This anthology of devotional music from 18th-century Venice and Naples offers an interesting and varied programme. Best known is Pergolesi’s Stabat mater, but the settings by Domenico Scarlatti and Bononcini stand well in comparison. The motets by Lotti, Caldara and Alessandro Scarlatti are real discoveries; Norrington’s performances of the latter are particularly fine. Guest’s Pergolesi suffers from a focus of sound which makes the interpretation seem somewhat generalised. However, all these performances give pleasure, while the music is melodically fresh and rhythmically vital.-Terry Barfoot
John St. John aka Roland Hanneman is a New Age, Ambient and Chillout music composer.
John St. John - The Wolf (1995). The warm summer wind carries to you in perfect harmony the haunting howling of the wolf and the soothing melodies of the piano, woodwins, and strings creating an atmosphere of total peace and tranquility. A sense of profound relaxationn fills your mind and body. This is a time to deam, to reflect… and to rejoice in the majesty of nature…
The pieces brought together on this CD range widely, from ceremonial works associated with affairs of state to intimate compositions addressing moments of great personal significance. Two of the three pieces by Parry best exemplify this contrast: if I was glad – written for the coronation of Edward VII and premiered in chaotic circumstances – fits into the former category, ‘My soul, there is a country’ (from Songs of Farewell) – composed in the year of his death – belongs in the latter.
Christmas presents a golden opportunity to present brand new music to wide audiences, and the role played by St John’s College Choir in this area has been significant, as demonstrated by new recording of traditional and contemporary choral works. The recording features Michael Finnissy’s John the Baptist, written for the Choir for its BBC Advent broadcast in 2014.