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Jeffrey Skidmore

Director

Jeffrey Skidmore

The English choral conductor, Jeffrey Skidmore, Jeffrey read music at Magdalen College, Oxford, before returning to his native Birmingham when he was 18 to found and develop Ex Cathedra into the internationally-acclaimed choral group it has become today. He subsequently studied music with David Wulstan at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was a Choral Scholar under Bernard Rose. As Artistic Director and Conductor of Ex Cathedra he has pioneered historically informed performances of Renaissance and Baroque music in Birmingham and the West Midlands, and directed the first performances of many new editions, including two French Baroque operas, Zaide by Royer and Isis by Lully. He has prepared his own editions of Monteverdi's Spiritual Madrigals and was recently awarded Honorary Fellowships from the University of Birmingham and the University of Central England.

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Discography

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Ex Cathedra : Charpentier - Mass for four choirs : 00  1 CD : Jeffrey Skidmore : Marc-Antoine Charpentier : 034571174358 : CDA67435

Ex Cathedra : Charpentier - Mass for four choirs

Review: A contemporary of Lully and Lalande, Charpentier was something of an outsider to the French court of Louis XIV, something which helps to explain his comparative obscurity since his death in 1704. A period of study in Rome doubtless gave Charpentier exposure to the polychoral style long-established from the time of Gabrieli, and this spirited new recording from Ex Cathedra presents the triple-choir Salve regina alongside the opulent Mass - for four separate choirs. The possibilities opened up by such a wealth of musicians engender music which seems as close to the proverbial 'choir of the angels of heaven' as could be desired. The disc also includes Salut de la veille des 'O', a setting of the seven antiphons for Christmas imploring God to come and save the earth, and the dramatic mini-oratorio La reniement de St Pierre, telling of Peter's frantic denials of Christ before the inevitable crowing of the cock. Performances by the soloists, choir and orchestra of Ex Cathedra perfectly capture the lavish atmosphere of the period, fully living up to the enviable reputation the group's previous recordings have earned.

Songlist: Salve Regina A Trios Choeurs , Kyrie, Gloria, Chant Assumpta Est Maria, Credo, Chant Ave Maris Stella, Sanctus And Benedictus, Agnus Dei, Domine, Salvum Fac Regem, Salut De La Veille Des 'O': O Salutaris Hostia, O Sapientia, O Adonai, O Radix Jesse, O Clavis David, Oriens, O Rex Gentium, O Emmanuel, Le Reniement De St Pierre

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6183c 00 1 CD $16.95


Ex Cathedra : Fire Burning in Snow : 00 SACD : Jeffrey Skidmore : Juan de Araujo : 034571576008 : SACDA 67600

Ex Cathedra : Fire Burning in Snow

Review: Fire Burning in Snow, the third volume in Ex Cathedra's series of Baroque music from Latin America, is strong testimony to the vitality of the musical scene in South America in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The bulk of this album is devoted to the sacred and secular choral music of Juan de Araujo (1648-1712), who was born in Spain, but whose family moved to South America when he was a child. He lived in Peru and Panama, but spent most of his adult life in La Plata, Bolivia, where he was the organist at the cathedral. The music recorded here is notable for its almost Monteverdian range of styles and expressiveness. This selection of Araujo's strongly rhythmic work includes a rigorously polyphonic motet for triple choir; a simple, lovely lullaby for women's voices; and many stylistically diverse choral villancicos. The standout work on the CD, though, is Hanacpachap cussicuinin, a 20-verse Peruvian hymn in the Quechua language that was the first example of choral polyphony published in the Americas in 1631. It's broken into four sections of five verses each, and performed with ensembles of differing sizes and varying accompaniments. The anonymous hymn has a startling grandeur, and even with 20 verses it's so compelling that it never wears out its welcome. Ex Cathedra Consort and Baroque Ensemble sing and play with high spirits and polish. Conductor Jeffrey Skidmore is to be commended for bringing this repertoire, much of which has never been recorded, to light, and for delivering such lively realizations and energetic and full-bodied performances. This SACD should be of strong interest to anyone who loves Renaissance and Baroque polyphony and fans of choral music with a Latin flavor.

Songlist: Hanacpachap cussicuinin (verses 1- ), Dixit Dominus, Silencio, Dime, amor, A, del la region de luces, Hanacpachap cussicuinin (verses 6- 10), A, del cielo, Fuego de amor, En el muy gran Padre Ignacio, Hanacpachap cussicuinin (verses 11- 15), Salga el torillo hosquillo, Dios de amor, A, del tiempo, Hanacpachap cussicuinin (verses 16- 20)

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6162c 00 SACD $19.95 Latin American Choral

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