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Ex Cathedra

 Ex Cathedra

Mixed Choral Chorus from England.

Ex Cathedra is a British choir and early music ensemble based in Birmingham in the West Midlands, England. It performs choral music spanning the 15th to 21st centuries, and regularly commissions new works.

Ex Cathedra was founded in Birmingham in 1969 by Jeffrey Skidmore, who is its artistic director and conductor. Originally conceived as a chamber choir, it now comprises a full choir of about 20 to 40 singers, the Ex Cathedra Consort made up of ten young professional singers who feature regularly as soloists, and a Baroque ensemble/orchestra.

Each year, the choir presents a season of eight diverse programmes in a variety of venues in and around Birmingham and London. It has also participated in concert series and festivals across the UK and in Europe, including the BBC Proms, Brighton Early Music Festival, Kilkenny Festival, Lichfield Festival, Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, Spitalfields Festival, Three Choirs Festival and York Early Music Festival.(1) In 2008 it was invited to the Newbury Spring Festival, St. David's Cathedral Festival, Chelsea Festival and Chichester Festivities.(2)(3) The choir has also appeared at festivals in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy and Spain. The ensemble collaborates regularly with other Birmingham-based arts organizations, including Birmingham Royal Ballet and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. It became an Associate Artist at the Birmingham Town Hall in 2007.

In 2009 Ex Cathedra will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a programme, XL Anniversary, that included a performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah on 18 October 2008, and will feature Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius in November 2009 and commissions from James MacMillan and Fyfe Hutchins. The choir also plans to make recordings of John Joubert's oratorio Wings of Faith, and pieces from its annual Christmas Music by Candlelight concerts.


Displaying 1-3 of 3 items.

Ex Cathedra : Brazilian Adventure : 1 CD :  : 034571281148 : HYP68114.2

Ex Cathedra : Brazilian Adventure

Review: This wonderful recording from Ex Cathedra and Jeffrey Skidmore casts a dazzling light on composers whose names are as obscure as their music is revelatory. Discover Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia's Missa pastoril para a noite de natal, Andre da Silva Gomes's Missa a 8 vozes e instrumentos and more as you travel back in time to an unfettered South America.

Songlist: Matais de incendios, Missa Pastoril para a noite de Natal, Padre nosso, Ave Maria, Gloria, Ascendit Deus, Missa a 8, Beata virgo, Licoes de solfejo, Oh! Pulchra es, Missa a 8 vozes

22283 | 1 CD | $21.95

Ex Cathedra : Charpentier - Mass for four choirs : 1 CD : Jeffrey Skidmore : Marc-Antoine Charpentier : 034571174358 : CDA67435

Ex Cathedra : Charpentier - Mass for four choirs

Review: A contemporary of Lully and Lalande, Charpentier was something of an outsider to the French court of Louis XIV, something which helps to explain his comparative obscurity since his death in 1704. A period of study in Rome doubtless gave Charpentier exposure to the polychoral style long-established from the time of Gabrieli, and this spirited new recording from Ex Cathedra presents the triple-choir Salve regina alongside the opulent Mass - for four separate choirs. The possibilities opened up by such a wealth of musicians engender music which seems as close to the proverbial 'choir of the angels of heaven' as could be desired. The disc also includes Salut de la veille des 'O', a setting of the seven antiphons for Christmas imploring God to come and save the earth, and the dramatic mini-oratorio La reniement de St Pierre, telling of Peter's frantic denials of Christ before the inevitable crowing of the cock. Performances by the soloists, choir and orchestra of Ex Cathedra perfectly capture the lavish atmosphere of the period, fully living up to the enviable reputation the group's previous recordings have earned.

Songlist: Salve Regina A Trios Choeurs, Kyrie, Gloria, Chant Assumpta Est Maria, Credo, Chant Ave Maris Stella, Sanctus And Benedictus, Agnus Dei, Domine, Salvum Fac Regem, Salut De La Veille Des 'O': O Salutaris Hostia, O Sapientia, O Adonai, O Radix Jesse, O Clavis David, Oriens, O Rex Gentium, O Emmanuel, Le Reniement De St Pierre

6183c | 1 CD | $16.95

Ex Cathedra : Fire Burning in Snow : SACD : Jeffrey Skidmore : Juan de Araujo : 034571576008 : SACDA 67600

Ex Cathedra : Fire Burning in Snow

Review: Fire Burning in Snow, the third volume in Ex Cathedra's series of Baroque music from Latin America, is strong testimony to the vitality of the musical scene in South America in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The bulk of this album is devoted to the sacred and secular choral music of Juan de Araujo (1648-1712), who was born in Spain, but whose family moved to South America when he was a child. He lived in Peru and Panama, but spent most of his adult life in La Plata, Bolivia, where he was the organist at the cathedral. The music recorded here is notable for its almost Monteverdian range of styles and expressiveness. This selection of Araujo's strongly rhythmic work includes a rigorously polyphonic motet for triple choir; a simple, lovely lullaby for women's voices; and many stylistically diverse choral villancicos. The standout work on the CD, though, is Hanacpachap cussicuinin, a 20-verse Peruvian hymn in the Quechua language that was the first example of choral polyphony published in the Americas in 1631. It's broken into four sections of five verses each, and performed with ensembles of differing sizes and varying accompaniments. The anonymous hymn has a startling grandeur, and even with 20 verses it's so compelling that it never wears out its welcome. Ex Cathedra Consort and Baroque Ensemble sing and play with high spirits and polish. Conductor Jeffrey Skidmore is to be commended for bringing this repertoire, much of which has never been recorded, to light, and for delivering such lively realizations and energetic and full-bodied performances. This SACD should be of strong interest to anyone who loves Renaissance and Baroque polyphony and fans of choral music with a Latin flavor.

Songlist: Hanacpachap cussicuinin (verses 1- ), Dixit Dominus, Silencio, Dime, amor, A, del la region de luces, Hanacpachap cussicuinin (verses 6- 10), A, del cielo, Fuego de amor, En el muy gran Padre Ignacio, Hanacpachap cussicuinin (verses 11- 15), Salga el torillo hosquillo, Dios de amor, A, del tiempo, Hanacpachap cussicuinin (verses 16- 20)

6162c | SACD | $19.95 Latin American Choral

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