The multi-award winning Gabrieli Consort sings a sequence of English choral music in the expansive acoustic of the medieval Valère Basilica in Sion, Switzerland.

Valère Basilica, Sion

Valère Basilica, Sion Photo: CC by 2.5

"This moving sequence explores that vast 20th century secular English choral repertoire which goes under the generic title ‘part-songs’. Buried amongst vast quantities of slightly twee pastoralism – the much-derided ‘cow-pat’ school – are to be found many settings of glorious poetry, forming a corpus of sublime madrigals at least as fine as their famous renaissance forebears. At the heart of these is the complex relationship between man and nature, the bitter-sweetness of a radiant and beautiful dawn creating the same unbearable sadness of a ravishing song, both with intimations of sublimity and mortality."  (Paul McCreesh)

STANFORD: The blue bird Op 119/3; ELGAR: There is sweet music; VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Silence and Music; HOWELLS: The Summer is coming; GRAINGER: Brigg Fair; VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Bushes and Briars; VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: The Winter is Gone; VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: The Turtle Dove; MACMILLAN: The Gallant Weaver; DOVE: Who killed Cock Robin?; BRITTEN: The Evening Primrose; ELGAR: Owls (An epitaph) Op 53 No 4; VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Rest; TRAD arr Grainger: O Danny Boy 

Gabrieli Consort directed by Paul McCreesh 

Recorded in Valère Basilica, Sion (Swiss Radio & TV/EBU)