Sydney Chamber Choir
Paul Stanhope Conductor
This CD of music by Australian Paul Stanhope includes settings for various choral groups, for piano, organ and some percussion. Lux Aeterna – eternal light is the struggle of light and darkness, an ancient concept and has inspired music-making for centuries.
This new album from Stanhope brings this search-light into the present day, setting texts from across cultures and ages.
The collection opens with Fiant Luminaria, a powerful evocation from the percussion and choir, drawn from a larger Choral work commissioned by Sydney Philharmonia in 1999.
Based in Sydney Stanhope is a senior lecturer in composition at the Sydney Conservatorium and has been a pioneer in revitalising performances of Baroque masterpieces. At the same time the choir has been much involved with commissioning music from Australian composers – with the Choir having produced some 20 world premieres in the past ten years.
Other contributions included on the CD are an Agnus Dei, Ubi Caritas, Lament to St Cecilia, other Lamentations and ending with Cherubic Hymn which was premiered in Sydney in 2012 by the Choir of St James.
Overall there are some wonderfully expressive moments floating about in the works which are enhanced by ravishing textures and showing a quality worthy of the highest accolade.
- Emyr Evans