Magazine article Gramophone

Roth: A Time to Dance

Magazine article Gramophone

Roth: A Time to Dance

Article excerpt

A Time to Dance (a). Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (Hatfield Service) (b). Men and Angels (a) Grace Davidson sop (a) Matthew Venner counterten (a) Samuel Boden ten (a) Greg Skidmore bass (b) Tim Harper org Ex Cathedra / Jeffrey Skidmore Hyperion (F) CDA68144 (72' * DDD * T)

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Composer Alec Roth may be UK-based and of Irish/German descent, but it's America that provides the musical heritage for his 2012 cantata A Time to Dance, recorded here for the first time by Ex Cathedra. The music is richly melodic, twitching with rhythmic energy, with wide harmonic vistas conjured up by even more widely spaced modal harmonies; Copland lies on the horizon of so much of its vibrant directness, shaded by the occasional bluesy nod to Gershwin and even Sondheim.

Roth's long relationship with Jeffrey Skidmore and Ex Cathedra has already yielded the exceptional Shared Ground (Signum, 2011), and their follow-up collaboration is even stronger. A Time to Dance is an hour-long cantata for a quartet of SATB soloists, choir and orchestra (here a Baroque band, inspired by the work's original commission as a companion piece for Bach's Magnificat), with all the makings of a modern classic--a work you'd want to perform and, crucially, perform again. …

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