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Woefully Arrayed

Sacred & Secular Choral & Polychoral Works

of Jonathan David Little

 

“The lost potential of the acoustics of performing spaces

begins to be rediscovered in these works.”

 

OVERVIEW

 

Navona Records showcases sacred and secular choral works by composer Jonathan Little on its latest release, WOEFULLY ARRAYED. Jonathan Little’s work has been described as “a music redolent of the past and the future.” His modern interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque techniques of composition—such as modal harmonies and isorhythm—form the basis of his musical voice. The sound is strikingly contemporary, yet also intertwined with choral traditions of the past. Several of these beautiful and moving settings of profound and poignant texts feature intricate “polychoral” techniques: multi-part, multi-divisi, solo, echo and spatial effects.

 

Many of Little’s choral works are designed to be performed cori spezzati—a technique with which different sections of the choir are arranged above and around the audience, adding another dimension to the listening experience. One of these pieces is his Kyrie for 21 individual voices, performed by the Thomas Tallis Society Choir. The other works featured on the album are all world premieres. Vox Futura of Boston performs a Gloria to accompany the Kyrie (both works are part of Little’s ongoing mass project, Missa Temporis Perditi). They also perform the extensive, rapturous title track Woefully Arrayed, from text attributed to John Skelton. The Stanbery Singers perform on the secular section of the album, which includes That Time of Year—a madrigal-like setting of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73—as well as Wasted and Worn, which is dedicated to the memory of the neglected neo-classical artist John William Godward. Vox Futura returns to round out the album with a reprise of the secular verses of Woefully Arrayed.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Jonathan Little’s historically-informed music has been acclaimed for its “mystical beauty, intensity and richness of material.” His multi-faceted style has been described as “Archaic Futurism”, “Ecstatic Minimalism”, and “Picturesque Archaism”. His music is published in Australia by Wirripang, and can be heard on his highly acclaimed albums Terpsichore and the Navona release POLYHYMNIA.

 

Little’s music has won several awards in the UK. He was the first composer to receive a Professional Development Award from the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, and one of seven living British composers to have a choral work selected for the Royal Philharmonic Society’s “ENCORE Choral” Programme. He was the first Australian composer to be awarded Britain’s prestigious John Clementi Collard Fellowship.

 

In the USA, Little has received several ASCAP awards, including Special Distinction in the Rudolf Nissim Prize. In 2016, he was the featured composer at the CNU Contemporary Music Festival, where he received a concert dedicated to the performance of his works at the Ferguson Center for the Arts, Virginia.

 

From 2001 to 2005, Little was Principal of the UK’s Academy of Contemporary Music, which became the first institution of music education to win the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. His work in this respect led to his appointment as Professor of Music Composition and Music History at the University of Chichester.

 

As a student, Little attended the University of Melbourne, where he won the Lady Turner Exhibition for overall excellence. He received a doctoral degree from Monash University, where he studied the development of exoticism in the orchestration of 19th- and 20th- century music. He has written a two-volume study in this area, which won an Author’s Foundation / Royal Literary Fund award.

 

ALSO ON NAVONA

 

Polyhymnia (nv5867)

String, Orchestral and Choral Works of Jonathan Little

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUPPORT AND THANKS

 

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

 

Invaluable support has also been provided by the Royal Philharmonic Society (UK), through its “ENCORE Choral” Award scheme.

 

The support and advice of music publishers Anne Keats, OAM, and Brennan Keats, OAM, Directors of Wirripang Pty Ltd (Australia), of Professor Clive Behagg, Ben Hall, and staff at the University of Chichester (UK), of Professor Craig De Wilde of the University of Singapore, of music copyist David Turner (UK), of Bob Lord and his team at PARMA Recordings (USA), of John Weston at Futura Studios (USA), of James M. Kendrick (Director and Treasurer of ASCAP, USA), and of Cia Toscanini (Vice President of ASCAP Concert Music), is gratefully acknowledged. Thanks are also due to Renaissance and Baroque scholar, Hugh Keyte, for his expert knowledge and thoughts regarding early polychoralism – including many a fascinating, revelatory, and provocative dialogue on the subject.

 

 

 

 

Release Date: July 14, 2017

Catalog #: NV6113

 

 

TRACK LISTING

 

SACRED WORKS:

 

attrib. to John Skelton

Woefully Arrayed, Op.13

Vox Futura | Andrew Shenton, conductor; Noel Smith, director

Heinrich Christensen, organ

 

2  Kyrie, Op.5 (from Missa Temporis Perditi)

Thomas Tallis Society Choir  | Philip Simms conductor

 

Gloria, Op.18 (from Missa Temporis Perditi)

Vox Futura  | Andrew Shenton, conductor; Noel Smith, director

 

 

SECULAR WORKS:

 

Lord de Tabley

4 Wasted and Worn, Op.6

The Stanbery Singers  | Paul John Stanbery conductor

 

Shakespeare

5 That Time of Year, Op.2

The Stanbery Singers  | Paul John Stanbery conductor

 

6 Woefully Arrayed, Op.13 Reprise – abridged version

Vox Futura  | Andrew Shenton, conductor; Noel Smith, director

Heinrich Christensen, organ

 

 

CREDITS

 

Woefully Arrayed, Op.13

[“Wofully araide”] or, Crucifixus pro vobis

Recorded November 19, 2016 at the Romanesque Revival Holy Name Parish in West Roxbury MA

Producer John Page

Recording Engineer John Weston

Assistant Engineer Travis Karpak

 

Kyrie, Op.5 (from Missa Temporis Perditi)

Royal Philharmonic Society / BBC RADIO 3

“ENCORE Choral” Award Winner

Recorded November 2005 at the former Royal Peculiar Church of St. Alfege in Greenwich UK

Producer Jonathan Little

Engineer Adi Winman

 

Gloria, Op.18 (“Et in Arcadia ego”) (from Missa Temporis Perditi)

Recorded January 22, 2017 at Futura Productions in Boston MA

Recorded by John Weston

Assistant Engineer Travis Karpak and Alec Seymour

 

Wasted and Worn, Op.6

Recorded April 22, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church in Hamilton OH

Producer Matt Konrad

Engineer Justin Newton

 

That Time of Year (Thou Mayst In Me Behold), Op.2

Recorded March 12, 2016 in the First United Methodist Church in Hamilton OH

Producer Matt Konrad

Engineer Justin Newton

 

Woefully Arrayed, Op.13

[“Wofully araide”]  [Reprise – abridged version]

Recorded November 19, 2016 in the Romanesque Revival Church of the Holy Name in West Roxbury MA

Producer John Page

Recording Engineer John Weston

Assistant Engineer Travis Karpak

 

COVER ILLUSTRATION: Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-98), “The Tale of Sir Degrevaunt: The Wedding Feast”. One of a set of three tempera-on-plaster murals painted in 1860 for the drawing room of Red House (the home of William Morris) in Bexleyheath, Kent – and inspired by the 15th-century tale. (National Trust Inventory Number 60140; 1155mm x 1040mm.)

 

Reproduced with kind permission of The National Trust, UK.

 

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw

A&R Chris Robinson

Audio Director Jeff LeRoy

Engineering Manager Lucas Paquette

Editing & Mixing Nate Hunter, Shaun Michaud, Brad Michel

Mastering Shaun Michaud

Recording Sessions Manager Levi Brown

Design & Marketing Director Brett Picknell

Graphic Design Emily Roulo

Marketing Samantha Granville

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