Finnissy: Pious Anthems & Voluntaries

Finnissy: Pious Anthems & Voluntaries cover
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Finnissy: Pious Anthems & Voluntaries
Choir of St John's College Cambridge, Andrew Nethsingha

[ Signum / 2 CD ]

Release Date: Friday 14 August 2020

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Michael Finnissy was born in Tulse Hill in 1946. He studied at the Royal College of Music with Bernard Stevens and Humphrey Seale, and in Italy with Roman Vlad. Much of his early work was first performed in France and the Netherlands, while he was working as a freelance repetiteur and pianist for dance-classes. He taught at the Royal Academy of Music, at the universities of Sussex and Southampton, and at the Katholiek Universiteit in Leuven. He has also given summer courses at Dartington, and been resident artist at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne (Australia). He has been featured composer at the Huddersfield Festival several times, at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and many other places across the world, most recently at SICPP in Boston USA.

Here, The Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge perform Finnissy's deep, rich and fulfilling music in what has been a four year process. It has taken Conductor and Director Andrew Nethsingha, four years to gradually learn the pieces on this recording. He says it "has been a deeply enriching experience which I want others to share".

GRAMOPHONE Award Nomination 2021 - Contemporary

"It's great, in the first place, for an institution of this type to have approached a composer whose demands were always likely to challenge it. The Choir of St John's College rise to those challenges gamely, their advocacy naturally essential to the success of the project. And it is a success. The Taverner parody and its organ double seem to me especially fine, both as compositions and performances." Editor's Choice Gramophone September 2020

"Pious Anthems and Voluntaries aspires, in Finnissy's words, 'to be a work of guts and brains'. It embodies both in spades…Nethsingha and his forces do it proud. Indeed one of their greatest achievements is to make the music sound as lived-in as more customary chapel fare such as Byrd or Howells. The warmth of sound never obscures the clarity of Finnissy's contrapuntal thinking" BBC Music


1. Dum transisset Sabbatum
2. Dum transisset Sabbatum - double
3. Videte miraculum
4. Videte miraculum - double

1. Commentary on 'Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern'

Cantata: 'Herr Christ, der einge Gottesohn'
2. I. 'Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn'
3. II. 'Ach führe mich, o Gott'
4. III. 'Ach, ziehe die Seele'
5. IV. 'O Wunderkraft der Liebe'
6. V. 'Bald zur Rechten'
7. VI. 'Für uns un Mensch geboren'

8. Commentary on BWV 562
9. Plebs angelica
10. Plebs angelica - alternativo

Pious Anthems & Voluntaries: developing the cycle