HOLST, IMOGEN Choral Works. Tanya Houghton, The Dmitri Ensemble, Choir of Clare College, Cambridge / Graham Ross. Harmonia Mundi

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Holst Imogen Choral Works Tanya Cambridge Graham Ross Harmonia Mundi

IMOGEN HOLST

Choral Works

Mass in A minor (1927);

A Hymne to Christ (1940); 3 Psalms (1943);

Welcome Joy & Welcome Sorrow* (1950).

BRITTEN, orch. HOLST: Rejoice in the Lamb (1952)

Choir of Clare College, Cambridge / Graham Ross

The Dmitri Ensemble

Tanya Houghton [harp]

Imogen Holst (1907-1984), the daughter of Gustav Holst, has long deserved recognition for her significant body of compositions, written throughout her life. After working as Benjamin Britten’s amanuensis (1952-1964), she returned to her own composing.

Graham Ross conducts the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and the instrumentalists of The Dmitri Ensemble in these world première recordings of a selection of Holst’s choral works ranging from 1927 to 1972, three of which have not been heard since their first performance, together with the first recording of her imaginative and skillful orchestration of Benjamin Britten’s Festival Cantata 'Rejoice in the Lamb', made at Britten’s own request.

Since the founding of a mixed voice choir in 1971, the Choir of Clare College has gained an international reputation as one of the leading university choral groups in the world. In 2000 it became the first Oxbridge mixed voice choir to perform at the BBC Proms, singing Bach’s 'St John Passion'. The choir has collaborated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in performances of Handel’s 'Jephtha' under the direction of René Jacobs, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Elgar’s 'The Dream of Gerontius' under Edward Gardner, and with the Israel Camerata in Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium. Other collaborations have included the Academy of Ancient Music, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and the Schubert Ensemble.

In addition to live performances, the choir has produced an impressive catalogue of recordings. Recent releases include Sacred Choral Music, a recording of music by Vaughan Williams, which was hailed as ‘exceptional’ by BBC Music Magazine and acclaimed for its ‘sweeping energy and rich detail’ by Classic FM.

Since its founding in 2004, The Dmitri Ensemble has championed many new and lesser-familiar works both in concert performance and with an increasingly diverse discography. Based around the central core of a string ensemble, the Ensemble has made acclaimed recordings of works by James MacMillan (5-star reviews from Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine, both Editor’s Choice), Giles Swayne (double 5-star review from BBC Music Magazine) and Judith Bingham, and a recording of previously unrecorded works by Vaughan Williams in collaboration with the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge. This recording of works by Imogen Holst marks the Ensemble’s first recording on the harmonia mundi label.

Harmonia Mundi HMU907576

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