At this point, I should perhaps “disclose” that I’m a friend of SMAM’s music director, Andrew McAnerney. I met him when I was living in London, about a dozen years ago, in a student residence where we were both living, with the peculiar name of Goodenough College. We’ve stayed in touch over the years. And after Monday’s concert, we went for a drink at a local pub.
The next day, a little searching on YouTube and Soundcloud unearthed a number of works by these two composers – and I was well rewarded by what I found. Here are a couple of pieces that I think are especially good.
There’s a lot going on in Dove’s deceptively facile Seek Him That Maketh the Seven Stars. I like the discreet but brightly sparkling organ part, the expansiveness of the long choral phrases, and the imploring repetition of the word “seek.” Sudden changes in tempo, tonality and Affekt keep things moving along quite nicely.
And I find many of the same things to admire in Martin’s Ecce Concipies. He cleverly makes the word “concipies” into a rhythmically active ostinato, giving the piece a lively, layered texture. And, like Dove, Martin’s tonal inclinations are rich, varied and fascinating.
Both of the YouTube videos below feature absolutely fabulous performances by excellent English choirs. Have a listen!
© Colin Eatock 2018