GRAYSTON IVES (b.1948): Requiem.
Catalogue Number: 08X056
Description: A distinguished addition to the canon of concert requiems, from a composer with immense experience in the world of choral music. A chorister in boyhood, Ives received encouragement from Britten and tuition from Richard Rodney Bennett; he took to composing early and has appeared with, and has been performed by, numerous choirs in the UK, prior to his two decades as director of music at Magdalen College, Oxford. Originally intended for liturgical use (a version for reduced forces is available for that purpose), the Requiem is rooted firmly in the Anglican choral tradition, and is immediately accessible and deeply affecting. Romantic sturm und drang are avoided; the Dies Irae sequence is omitted (though the terrified entreaties of the Libera me lend a dramatic climax to the work’s closing stages, the hammered syllables of the words "Dies irae, Dies illa" an obvious tribute to Britten's War Requiem). Otherwise, the work emphasizes mourning, praise, and reconciliation, redemption and rest, in gorgeous tonal harmony, rich orchestration, and expertly applied choral textures (with tenor solo in the important Offertorium, a pivotal early movement, the longest section of the piece). Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge, Britten Sinfonia; Richard Pinel.