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Jeremy Backhouse

Director

Jeremy Backhouse

Jeremy Backhouse is now established as one of Britain's leading choral conductors. He is the conductor of the 150-voice Vivace Chorus (formally the Guildford Philharmonic Choir). He is also the conductor of the Vasari Singers, widely acknowledged as one of the finest chamber choirs in the country.

Head chorister at Canterbury Cathedral, he studied music and composition at Liverpool University and began his career as a Music Editor with EMI. From 1998 to December 2004 he was Conductor of the Wooburn Singers - only the third in the choir's history, following Richard Hickox and Stephen Jackson. He has also worked with the BBC Club Choir, Kent Youth Choir, Brighton Festival Chorus, London Choral Society, Trinity College of Music Chamber Choir, Philharmonia Chorus and the BBC Singers.

Major concert works include Mahler, Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky and Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.3 at Guildford Cathedral with the Guildford Philharmonic Choir; Bach's B Minor Mass with the Hanover Band and the Wooburn Singers; Tallis Spem in Alium and works by Jonathan Dove, James MacMillan and Francis Pott at St John's, Smith Square with Vasari Singers.

Recent recordings with Vasari Singers include the world premiere of Dupre's De Profundis and La France au Calvaire (both selected as Editor's Choice in Gramophone) and Deep Purple, a medley of swing and jazz choral arrangements from Ward Swingle and John Rutter to Bob Chilcot and George Shearing. Summer 2005 saw the release of his recording with Vasari of 21st Century Anthems - featuring nine new commissions and works written since 2000 by Jonathan Dove, James MacMillan and Jonathan Rathbone. Jeremy has recorded choral music for EMI, Cala/United, Guild and Signum record labels.

Jeremy champions contemporary choral music and works closely with many composers including Richard Blackford, Francis Pott and Gabriel Jackson. With the Vivace Chorus, his forthcoming series of Contemporary Classics - pairing extraordinary choral works from the late 20th- and 21st century with well-established masterpieces - includes Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man, Francis Pott's A Song on the End of the World and Richard Blackford's Voices of Exile. th Reginald Jacques and John Rutter. He is currently Music Director Emeritus of King's College Choir, and an Honorary Fellow of King's College, Cambridge.

Discography

Displaying 1-6 of 6 items.


Vasari Singers : Anthems for the 21st Century : 00  1 CD : Jeremy Backhouse :  : 059

Vasari Singers : Anthems for the 21st Century

Review: To celebrate its first twenty-five years of vibrant music making, the Vasari Singers commissioned ten composers each to write an anthem that might reflect the state of the world at the start of the new millennium. Their brief suggested that their work should be able to site comfortably within the context of a cathedral Evensong, but that it could also look beyond any constraints of Liturgy or formal religious doctrine to embrace a wider, more ecumenical audience; something more humanistic perhaps, that might connect more relevantly with multi-cultural, multi-faith societies of the world in the 21st century. This is an amazing variety of anthems concluding with Ward Swingle's (of Swingle Singers fame) ode to the earth and the environment.

Songlist: Bless The Lord O My Soul, Absolon My Son, Angel Song II , Mysterium Christi, Hear My Crying, O God, When I See On Rood , Now I Have Known O Lord , Chosen, I Saw Him Standing , On Another's Sorrow, Peace, Give Us This Day

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8407c 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs


Vasari Singers : Deep Purple - Close Harmony Arrangements : 00  1 CD : Jeremy Backhouse :  : 7267

Vasari Singers : Deep Purple - Close Harmony Arrangements

Review: This selection of close harmony arrangements offers several well-known items by composers as diverse as Kern, Gershwin and Mancini, but also includes some newer works, including a Vasari commission from Bob Chilcott called "Dances in the Streets" and "Birthday Madrigals" by John Rutter. This fine recording includes many arrangements by Ward Swingle with whom the ensemble has often worked with.

Songlist: Birthday Madrigals, Lullaby Of Birdland, A Nightengale Sang In Berkeley Square, Dances In The Street, Moon River, Autumn Leaves, Deep Purple, Calico Pie, Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat, Summertime, Love Is Here To Stay, Long Ago And Far Away, All The Things You Are, It was A Lover And His Lass, Weeping Willow, In A Mist, L'Amour De Moi, Country Dances

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8478c 00 1 CD $15.95 Mixed Choirs CDs


Vasari Singers : Kodaly Choral Works : 00  1 CD : Jeremy Backhouse : Zoltan Kodaly : 7161

