Reviews

Twenty-something composer Owain Park is very much the rising star on the British choral scene, carving out a reputation as both a choral director and a composer. Choirs (and record labels) have been quick to catch on, and this is by no means the first disc on the market to feature his music, even if it is the first one to do so exclusively. A former pupil of John Rutter, who has written the disc’...
CD OF THE MONTH (Choral and Song) 'Owain Park, born in Bristol in 1993, is already well established in a double career as composer and choral conductor (notably as director of the up-and-coming Gesualdo Six). He'll have felt very much at home here: familiar, as a former organ scholar of Trinity, Cambridge, with the college's outstanding choir and its inspiring director Stephen Layton, and with...
Masterworks of a rising star sung by a masterly choir Owain Park has not only accompanied and sung in the choir of Trinity College, Cambridge under Stephen Layton, but has been able to compose for such an accomplished ensemble, along with many of Britain’s top choirs. Such opportunities have led Park to write works of extraordinary virtuosity. As his teacher, John Rutter, observes in the booklet...
As I listened to this excellent new recording of the B minor Mass I found myself reflecting on the progress that we have witnessed in recent years. When I first started to listen seriously to the choral music of Bach, some 35 years ago at least, a commercial recording of the mighty B minor Mass by a student choir would have been an unlikely proposition. Furthermore, despite the excellent work...
All’s well, everything precisely where it should be with this new Bach B minor Mass, albeit from a source not known for many forays into this territory. The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge is one of the world’s finest choirs, one that operates in an atmosphere and expectation of excellence, neither knowing nor inhabiting a world of the middling or mediocre either in performances or recordings...
Scholarly scruples about Bach’s recycling of material from earlier works, even secular cantatas, can never diminish the stature of his late, great Mass in a performance as uplifting and invigorating as this. Layton makes no claims to “authenticity” with his mixed young-adult choir - sounding wonderfully fresh and athletic - and mature soloists. In any case, the composer probably never heard his...