Gonville & Caius College Choir in July visited Minchinhampton in the Cotswolds to record their first album together since 2018.
The album will feature a vibrant selection of music by English composers Peter Philips and Richard Dering. Both composers exiled to Flanders during the late 16th and early 17th centuries, each settling in various locations around Europe throughout their careers.
During the recording process, working in collaboration with the early music ensemble, In Echo, and record label Linn Records, Gonville & Caius College Choir had the opportunity to explore and capture the composers' distinctive European influences. They also had the unique privilege of being the first to record several of the compositions.
Gonville & Caius Precentor Matthew Martin said: “This was a great opportunity for us – our first recording since Covid and my first with the choir. Although some of this repertoire is already represented on disc, there is a whole lot that sits unrecorded – and it’s wonderfully colourful music. A lot of work went into putting the scores together, and we hope that the recording might excite some renewed interest in these two composers.”
For many choir members, this was their first experience recording an album and taking part in recording sessions. Graduate Choral Scholar, Gemma Taylor, describes her experience.
She says: “I really enjoyed the recording process. It’s quite intense, in that the days are long and each take requires a lot of concentration, but it was rewarding to have the chance to work in such detail. It was also exciting to work with a fantastic band of period instruments, which was a new experience for most of us: I had never seen a sackbut before, but they added a lot to the overall sound. We also had long breaks in between sessions to enjoy the sunny countryside and a drink at the village pub after our final sessions each day!”
The album is set to be released in 2023.