Vasari Singers : Kodaly Choral Works

Review: "Laudes Organi" was the last large scale work (1966) Kodaly completed. A secular rather than a religious work, it is based on an eloquent Latin text and is "a fantasy on a twelfth century sequence". The work is a summing up of the composer's many interests; the spirit of Gregorian chant, the parlando of Hungarian folk song, the almost visual effects he paints with the divided voices and the magnificent organ interludes, reminiscent of the polyphonic writing of Bach. The whole is nevertheless unmistakably Kodaly and is a wonderful affirmation of his faith in the life-giving power of music. The much-loved " Esti Dal" is based on a folksong collected in Northern Hungary by Kodaly in 1922. "Este", a youthful work - Kodaly was barely 20 when he set the poem by his university teacher Pal Gyulai. The work attained its final form in 1904 and shows remarkable maturity and control. The six-part mixed choir is used to paint a wonderfully evocative pastel of the poem's subject, the peaceful drifting into sleep.

Songlist: Laudes Organi, Esti Dal, Panga Lingua, Este, Missa Brevis, Introitus, Kyrie Eleison, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei , Ite Missa Est

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8477c 00 1 CD $15.98 Mixed Choirs CDs


Vasari Singers : Mass in Blue : 00  1 CD : Jeremy Backhouse : 

Vasari Singers : Mass in Blue

Review: Leading young composer Will Todd performs a unique fusion of sacred choral music and jazz in his Mass in Blue. This central work is complmented by beautiful musical setting of religious texts, infused with a highly individual and melodic style, bringing the composer's life-long love of traditional choral music into the 21st century with spiritual sensitivity and a contemporary edge.

Songlist: Mass In Blue, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei , Christus Est Stella, The Christ-Child, Ave Verum Corpus, None Other Lamb, The Rose, Lead Me Lord, Lighting The Way, Every Stone Shall Cry

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8473c 00 1 CD $16.98 Mixed Choirs CDs


Vasari Singers : Pastorale - French Choral Music : 00  1 CD : Jeremy Backhouse :  : 7199

Vasari Singers : Pastorale - French Choral Music

Review: This is distinguished singing from a superb choir. There is some astonishingly original choral writing here, particularly to be found in those pieces which are almost never heard, and the reasons for their neglect can have little to do with the quality of the music.. Delibe's Les Norwegienes, with a remarkable 'Slipping on the ice' onomatopoeia, is a case in point, and the first of Saint-Saens's Deux Chansons , OP. 68 -'Calme des nuits' - is a wondrous piece. It is fascinating to hear Canteloube's a cappella settings of two of the more famous of his 'Bailero' alongside the equally well-known Faure Madrigal and Pavane, with piano accompaniment, the choral writing in the latter work coming across with exemplary clarity. The Ravel chansons, to his own texts, are brilliantly done here; Masonet's Amaranthe songs are a real treasure, and Jeremy Filsell's piano accompaniments are excellent.

Songlist: Trois Chansons De Charles D'Orleans, Serenade D'hiver, Les Norwegiennes, Deux Chansons , Bailero (Chants D'Auvergne) , L'Amour De Moi , Madrigal op. 35 , Pavane op. 50 , Trois Chansons , Le Nymphs Des Bois , Hymne Au Printemps , Chansons Des Bois D'Amaranthe

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8476c 00 1 CD $15.98 Mixed Choirs CDs


Vasari Singers : Requiem Aeternam : 00  1 CD : Jeremy Backhouse :  : 503

Vasari Singers : Requiem Aeternam

Review: Signum UK presents a deeply intimate disc, of personal and moving works by Herbert Howells and Frank Martin. In 1935 Herbert Howells' son died at the age of nine. Howells sought release and consolation in his writing, and composed the a capella, six-movement Requiem as a private document to his son. Indeed, Howells considered his Requiem so personal an outpouring that he felt the need to withhold it from publication. It was not released until 1980, only three years before the composer's own death. Frank Martin was a deeply religious man. He composed the Mass for Double Choir, early in his career. The work embodies the profound nature of his beliefs, and was the only work that Martin wrote purely for liturgical purposes. Such was the intensely intimate nature of the work, that, like Howells, the composer withheld it, and kept the manuscript safely in a drawer for over forty years. As Martin himself wrote, "This was something between God and me, that concerned nobody else". The Vasari Singers perform these pieces with passion and devotion, and capture the very private and deep-rooted feelings contained within each work.

Songlist: Requiem, Salvastor Mundi, Psalm 23, Requiem Aeternam I, Psalm 121, Requiem Aertnam II, I Heard A Voice From Heaven, Motet, Take Earth For Cherishing, Mass, Kyrie Elesion, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei

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8408c 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs

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