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New Disc: The Brabant Ensemble – Manchicourt

The Brabant Ensemble have released its third CD, featuring works by Pierre de Manchicourt (c.1510-1564).

The CD has already attracted the following review:

From the ecstatic opening bars of the Regina caeli, which begins the recital, to the more austere grandeur of Manchicourt’s only setting of the Magnificat, with which it closes, there is not a less than thrilling moment on the whole disc. Non-experts will scarcely be aware of the hyper-refined contrapuntal techniques, daring use of dissonance and cross-relations, interspersed with passages of telling homophony; they will simply be swept along by the sheer aural brilliance of Manchicourt’s polyphony.

With only two previous recordings to its name, The Brabant Ensemble has already established itself as perhaps England’s most accomplished interpreter of Renaissance sacred music. Its intelligent phrasing, purity of vocal production and well-judged use of pause and inflexion are simply astonishing. Its vivid presentation of Manchicourt s shimmering, flamboyant polyphony is as moving as it is intellectually stimulating. (International Record Review, April 2007)

See The Brabant Ensemble Site

New Christ Church Choir Video

This is my first experiment using a Sony HDR-HC7E High Definition Camcorder, with footage edited in Sony Vegas 7.

Obviously, shooting HD and then compressing to “youtube” quality is a bit of a pointless exercise, but it does look fantastic in native HD (and at 500MB it’s a mere 100 times the size).

Here’s the youtube version:

The footage is literally the first two minutes from a rehearsal for the Bach St John Passion – I’m singing in it, so all the panning across from left to right is done digitally.

Howard Goodall’s ‘How Music Works’ broadcast dates announced

Channel 4:

  • Melody – Sat 18th November 20:25 *
  • Rhythm – Sat 25th November 20:25 *
  • Harmony – Sat 2nd December 20:25 *
  • Bass – Sat 9th December 20:25 *

* Times may vary

I *think* I’m in the 3rd one… :)


A slighty new implementation of podcasting/mp3 delivery here. Signing up is quite easy and free, and once you’re in, you select the MP3s you’re interested in, and then add them to your “Mediabox”.

This gives you a list of tunes which can then be downloaded quite simply via iTunes, like a podcast, or downloaded direct.

Worth a look if only for some original live classical material, which is of a pretty high standard.

The only downside is the adverts which are put in a little too often. No different to radio then….

Link here

Cinquecento has been relaunched. This site for “Cinquecento”, an austrian early music group is now bi-lingual. Some sections still under construction, so check regularly! Cinquecento are about to launch their first major release on Hyperion.

Oxford Lieder Festival

The Oxford Lieder Festival has now been running about four years. This years line up includes Dame Felicity Lott / Maciej Pikulski, James Gilchrist / Julius Drake and many others. Worth looking out for!

See all forthcoming events