‘This extraordinary project confirms the robust health and endlessly varied landscape of Britain’s new music. There is no other document anywhere that has given such a snapshot of an artistic community that, while comprised of a hundred different ways of expressing itself, is of one voice when it comes to creative energy.’
NMC Recordings commissioned The NMC Songbook to mark its twentieth anniversary in 2009. Each of nearly 100 composers, ranging from the country’s most highly regarded figures to the younger generation of emerging talents, has written a song, loosely themed on ‘Britain’ and scored for single voice or duet and a range of accompanying instruments.
The songs have been set to texts chosen by the composers, which cover a vast array of subjects, from well-known poems by Blake and Byron to a list of the Kings and Queens of England, extracts from a National Trust brochure, chants from the Leyton Orient terraces, a whisky recipe, and a colourful rant about road rage.
Recorded at King’s Place, London in the autumn of 2008, The NMC Songbook was launched as a 4-disc box set (NMC D150) on 6 April 2009 following the first public performances of the songs during a concert series at King’s Place on 1 – 4 April 2009. Curator of the collection was the Executive Producer of NMC, the composer Colin Matthews. The set is now available to download from TheClassicalShop.