New York Polyphony, acclaimed for its ‘rich, natural sound that’s larger and more complex than the sum of its parts’ (National Public Radio), is among the best vocal ensembles of the moment. The four men – characterised by The New Yorker as singers with a sublime musicality and vocal allure – guarantee a lively and convincing performance of their wide-ranging repertoire that extends from mediaeval Gregorian chants to challenging contemporary work.
New York Polyphony has selected music composed for Passiontide through the centuries: from the Franco-Flemish composer Loyset Compère (15th century) to the Estonian Cyrillus Kreek (1889-1962) and the contemporary composer Andrew Smith (°1970).
Officium de cruce by Loyset Compère is based on a 14th century hymn that presents the episodes of the Passion in a continuously flowing musical narrative, from the betrayal of Christ to his death and burial. Kreek’s Taaveti Laul – a setting of the words ‘My God, why have you forsaken me’ – is an understated hymn. The Lamentations of Jeremiah, which New York Polyphony commissioned from Andrew Smith, is a lament that ends with an expression of trust in God’s righteousness.
L. Compère: Crux triumphans | Officium de cruce | F. de Peñalosa: Lamentations for Good Friday | C. Kreek: Taaveti Laul | A. Smith: Lamentations of Jeremiah
New York Polyphony: Geoffrey Williams, countertenor | Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenor | Christopher Dylan Herbert, baritone | Craig Phillips, bass