~ New Buxtehude recording ~

Recording(web)Recording1(web)Recording2(web) At the start of the summer holidays the choir remained hard at work to record its latest cd of Buxtehude’s membra nostri iesu.  It was the culmination of month’s of preparation and rehearsal.  This will be the first recording of this piece of music by a boys’ choir and initial indications suggest it will be welcomed very favourably.

The hard work for the recording began months beforehand.  The Choir was fortunate to have Malcolm Bruno to produce the recording.  Malcolm has specialized in early music performance and has worked with many of the leading singers and performers in Britain and the US.  He has produced recordings for EMI, Sony and many other leading labels.  He is also an editor for Barenreiter.  When Malcolm Bruno expressed an interest in producing the CD for the Abbey Choir, it was clear the  recording would receive significant attention.

Buxtehude’s Membra nostri Iesu is a cycle of seven cantatas written in 1680.  Each cycle reflects on the different parts of the crucified body of Christ: feet, knees, hands, side, breast, heart, and head.  The music is scored for five voices (double soprano, alto, tenor and bass) with two violins, viola da gamba and basso continuo.  One of the first priorities for the recording was to use period instruments, which would have been used at the time of Buxtehude and intended for this piece of music.

After months of painstaking rehearsal, three nights of rehearsals began in the second week of July.  Much of the music is demanding and requires an attention to detail.  The Choir ably met the challenge and the initial cuts, we are told, are of a exceptionally high quality.  The piece includes three arias for soprano, alto and bass.  On the last night the soloists including Ignatius Crean and David Millner-Pearce worked hard to complete their recordings.  By 10pm on the last night the final cut was recorded and it was all over.  The recording will be released in March 2013 on the Herald label.