Premiere recording of a cappella choral works by much-loved conductor of BBC Northern Singers Stephen Wilkinson.
Dover Beach presents five short a cappella works interspersed with five arrangements of folk-songs, one each from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man.
Stephen Wilkinson was conductor of the BBC Northern Singers until well into the 1980s (when they became the Britten Singers). They sang widely around Europe, in Australia, Thailand and Hong Kong and made a number of records, some selected as Critics’ Choice in Gramophone, giving many works their first performances for composers such as Walton and Holst. He hs always been active in amateur music-making, helo=ping many gifted players to launch their careers and in 1992, was awarded the MBE for his services to choral music.
Stephen retired at 90 but continues to direct the annual Chorale course at Chester. Although his compositional output is not large, it includes works premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival and several works that receive air-time on Radio 3. The original choral works, including those on this album, remain unpublished and are recorded here for the first time.
"Seventeen short choral pieces by English composer Stephen Wilkinson, expertly performed by a choir of 21 singers, under the composer’s direction. Freshly melodic music, with imaginatively contoured part-writing." ****
Terry Blain - Gramophone magazine - June 2012