The Exon Singers, Richard Wilberforce - Before The Ending Of The Day

Published Sunday 9th April 2017
The Exon Singers, Richard Wilberforce - Before The Ending Of The Day
The Exon Singers, Richard Wilberforce - Before The Ending Of The Day

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Rubicon RCD1004

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Over the years the Exon Singers have received considerable recognition for their commitment to commissioning and recording new works from eminent composers. For their 50th anniversary CD on new label Rubicon Classics, they have selected some of their favourites in the form of an extended service but without spoken word. Most of the music was written for the choir's annual broadcast of Choral Evening Prayer from Buckfast Abbey. Since 1997 Composers-in-Residence have been invited to their summer festival in Tavistock, on the edge of Dartmoor, and their works are represented here in what is an interesting cross section of contemporary composers working in choral music, including (in alphabetical order) David Bednall, David Briggs, Francis Jackson, Gabriel Jackson, Howard Skempton and others. Richard Wilberforce has been Conductor and Artistic Director since 2012, succeeding Matthew Owens, and here writes his first works for the Exons, a set of opening responses and a new Festival Hymn. The singing is of the highest standard throughout with appropriate accompaniment on the organ by Jonathan Vaughn. The recording was made at St Peter's in Plymouth in 2016, during the 50th Exon Singers Festival. Choral singers will appreciate this release as a means of hearing some of what is available and listeners should enjoy some very good singing of choral music that has not yet reached the wide audience it deserves.

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