‘Cecilia McDowall is one of the leading choral and vocal composers of her generation.’
This exciting fifteen-minute work for SSATB and solo violin draws its title from Edward Winslow’s 1624 chronicles, Good Newes from New England, in which he describes the Mayflower Pilgrims’ settlement in the New World. The first of the three movements describes the Pilgrims’ perilous journey, the second, the mysterious disappearance of Governor William Bradford’s wife, and the third movement, Thanksgiving, is a time of rejoicing. The cantata closes with Henry Ainsworth’s version of ‘The Old Hundredth’, which was sung on the Mayflower; the audience is encouraged to join the choir in singing this hymn.
Next year will see the 400th anniversary of the 1624 chronicles on which Good News from New England is based.
‘McDowall’s radiant anthem sets the words of Puritan separatist William Bradford as he recounts the voyage of the Mayflower. The work dextrously captures both the sway of the ocean and the relief of reaching firm ground.’
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
★★★★★ ‘McDowall’s Da Vinci Requiem is a masterpiece. The performance here is compelling and 70 Degrees below Zero forms a perfect musical coupling … especially in such a ﬁne performance as this …The performances are uniformly excellent, as is the presentation of this important release.’
★★★★★ ‘For many years now Cecilia McDowall has occupied a special place in the UK’s choral scene. With an exceptional ability for ﬁnding texts – sometimes unexpected texts – for musical setting, McDowall’s individual way with melody wedded to an often intriguing harmonic vocabulary has made her music many friends.’
CHOIR AND ORGAN
‘The Da Vinci Requiem is musically engaging but also, I reckon, a lot of fun to sing.’
THE ARTS DESK
Tenebrae sing McDowall’s Standing as I do before God, a setting of words spoken by Nurse Edith Cavell on the eve of her execution in 1915, bound into a reﬂective poetic context by Seán Street. Performances inSt George’s Chapel, Windsor, 19 September, Wigmore Hall,...
The Girl from Aleppo will be performed in Cincinatti as the giant puppet, Little Amal, visits the city.
On 22 September hear the incredible story of how one Syrian refugee, Nujeen Mustafa, made it to safety through a performance of Cecilia McDowall's Everyday Wonders: The Girl from Aleppo featuring the We Are One Chorus and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, conductor...
On 11 October and 20 October Ars Vocalis will perform the Da Vinci Requiem in Lausanne and Geneva.The Kingston Choral Society and MK Chorale will perform the work on 18 November in the UK. In 2024 there will be two Come and Sing Days on 27 January and on 3 February....
‘During the past few years the music of this British composer has been heard more and more, and her output has impressed audiences, players and critics alike. It deserves to.’
‘She constantly tweaks the ear with her range of spicy rhythms and colours then suddenly produces a highly atmospheric and grippingly expressive interlude which is just as compelling.’