C J Brennan – Unaccompanied SATB (with divisi)
This rennasisance-tinged setting of poem by Christopher John Brennan for unaccompanied choir was commissioned by Sidney Susex College, Cambridge, with funds generously provided by alumnus John Osborne. Written after completing a large scale setting of ‘The Bells’ by Edgar Allan Poe, this generally more meditative setting uses similar bell-like harmonic material, and served as a kind of resolving coda to my work on ‘The Bells’. Another two models for the music came from the combination of a certain suspension I heard in an anonymous Tudor motet, coupled with the image and character of the small church at Cymyoy in Monmouthshire, which has a distinctive lean to it as it has been gradually sliding down the hill side for generations. The Renaissance flavour to the music is also due to the choir’s repertoire, and though the text was chosen to suit both sacred and secular performance, a church acoustic very much fed into my approach.”
Sweet Silence After Bells was first performed by the Sidney Sussex College Cambridge choir on Sunday 22nd May 2016, conducted by Dr David Skinner.