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Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir & Paul Spicer - South of the Line: Choral Music by John Joubert (2017)

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Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir & Paul Spicer - South of the Line: Choral Music by John Joubert (2017)

Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir & Paul Spicer - South of the Line: Choral Music by John Joubert
Classical, Choral | WEB FLAC (tracks) & d. booklet | 79:14 min | 300 MB
Label: SOMM Recordings | Tracks: 19 | Rls.date: 2017

SOMM’s celebration of John Joubert’s 90th birthday this month brings to the catalogue yet more new riches, this time no less than seven première recordings of his choral music. South of the Line (together with Autumn Rain) was recorded last June at the Birmingham Conservatoire and poignant is the fact that it was commissioned from the composer for the opening of the Adrian Boult Hall and the last music heard there for this recording, before its demolition.

Choirs are at the heart of John Joubert’s music and it is by his choral music that he seems to communicate most directly with audiences. He once commented. ‘Communication is important to me. I want to be understood, enjoyed and used’. It’s perhaps for this reason, this capacity for dramatic articulation of meaning, that his choral music holds such a certain place in the listeners’ hearts. Indeed he has composed choral music throughout his career winning, in 1952, a Novello Anthem competition with O Lorde, the Maker of Al Thing set to a poem by Henry VIII. The lullaby-like There is no Rose (1954) is another work with a firm place in the English choral repertoire, and another setting of an ancient text. Incantation, Pilgrimage Song and Three Portraits as well as Sonnet, This is the Gate of the Lord, Autumn Rain and Be Not Afeard, his most recent work a commission for Novello honouring the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, are all first recordings.

But perhaps the most powerful and extraordinary of all the works on this disc is South of the Line. Commissioned by Ex-Cathedra in 1985 it receives here a searing interpretation by Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir under their conductor, Paul Spicer. Joubert uses texts from five poems by Thomas Hardy who wrote them in response to the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War at the turn of the century. The music is an unabashed anti-war statement with a cataclysmic setting of words, consisting of equal parts grief and scathing irony, pitting the choir against a battery of percussion – even the two pianos are essentially treated as drums. The music they evoke from the South African-English John Joubert is a compelling and a powerful indictment against the inhumanity of war.

TRACKLIST
01. O Praise God in His Holiness, Op. 52
02. O Lorde, the Maker of Al Thing, Op. 7b
03. There Is No Rose, Op. 14
04. Incantation, Op. 22: I. I Saw a Staring Virgin
05. Incantation, Op. 22: II. Astrea's Holy Child!
06. Incantation, Op. 22: III. In Pity for Man's Darkening Thought
07. Pilgrimage Song, Op. 169
08. 3 Portraits, Op. 97: No. 1, To Mistress Isabel Pennell
09. 3 Portraits, Op. 97: No. 2, To Mistress Margery Wentworth
10. 3 Portraits, Op. 97: No. 3, To Mistress Margaret Hussey
11. Be Not Afeard, Op. 179
12. Sonnet, Op. 123
13. This Is the Gate of the Lord, Op. 164
14. Autumn Rain, Op. 105
15. South of the Line, Op. 109: No. 1, Embarcation
16. South of the Line, Op. 109: No. 2, A Wife in London
17. South of the Line, Op. 109: No. 3, Drummer Hodge
18. South of the Line, Op. 109: No. 4, The Man He Killed
19. South of the Line, Op. 109: No. 5, A Christmas Ghost Story

