|The Hilliard Ensemble : discography|
Point 462 511-2
Playing time: 61'13
Recorded: November 1997, Air Studio, Lyndhurst Hall, London
Gavin Bryars: Cadman Requiem
Hilliard Ensemble / Fretwork
This splendid requiem was written in memory of the composer's friend Bill Cadman, who was killed in the Lockerbie aircrash in December 1988. Scored for male alto voice, two tenors and baritone, sung magnificently here by members of the well-known Hilliard Ensemble, and accompanied by Renaissance strings (two treble viols, two tenor viols, bass viol, great bass viol), played here by the viol consort Fretwork. The opening section is Requiem, which moves in slow tones, with dissonances created by unresolved non-harmonic tones and other tonal devices. The ancient-sounding open string writing underlines the purity of tone and highlights the sudden rich harmonies of the voices. The second section, Caedmon Paraphrase (Bede), is a setting of verses by the first recorded English poet and is sung in Latin by tenor John Potter. Told by a stranger that he should not be reluctant to sing for his friends, he asked what he should sing and was told to sing of the creation of all things. A gentle, nervous pulse underscores this section ("Praise we now the maker of Heaven's fabric ... "). The third section is the Agnus Dei, set in rich harmonies and high energy that express praise and also proceed in a pleading tone. There are also interludes in the pure, quiet style of the first section. Caedmon's Creation Hymn, for solo baritone (Gordon Jones), is sung in seventh-century Northumbrian over undulating strings. The last section is In Paradisum ("there may the angels receive thee and with Lazarus, once a beggar, may thou have eternal rest"). This section moves in mysterious and exquisite chords. This is a mature and fully realized work with deep emotion and should become a classic.