A Simple Symphony (2) Benjamin Britten Download 'A Simple Symphony (2)' on iTunes
Angels and archangels are the inspiration behind this melodic album. John Suchet's Album of the Week, 24 February 2014.
Patrick Hawes' new release is an imaginative and intriguing approach to the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. In it, the composer explores the idea of angels as guardians and guides, specifically the Angel of Mons, an apparition that supposedly took place in front of soldiers on 23 August 1914.
This album came in at No.15 in Classic FM's Album of the Year 2014. See the full chart here >
Hawes' melodic gift for vocal writing - recognisable from the well-loved Quanta Qualia - is to the fore in the individual choral pieces, beautifully performed by the Choir of New College, Oxford, under Edward Higginbottom. In the Archangel Suite, which depicts Michael, Raphael, Gabriel and Uriel, the choir is joined by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The standout star here though is the magnificent soprano Grace Davidson who sings with gorgeous purity and warmth and hits some extraordinarily ethereal high notes.