CD - Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Gary Higginson was born in 1952 and although this is the first recording of any of his work he has had a busy career in music. On this debut recording we hear a varied selection of Higginson's vocal music, both sacred and secular, together with pieces for solo harp played by Danielle Perrett. Charlotte de Rothschild, the distinguished soprano, gives an inspired performance, her voice encompassing the highest notes with marvelous ease."

This splendid disc should be greeted with the greatest enthusiasm. It is a magnificent introduction to an unjustly overlooked contemporary composer.

Solos from Choral Music

"The glorious "A song of joy" triumphantly proves that a contemporary piece can sound modern and fresh"
"A song of joy" is, in many ways, the most remarkable and affecting work on the disc. Most listeners will fall in love with this piece immediately and reach for the repeat buttons on their CD players as soon as this track has finished. All the strengths of Higginson's compositional style are on display here; harmonic warmth, textural clarity and masterly deployment of musical space. The ending is most moving and this work must surely take a place in the regular repertory."
"Charlotte de Rothschild, the distinguished soprano, gives an inspired performance, her voice encompassing the highest notes with marvellous ease."
November 2012 David Jennings | musicweb-international

Solo Songs

"Britten's influence is also detectable in "How Beautiful is the rain", which is in the tradition of "A Ceremony of Carols". This striking piece has nothing to fear from a comparison with its illustrious predecessor. Britten never wrote a melody as achingly gorgeous as "Ceres' Song from The Tempest" and, in my opinion, Higginson has a lyrical gift that easily outclasses the often obsessively narrow range of Britten's thematic ideas. "Over hill, over dale" is equally attractive and would make a superb introduction to Higginson's work if it was aired on Classic FM. It is quintessentially English."
November 2012 David Jennings | musicweb-international

I have no hesitation in saying that anyone coming new to Higginson’s music should start with this Regent disc.
Selwyn choir delivers with great commitment.
the ensemble is pretty flawless and the sound these young singers make is keen, fresh and crystal-clear.
Charlotte de Rothschild [...] comes into her own in How beautiful is the rain, a soft, sensitive setting which she floats beautifully.
There is some very well crafted and appealing music on this disc and [those] who are interested in English choral music will find much to reward them here.
May 2013 John Quinn | musicweb-international

"...Topping and tailing the disc are two sets of "Seven Songs Of William Blake". Some of these words will be familiar to all who enjoy contemporary choral music: "Little lamb who made thee?" and "Tyger, tyger" for example. Higginson has his own distinctive style and although we doubt whether these new settings will displace Sir John Tavener's from the repertoire we would be happy to hear them again. In "Six Birds" the composer takes some brief, haiku-like poems by Neil Curry and sets them for harp and girls' voices. These are tantalising, impressionistic and both unusual and memorable. My personal favourites are three songs from Shakespeare: "Ceres' Song" from The Tempest, and "Fairies' Song" and "Over Hill, Over Dale" from A Midsummer Night's Dream. Here the words and music fit perfectly and the soprano Charlotte de Rothschild brings them to life. "Lead Kindly Light" with Newman's words adapted by the composer is also worth hearing and any interested choir directors reading this review while on a search for new material could do worse than investigate this. The Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge sing on this recording and under Sarah MacDonald they do it full justice. It is a privilege for this reviewer to be able to recommend a previously unheard composer to you. If your interests lie in contemporary classical music or you have a liking for William Blake then this is worth seeking out."
November 2012 Steven Whitehead| Cross Rhythms

BUY THE CD

Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Gary Higginson was born in 1952 and although this is the first recording of any of his work he has had a busy career in music. On this debut recording we hear a varied selection of Higginson's vocal music, both sacred and secular, together with pieces for solo harp played by Danielle Perrett. Charlotte de Rothschild, the distinguished soprano, gives an inspired performance, her voice encompassing the highest notes with marvelous ease."

This splendid disc should be greeted with the greatest enthusiasm. It is a magnificent introduction to an unjustly overlooked contemporary composer.

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