St John's Voices release first album: Mathias Choral Music

Posted on: 10 January 2020

Our sister choir St John's Voices have released their debut album with Naxos. The recording is of music by Welsh composer William Mathias, in which SJV performed together with singers from the Gentlemen of St John's

The album includes two major world premiere recordings. Riddles, a setting of texts from the Exeter Book of Riddles, was written for SATB choir, piano, bells, and close-harmony sextet which is provided by the Gentlemen of St John's. Learsongs sets five poems by Edward Lear for SA chorus and piano duet, in music by turns quirky, nostalgic, tuneful, achingly sad and hugely entertaining. The album also includes a performance of Y Nefoedd sydd yn datgan gogoniant Duw, which was commissioned by the College in 1988, to mark the 400th anniversary of the translation of the Bible into Welsh by Johnian Bishop William Morgan.

The choir is directed by Graham Walker, a former chorister and choral scholar of the College Choir. Graham said of the recording: "This recording marks a really special moment for St John's Voices: it marks how far we've come in the few short years of our existence. It was such a pleasure to record (though recording is always a bit stressful!) and it's come out incredibly well - I'm enormously proud of what we've achieved together!" Read Graham's Gramophone Magazine blog on Mathias' music here.

The recording is available to listen to on Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music and Presto Classical. CDs can be purchased in Cambridge from Heffers Music.

On Monday 20th January at 18:30, the Voices will perform at a special Evensong in St John's College Chapel that will include music from the CD. The service is open to all.

Founded in 2013, St John's Voices is the College's mixed-voice choir that is open to all students at St John's, as well as volunteers from the wider City and University community. Find out more about the Voices on their website.

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