James Francis Brown: The Heavens and the Heart (CD)

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Benjamin Nabarro, Rachel Roberts, Gemma Rosefield, Catriona Scott, The Choir of Royal Holloway, Orchestra Nova, George Vass

Orchestra Nova under respected conductor George Vass return to Resonus with a recording of major works for soloists, choir and orchestra by contemporary British composer James Francis Brown. In an album of world premiere recordings, this enterprising ensemble is joined by Benjamin Nabarro , Rachel Roberts and Gemma Rosefield for the exquisite Trio Concertante, while Catriona Scott and The Choir of Royal Holloway vividly bring to life Brown's Clarinet Concerto (Lost Lanes – Shallow Groves) and his inspired trio of psalm settings The Heavens and the Heart. James Francis Brown studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He has made significant contributions to chamber music, and has arranged several well-known pieces for the Royal Opera House and the City of London Festival. He has held multiple fellowships and composer-in-residence titles, including at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove, and Ulverston Festival.

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BBC Music Magazine

4 Stars

"This is likeable stuff. Brown’s largely accessible style is most inventive in the depictions of countryside scenes from his childhood in the Clarinet Concerto, the central work here."

Gramophone Magazine

"The music of James Francis Brown (b.1969) is one of Britain’s well-kept secrets…Orchestra Nova’s performances are thoroughly committed and wining, proving themselves real partners to the four excellent soloists and splendid Royal Holloway Choir, all playing with a relish matched on the podium by Vass. The sound is terrific, too. A must-buy disc!"

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1. Trio Concertante
for violin, viola. cello and string orchestra

Clarinet Concerto
(Lost Lanes – Shadow Groves)
for clarinet and string orchestra
2. Broad Sky – Interlude I
3. Dark Lane – Interlude II
4. Around the Church – Interlude III
5. The Far Grove

The Heavens and the Heart
Three Psalms for chorus and small orchestra
6. Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei (Psalm 19)
7. Si vere utique justitiam loquimini (Psalm 58)
8. Bonum est confiteri Domino (Psalm 92)