London Choral Sinfonia's second recording with Orchid Classics is out now.
A stunning album of world-premiere recordings showcasing the choral music of British composer Richard Pantcheff, in mesmerising performances by the London Choral Sinfonia directed by Michael Waldron, with pianist Matthew Fletcher and organist Jeremy Cole. The music of Richard Pantcheff, who was mentored by Britten in the last year of that composer's life, has a broad appeal, encompassing the intensity of his Four Poems of Stephen Crane, the intimacy of Turn again unto thy rest, the breadth of his St. Paul's Service, and the melodic brilliance of Spirit of Mercy and Veni Sancte Spiritus. Alongside many of his sacred works we hear the secular King Henry VIII's Apologia, a work of electrifying virtuosity. As conductor Michael Waldron puts it, 'Pantcheff's music is steeped in the choral tradition but never slips into pastiche: I find it original, inspired and at all times profound. There is music on the album to suit all tastes, and I hope people hearing Richard's music for the first time will develop the same love for it as I have.'
London Choral Sinfonia's first recording with Orchid Classics was released in November 2019 and debuted at #1 on the Amazon Classical Chart, and #5 on the UK Chart.
The album was received with high critical acclaim, and was selected by BBC Music Magazine, The Guardian and The Daily Mail as a top pick for Christmas albums. It was also Naxos Denmark's 'Record of the Month'.
'A substantial Christmas banquet from Michael Waldron and a rich-toned LCS, bringing together carols both traditional and modern. Warming.'
– The best new Christmas classical music releases
'...try O Holy Night – lustily sung by the London Choral Sinfonia, directed by Michael Waldron (Orchid Classics): with less obvious choices but favourites too, several in the much loved David Willcocks arrangements.'
– From cantatas to carols: the best classical Christmas albums of 2019
'Everything's appealingly sincere and direct, Waldron and his rich-toned London Choral Sinfonia eschewing the gimmicky and the glib ... All handsomely sung: there's not a dud track on this album.'
– Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas CDs 1
'If it is carols that you want, then I cannot recommend this new disc enough ... all lustily sung by the young professionals of the London Choral Sinfonia, which means that the lovely descants are all thrillingly in place.'
– Christmas CD Round-Up
'This generous programme of mainly traditional hymns and carols is greatly distinguished by the choice of settings for traditional texts and selection of arrangements for familiar melodies. ... [It] explores not only the high musical value of many short, seasonal pieces but creates an atmosphere of mystery, awe and intense reflection.'
'For anyone looking for an ‘all-rounder’ Christmas album that combines festive crowd-pleasers alongside more adventurous off-piste choral works, O Holy Night would be absolutely ideal.'
– Simon Cummings, 5:4
'Those who want their carols straight would be better off with O Holy Night (Orchid Classics), with the London Choral Sinfonia under Michael Waldron.'
– The Top Ten Festive Albums