World Premiere Recordings.
A selection of new works by the young British composer Tarik O'Regan, here given their première recordings.Written since his move to New York, these compositions forge a link between the spheres of 'the ecstasies above' and the harsh realities of life on earth. The two short Emily Dickinson settings that open and close this programme were commissioned by Conspirare and Craig Hella Johnson for this recording. The Ecstasies Above (2006) takes for its title a phrase found in the lyric poem, Israfel, by Edgar Allan Poe. Musically the score makes much use of textural variation between the three groups (full chorus, solo octet and string quartet). Threshold of Night (Kathleen Raine) was commissioned by St. John's College, Cambridge and was premièred under the direction of David Hill in the College chapel on November 25, 2006.The piece went on to win a 2007 British Composer Award. Tal vez tenemos tiempo (Maybe we have time) was also commissioned specifically for this recording by Conspirare. It sets a poem of the same name by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Written in 1999, Care Charminge Sleepe is scored for double choir, and is a faithful reproduction of John Fletcher's original 17th-century text, with anachronistic spelling, as set in the musical score of Valentinian III by Robert Johnson.Triptych represents the concatenation of two commissions. Threnody was commissioned with funds from the RVW Trust for the inaugural concert of the Choir of London conducted by Jeremy Summerly in Christ Church, Spitalfields on December 18, 2004; As We Remember Them and From Heaven Distilled a Clemency, were premièred as And There Was a Great Calm at Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral on November 13, 2005. Two-time British Composer Award winner Tarik O'Regan has been hailed as "a brilliant new voice" Houston Chronicle whose music 'has a gritty freshness unlike that of anyone else',The Independent. He divides his time between New York City and Trinity College, Cambridge, and is currently working on an operatic version of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, in collaboration with the artist Tom Phillips, which is in development with OperaGenesis at the Royal Opera House. Conspirare celebrated its 15th performance season in 2007-08 under the leadership of founder and Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson. Conspirare is comprised of three performing ensembles: a professional chamber choir, a symphonic choir of both professional and volunteer singers and the Conspirare Children's Choir, a training programme for ages 9-16. Conspirare was the only choir from the United States invited to perform at the 8th World Symposium on Choral Music in Copenhagen in July 2008.