Upheld by Stillness
Upheld by Stillness—Ora/Suzi Digby (Harm Mundi 906102)
Ora is a chamber choir founded in 2014 by Suzi Digby, a UK dynamo whose Wikipedia entry says (in part) that she “…was born [in] Japan and lived in Hong Kong, Mexico and the Philippines before settling in London and Cambridge. She is an internationally renowned Choral Conductor and Music Educator. She has trail blazed the revival of singing in UK schools and the community over two and a half decades. Ms. Digby founded the influential national arts/education organization The Voices Foundation (the UK's leading primary music education charity). Ms. Digby founded and runs the following organizations: Voce Chamber Choir (one of London's finest young chamber choirs); Vocal Futures (nurturing young audiences for classical music); Singing4Success (leadership and 'Accelerated Learning' for corporates) and The London Youth Choir (a pyramid of five choirs, ages 8-22, serving all ethnic communities in London's thirty-three boroughs). February 2016 sees the public launch of her professional vocal consort, Ora (commissioning new choral works as 'reflections' of old masterworks). ORA is London-based with residencies planned in the Far East and South America.” Wow! Upheld by Stillness focuses on the music of William Byrd. Suzi Digby says: "Starting the recording with an original Renaissance reflection, Byrd’s pairing of his own music to [Philippe] de Monte’s setting of verses from Psalm 137 - one of the most remarkable exchanges in musical history - we center on his peerless Mass for Five Voices. We then asked Roxanna Panufnik, Francis Pott, Alexander L’Estrange, Owain Park and Charlotte Bray to set their own reactions to the individual movements and we are delighted with the varied responses we got - showing the universality of Byrd’s sacred music and its relevance to today’s musicians…The recording closes with possibly Byrd’s most famous work, his setting of the text of Ave verum corpus, and we asked the multi-talented musician Roderick Williams to write a setting on the same text. I am so grateful to him, and to all the composers of these wonderful new works, and hope you will be equally entertained and enlightened."
Featured Thu 6/9, Mon 6/20, Wed 6/29