music. His more than 40 books explore both the philosophical and spiritual basis of musicianship, as well as aspects of choral rehearsal teaching and learning. His book Evoking Sound was praised by the Choral Journal as a “must read.” Professor of Choral Conducting at the Westminster, Dr. Jordan is also director of the Westminster Conducting Institute and co-director of Westminster’s Choral Institute at Oxford. A comprehensive listing of his publications and recordings can be found at www.giamusic.com/jordan.