This, the choir's first CD, is the product of a long-held wish (and demand from the public!) to compile a selection of pieces that represents the range of typical repertoire for which this choir is known and acclaimed. It appeared after four years of operation and just before the choir undertook its first major tour - to the UK.
The CD takes its title from the British art song "My Spirit Sang All Day" by Gerald Finzi; coined as something of a "signature tune", this piece suits the exuberance and freshness of the sound of the choir and echoes in its text the absolute joy and impact of choral singing that is immediately apparent to the hearts and minds of the choir's audience.
The programme is deliberately varied, ranging from sacred music of the 19th and 20th centuries through to art songs, folk-songs, spirituals and jazz; the choir sings in no fewer than six languages, there is a mixture of unaccompanied and accompanied music, and NZ composers are represented - in short, there is something here to speak to everyone!
The warmth and breadth of the sound of The Graduate Choir NZ under the direction of Terence Maskell has been captured superbly in two different recording locations by producer Wayne Laird of Atoll CD, NZ, and the stunning design work of the CD inserts and covers is by Nigel Smith and Adrian Neal of Transformer Ltd.
Atoll Records 2005 #acd105
"The choir's first album takes its title from Finzi's "My Spirit Sang All Day" and I certainly could have listened happily for much longer than the 52 minutes of this CD. The Graduates have always amazed with the diversity of their music, and the delicate sighs of Debussy's "Dieu! Quil la fait bon regarder" are worlds away from the infectious jollity of two Samoan folk songs arranged by Christopher Marshall. Conductor Terence Maskell is a magician. He knows how to focus his singers on a single line, catching just the right light, shade and nuance."
William Dart, NZ Herald, 7 September 2005
"Terence Maskell’s warm-toned choir lopes along with easy spontaneity across an eclectic range of classic, middlebrow, folk, soul and jazz. The tenor section’s unforced top Gs and A flats in “Sally Gardens” and its supple fluency in Mendelssohn’s Abendlied would be the envy of nearly all Kiwi choirs. Spacious chording in Bruckner’s “Locus iste” and rich blend in the eight-part Pearsall “Lay a Garland” shows vigilant technical control for the intricate classics. They bounce into Finzi’s “My spirit sang all day” with winning gusto."
Ian Dando, The Listener, Vol 203 No 3447, June 2006
"The four-year-old ensemble has melded itself into a collection of voices that demands attention both for the high standard of musicality and the repertoire: an intelligent and thoughtfully selected anthology of music ranging from contemporary New Zealand work to Bruckner and Samoan songs. It's all huge fun as the choir gives all in the pursuit of excellence. On the basis of this first recording, it achieves its goal."
Christopher Moore, The Press, 16 November 2005
Track Listing & Previews
Terence Maskell, Conductorwith Claire Caldwell, piano
|Click to play
|1. My spirit sang all day Finzi||Listen|
|2. Shenandoah Erb||Listen|
|3. Afton water Rutter||Listen|
|4. Down by the sally gardens Rutter||Listen|
|5. Dieu! Qu'il la fait bon regarder! Debussy||Listen|
|6. Lay a garland de Pearsall||Listen|
|7. Zigeunerlied 5 Brahms||Listen|
|8. Zigeunerlied 6 Brahms||Listen|
|9. Abendlied Mendelssohn||Listen|
|10. Locus iste Bruckner||Listen|
|11. Ye choirs of new Jerusalem Stanford||Listen|
|12. He is risen Madden (NZ)||Listen|
|13. Ave verum corpus Dienes (NZ)||Listen|
|14. City called heaven Poelinitz||Listen|
|15. Ain'-a that good news! Dawson||Listen|
|16. I can't give you anything but love McHugh/Fields||Listen|
|17. Sau la'u teine Samoa Marshall (NZ)||Listen|
|18. Pusi nofo Marshall (NZ)||Listen|
|19. Now is the hour Maskell (NZ)||Listen|
Producer: Wayne Laird