Gonville and Caius Choir has released a new CD after first performing the music in the spring at the Spitalfields music festival. The CD, ‘In Praise of St Columba’ (DCD 34137) has received brilliant reviews in the national press, and has been reviewed by The Observer and the Financial Times.
Who can say whether these interpretations of chants and hymns from the early Celtic church are authentic, but they have been done with intelligence, musicality and enthusiasm. Columba is best known today for helping spread Christianity from Ireland to Scotland, and for founding a monastery at Iona. The music here, associated with this early Irish saint but drawn variously from the seventh, 10th and 14th centuries, has been prepared by Barnaby Brown in collaboration with Geoffrey Webber and his formidable choir. They give a bracing vigour and unusual freedom to this ancient music. Detailed programme notes provide an essential guide, and are worth reading as you listen. Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 6th July.
‘What all this adds up to is a “new” choral repertoire – a sound world liberated from the drab modern conception of plainsong'. Andrew Clark, The Financial Times, 1st August.
The Choir’s recordings have often specialised in the re-discovery of forgotten choral repertories and have received high acclaim. CDs are available here.
Caius Choir travels extensively abroad and performs at a range of venues including major concert halls, universities, churches and cathedrals. The choir also takes part in international choral music festivals and is currently on a tour of Brazil.
The Choir is made up of student members of the College; these students have been made a choral award after an academic interview to the University. If you are interested in finding out more about choral awards at the College more information can be found on the Choir pages of the website.