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NI 6264
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NI 6264

Richard Blackford - Voices of Exile

The Classical Shop
release date: April 2014

Originally recorded in 2005


Philharmonia Orchestra

David Hill

Gerald Finley


Catherine Wyn-Rogers


Gregory Kunde


Bach Choir

New London Children's Choir


Abbey Road Studios, London

20-22 April 2005


Chris Craker


James Collins

Record Label


Vocal & Song


Total Time - 60:36
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Voices of Exile

1 Prelude 4:40
2 Bengal (Chorus with tape) 1:30
  (Tenor solo & Chorus)  
  Part I Memories of Home  
3 Tibet (Baritone solo) 3:22
4 Zaire (Chorus) 3:39
  Part II Journeys  
5 Somalia (Tenor solo with tape) 2:48
6 Tibet (Baritone solo) 2:22
7 Austria - Passacaglia (Chorus and Children's Chorus) 3:38
8 Somalia - Fugue (Chorus) 2:33
  Part III Prison  
9 Chile (Mezzo-soprano solo) 4:25
10 Nigeria (Tenor and Baritone soli) 6:36
11 Turkey (Chorus) 2:39
  Part IV Exile  
12 Bosnia (Baritone solo) 3:26
13 Macedonia (Chorus with tape) 3:29
14 Algeria (Mezzo-soprano solo) 3:58
  Part V Freedom  
15 Greece (Chorus) 1:41
16 Kurdistan (Mezzo-soprano and Tenor soli) 2:54
17 Angola (Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Baritone Soli, Chorus and Children's Chorus) 4:38
18 Epilogue (Tenor solo) 2:18
  TT 60:36      
 Catherine Wyn-Rogers Mezzo-soprano
 Gregory Kunde Tenor
 Gerald Finley Baritone
 David Hill

In 1992 I recorded a 15-year-old girl refugee in the Kalighat slum area of Calcutta. Her village had been destroyed by drought and she, like hundreds of thousands, lived on Calcutta’s streets. When her family left her village they had to walk for days and consequently could take none of their few possessions. All she could bring with her, she said, were her songs. For Kamla the songs were her link with her village, her past and her culture – they represented a part of her dignity. Although at the time I did not know it, I felt that one day I would write a work that would incorporate Kamla’s beautiful song and the stories of others like her.

Thirteen years later the political debate on refugees and asylum seekers often seems to overlook the fact that these people are individuals, not statistics or political footballs. Voices of Exile makes no overt political point; it tries rather to give voice to a wide-ranging group of writers who have suffered exile, prison, sometimes torture, and who can give an insight into the shared experience of the refugee. It is an uncomfortable subject, yet one which, after being introduced to the work of the Medical Foundation and Prisoners of Conscience in 2000, I decided to make the theme of Voices of Exile.

 "Starry forces combine to give a concentrated performance of Blackford’s brooding meditation on the refugee experience, setting texts in 13 languages."  ****

Terry Blain - BBC Music magazine (Brief Notes Section) - June 2014

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