Live recording of Frederick Viner's 'Justorum Animae'

Frederick Viner's Justorum Animae received a second performance on 21st March 2019 by the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, conducted by Michael Bawtree. The choir performed the work at a concert titled 'Music of Our Time' arranged by the John Armitage Memorial Trust (JAM) at St Bride's Church, London. A live recording of their performance is now available to listen to online: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqdAadVLzL8

The work was premiered in September 2018 at Eton College, where Viner is currently Composer in Residence, by Eton College Chapel Choir, for whom it was written.

Viner writes,

For Messiaen, E-major had strong religious connotations, representing a hymnic praise of God. The French master has strongly influenced my music of late, so I thought it only natural to set 'Justorum Animae' using this supposedly theological key. The piece begins with a unison E, however the ethereal chord that subsequently unfolds – marked 'lontano' (as if from a distance) – is ambiguous and decidedly non-tonic. In fact, the only E-major we ever hear is the last chord of the piece, setting 'pace' – peace. Thus, this elusive tonic represents the destination for the music; the haven for the titular 'souls of the righteous' who must first endure the 'torment of malice', as depicted by tumultuous episodes in the middle of the piece. Once bathed in this final, tranquil sonority, the music gradually dies away, aided by the direction 'al niente' (to nothing).

Formed in 1976, the mixed voice choir has a repertoire ranging from the 10th to the 21st century and through an ongoing collaboration with JAM has premiered a number of major new works.

(1 May 2019)

Recent news

  • Sadie Harrison leads Composer Residential with K’antu and South West Music School

    We are so pleased that Sadie will be working alongside Ruth Hopkins and the fabulous K’antu Ensemble at the October Composer Residential (11th-13th) run by the South West Music School. During the weekend course the students will be writing new works inspired by early music, folk and world musics, with taught sessions on medieval to contemporary notation and performance issues. Sadie will be presenting several of her own works which draw on similar sources.

  • Martin Scheuregger’s article ‘The Music of Thomas Simaku’ published in TEMPO

    UYMP are exceedingly proud to announce that Martin Scheuregger’s article, ‘The Music of Thomas Simaku’, has been published within Cambridge University Press’ quarterly review of new music, TEMPO.

  • 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.