Excellent reviews for Sadie Harrison’s ‘Aurea Luce’ on divine art

Here at UYMP, we are exceedingly pleased that praise has been pouring in for Sadie Harrison’s Aurea Luce, played by Madeleine Mitchell on the divine art record, ‘Violin Muse’.

Harrison writes: Aurea Luce was written at the request of Madeleine Mitchell by way of celebrating my 50th birthday at a concert in my home town of Shaftesbury, Dorset. The work is based on a plainsong melody sung as a hymn for the Feast of St. Peterʼs Chair in Rome, reflecting the dedication of the church in which the premiere took place. I started writing the work on International Womenʼs Day 2015 and it was serendipitous that the hymnʼs text is ascribed to a 5th century female author, Elpis (reputedly the first wife of the philosopher Boethius). The title translates asʻ..with golden light..ʼ and in context within the verse it reads as:

Aurea luce et decore roseo, lux lucis, omne perfudisti seculum, decoran caelos inclito martyrio hac sacra die, quae dat reis veniam. (The beauteous light of Eternity hath flooded with blissful fires this golden day which crowns the Prince of the Apostles, and gives unto the guilty a free way to heaven). (The Poissy Antiphonal, fol. 412v)

Peter Byron-Smith from the 'British Music Society' describes how ‘from the beautiful entrance of the violin, we enter a musical space of thoughtful reflection. The violin spins its mystical magic, by stating the melody, whilst bare chordal piano supports it. This work is totally convincing as a work of musical art, as it is taking us into an intense, but also intimate imagination.’ Paul Corfield Godfrey of 'Music Web International' enthuses about ‘the sublimely hieratic Aurea Luce with its plainchant theme and echoes of resounding bells, which recall the ‘tintinnabulation’ of Arvo Pärt’. Such positive sentiments are further echoed by Catherine Nelson of 'The Strad' who accounts how ‘the slow creep of plainsong in Sadie Harrisons Aurea Luce builds to blistering richness.'

Terry Robins of 'The Whole Note' describes this piece as ‘lovely’, Remy Franck of 'Pizzicato' pronounces it as being ‘very lyrical’ and 'BBC Music Magazine' recounts that ‘in Aurea Luce, the violin hangs glinting in the air, like some angelic visitation.’

We would very much like to congratulate Sadie Harrison on this series of wonderful reviews and hope that many of you will listen to ‘Violin Muse’ to appreciate the beauty of Aurea Luce for yourselves.

(22 Feb 2018)

Recent news

  • Blake's 'Scoring a Century' London triumph

    Photo credit: Robert Workman

    British Youth Opera gave a dazzling London premiere of David Blake’s (composer) and Keith Warner’s (librettist) millennial opera ‘Scoring a Century’ on Saturday night, at the Peacock Theatre, Holburn. Previously performed only by Birmingham Conservatoire, in 2010, both the libretto and the score had been revised for the current production. Blake’s deft scoring leads Mr and Mrs Jedermann (Everyman) unwittingly through Warner’s entertaining snapshots of life in various countries in the ever-changing 20th century, in an expert pastiche of musical styles.  

  • Thomas Simaku Broadcast on National Radio in Finland

    Following the success at the 2019 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM)  – World Music Days , Thomas Simaku’s most recent work, La Leggiadra Luna for mixed choir a cappella, has been broadcast by four European radio stations. The latest programme was on National Radio of Finland on 3rd September – the programme is available for 30 days at the following link: https://areena.yle.fi/1-50234960

  • Launch of Northern Composers' Co-operative

    Photo credit: Lynette Quek

    Thanks to the support of the Mayfield Trust, in June UYMP hosted a meeting of 20 composers who are based in the Yorkshire region.  Peter Wiegold was an inspiring facilitator and the meeting generated lots of ideas for dealing with the isolation composers can experience once they leave formal education.  The composers present decided to form a Co-operative and UYMP is proud to have initiated it and be supporting it. 

  • Thomas Simaku CD Release

    Thomas Simaku’s new CD, Solos and Duos for violin and piano has been released worldwide on Naxos 21st Century Classics Series.

  • Launch of Stef Conner's album 'Riddle Songs'

    UYMP is delighted to announce that Associate Composer Stef Conner is embarking on a project to create a new CD in Old English.  Stef writes that her album will be a combination of 'beautiful new music with very old words, for voices and lyre; a medieval-meets-modern choral concept album'.  To read more about the CD and to support Stef's fund raising campaign, please go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stefconner/riddle-songs-an-album-by-stef-conner?ref=b3i7et&token=39fe9e26