CHRISTOPHER WOOD (b.1945): Requiem.
Catalogue Number: 06S075
Label: Orchid Classics
Description: This hour-long, large-scale, beautiful and consoling setting of the complete Requiem Mass was not written by a composer. We'd better explain that. Wood has had a distinguished career as an oncological surgeon, and subsequently in the field of pharmacological research. When he conceived the idea of writing this work, in 2002, after witnessing the outpouring of public sentiment surrounding the funeral of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, he had never written a note of music. Music had always been an important part of his life, from his mother's singing in the chorus of Welsh National Opera to his own participation in church choirs and with choral societies, so he was musically literate and had a thorough knowledge of the repertory. He composed the Requiem over a period of some eight years, latterly enlisting the aid of composer and orchestrator Jonathan Rathbone with scoring and editing. The work is solemn, uplifting and consoling rather than dramatic, though it is not without its impressive moments of grandeur. Stylistically it varies, always within a thoroughly tonal vocabulary, presenting an amalgam of the staples of the choral society repertory from Handel and Mozart via Haydn and Beethoven to Brahms and Elgar. Rebecca Bottone (soprano), Clare McCaldin (alto), Ed Lyon (tenor), Nicholas Garrett (bass), L’Inviti Sinfonia & L’Inviti Singers; Paul Brough.