Julian Anderson choral music

BBC SO Total Immersion: Julian Anderson

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Anderson exploring the music of massed unaccompanied voices in a programme of sacred works that contains at its heart his Bell Mass of 2010.

Julian Anderson has always been drawn to the sounds of massed voices and during the first decade of this century wrote a succession of choral pieces, many of which draw on larger orchestral scores. The Bell Mass, first heard in 2010, is a missa brevis (five movements, lacking a ‘Credo’) which draws much of its sound from the sonority of pealing bells, complete with sung drones and some ravishing overtones. The Four American Choruses set the hopeful, optimistic texts of the 19th-century settlers in the New World: like Charles Ives before him, Anderson was drawn to these often artless texts which conjured from him music of enormous sophistication and imagination. A programme that perfectly sets up the orchestral fare of tonight’s Hall concert.

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