Wednesday, 11 July 2018

A taster of things to come - Victoria's Vidi speciosam from The Chamber Choir of London

The Chamber Choir of London - Vidi Speciosum
The Chamber Choir of London, artistic director and chief conductor Dominic Ellis-Peckham, is a new choir which launched last month, made up of 18 of London's finest young consort singers and intending to perform a wide repertoire. Plans in the pipeline include a disc of Alexander Campkin's choral music, but there is a chance to hear the choir on disc before then as they are releasing a series of singles every other month. 

Victoria's Vidi speciosam is out now, released 8 June 2018, and available from iTunes. In August the release will be Alexander Campkin's Sent from God as a taster for the new album, and then in October the 'Kyrie' from Sir James MacMillan's Missa Brevis with Kim Arnesen's Even when he is silent to come.

Vidi speciosam sets the text of the Responsory at Matins on the Feast of the Assumption (15th August), and the text itself derives from the Song of Songs, the elaborate imagery of the text being used to refer to the Virgin Mary rather than the beloved. The motet first appeared in Victoria's 1572 book of motets.

Listening to the new recording of Victoria's Vidi speciosam I was struck by the clarity of the performance. Ellis-Peckham takes quite a spacious view of the tempos, giving the piece a very architectural feel, and the singers perform with a very vibrant, focused sense of line. It is a very balanced, considered performance which brings out the clarity of Victoria's ideas. The recording itself is very present, and certainly makes me look forward to further releases.

Further information from the choir's website.

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