RONALD CORP (b.1951): And all the Trumpets Sounded for Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra (Mark Stone [baritone]), MICHAEL HURD (1928-2006): The Shepherd's Calendar - Choral Symphony for Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra (Roderick Williams [baritone]).
Catalogue Number: 01N070
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: CDLX 7280
Description: Corp's canata is an anti-war work which sets several English poets who died in World War I with a nine-minute setting of Whitman's "Vigil strange" at its center. This poetry is studded throughout the Dies irae and Corp makes great use throughout of a pair of trumpets as a call to war and as a summons for the dead. The composer himself suggests as comparanda Vaughan Williams' Dona nobis pacem and Britten's War Requiem and this is certainly the gravest, most compelling and dramatic work I've heard from him, even if 1989 wasn't an annus horribilis of any sort. Lovers of that English genre known as the "choral symphony" will find a gorgeous example of it in Hurd's 1975 setting of lines from the huge 1827 lyric poem of the same name by John Clare. The pastoral charm of the music fits the texts, selected to cover the four seasons rather than the complete twelve months of the poem, like a glove and you think you might be listening to something composed fifty years earlier. No texts. The London Chorus, New London Children's Choir, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Ronald Corp.