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Conclusion: CDDA 100%
Signature: 8E3FEBF2CF606689F15761467E192A1C921BDF32
FILE: 18. South of the Line, Op. 109 No. 4, The Man He Killed - Timothy Emberson.flac
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Conclusion: CDDA 100%
Signature: 7F74D252534DCC0FC2099E3356E9F9596577C1DB
FILE: 17. South of the Line, Op. 109 No. 3, Drummer Hodge - Matthew Firkins.flac
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Conclusion: CDDA 100%
Signature: F969E4EEB6235D28B351A571AAB55A90CA0547C6
FILE: 16. South of the Line, Op. 109 No. 2, A Wife in London - Chloe Salvidge.flac
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FILE: 14. Autumn Rain, Op. 105 - Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir.flac
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FILE: 13. This Is the Gate of the Lord, Op. 164 - Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir.flac
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FILE: 12. Sonnet, Op. 123 - Alexis Cooling.flac
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FILE: 11. Be Not Afeard, Op. 179 - Alexis Cooling.flac
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FILE: 10. 3 Portraits, Op. 97 No. 3, To Mistress Margaret Hussey - Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir.flac
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FILE: 09. 3 Portraits, Op. 97 No. 2, To Mistress Margery Wentworth - Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir.flac
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FILE: 08. 3 Portraits, Op. 97 No. 1, To Mistress Isabel Pennell - Chloe Salvidge.flac
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FILE: 07. Pilgrimage Song, Op. 169 - Andrew Randall.flac
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FILE: 06. Incantation, Op. 22 III. In Pity for Man's Darkening Thought - Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir.flac
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FILE: 05. Incantation, Op. 22 II. Astrea's Holy Child! - Catherine Liggins.flac
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FILE: 04. Incantation, Op. 22 I. I Saw a Staring Virgin - Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir.flac
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FILE: 03. There Is No Rose, Op. 14 - Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir.flac
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FILE: 02. O Lorde, the Maker of Al Thing, Op. 7b - Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir.flac
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FILE: 01. O Praise God in His Holiness, Op. 52 - Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir.flac
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foobar2000 1.3.7 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-10-05 13:28:51

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Alexis Cooling / Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir, Paul Spicer (1-2)
Andrew Randall / Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir, Paul Spicer (3)
Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir / Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir, Paul Spicer (4-12)
Catherine Liggins / Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir, Paul Spicer (13)
Chloe Salvidge / Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir, Paul Spicer (14-15)
Domonkos Csabay / Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir, Paul Spicer (16-17)
Matthew Firkins / Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir, Paul Spicer (18)
Timothy Emberson / Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir, Paul Spicer (19)
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR16 -1.13 dB -25.13 dB 5:02 11-Be Not Afeard, Op. 179
DR15 -1.31 dB -23.13 dB 7:14 12-Sonnet, Op. 123
DR14 -2.13 dB -23.15 dB 6:50 07-Pilgrimage Song, Op. 169
DR12 -2.04 dB -19.42 dB 1:49 01-O Praise God in His Holiness, Op. 52
DR13 -1.50 dB -20.44 dB 4:15 02-O Lorde, the Maker of Al Thing, Op. 7b
DR13 -6.90 dB -27.39 dB 2:43 03-There Is No Rose, Op. 14
DR14 -1.79 dB -22.44 dB 2:57 04-Incantation, Op. 22: I. I Saw a Staring Virgin
DR13 -1.39 dB -22.09 dB 3:06 06-Incantation, Op. 22: III. In Pity for Man's Darkening Thought
DR14 -3.85 dB -26.47 dB 3:25 09-3 Portraits, Op. 97: No. 2, To Mistress Margery Wentworth
DR13 -1.81 dB -21.01 dB 1:53 10-3 Portraits, Op. 97: No. 3, To Mistress Margaret Hussey
DR13 -1.13 dB -21.62 dB 3:09 13-This Is the Gate of the Lord, Op. 164
DR14 -3.86 dB -24.63 dB 4:46 14-Autumn Rain, Op. 105
DR12 -10.36 dB -28.08 dB 2:23 05-Incantation, Op. 22: II. Astrea's Holy Child!
DR12 -1.58 dB -21.57 dB 3:36 08-3 Portraits, Op. 97: No. 1, To Mistress Isabel Pennell
DR15 -1.89 dB -25.01 dB 5:47 16-South of the Line, Op. 109: No. 2, A Wife in London
DR15 -1.10 dB -20.75 dB 5:08 15-South of the Line, Op. 109: No. 1, Embarcation
DR15 -1.10 dB -21.99 dB 6:53 19-South of the Line, Op. 109: No. 5, A Christmas Ghost Story
DR17 -1.10 dB -25.25 dB 6:05 17-South of the Line, Op. 109: No. 3, Drummer Hodge
DR13 -12.49 dB -30.31 dB 2:22 18-South of the Line, Op. 109: No. 4, The Man He Killed
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 19
Official DR value: DR14

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 471 kbps
Codec: FLAC
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Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir & Paul Spicer - South of the Line: Choral Music by John Joubert (2017)


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