‘Works by Cecilia McDowall proclaim an instinctive understanding of the medium allied to the ability to speak directly to the listener and wholly without artifice.’ GRAMOPHONE
“Da Vinci Requiem brings together my chosen Latin texts from the Missa pro Defunctis with extracts from The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, and is structured in seven movements in the shape of an arch… It has been a fascinating exploration, aligning Leonardo’s extraordinary insights, both artistic and philosophical, with such a profound and ancient text.
★★★★ Performance ★★★★ Recording
‘With gently swirling, shimmering, beautifully orchestrated textures often imbued with a devotionalmystery, the spirit [of the Requiem] is of a step on from the larger choral statements of VaughanWilliams…The City of London Sinfonia are sensitive partners to the voices throughout, while conductor Neil Ferris should be commended for his judicious pacing and marshalling of all involved.’
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
Wind & Brass
Everyday Wonders: The Girl from Aleppo tells the extraordinary story of Nujeen Mustafa, a Kurdish teenager with cerebral palsy forced by war to flee her home and embark on an arduous journey to Europe with her sister. In this five-movement cantata Nujeen’s story – recounted in her biography ‘The Girl from Aleppo’ (co-authored by Christina Lamb) – is retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland and richly scored by Cecilia McDowall.
‘Cecilia McDowall has won a reputation as a leading composer of choral music and her extensive catalogue contains many distinguished examples. The emotional heft of this story has clearly inspired her to produce one of her most striking scores for the medium.’
‘Although her compositional style will not pose problems to listeners attracted to what one might call ‘contemporary mainstream’, hers is an attractive voice which probes beneath the music’s surface colouration with much skill.’
INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW