An opportunity not
to be missed
"The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, offered fine performances, by turn angry and devotional, as text and role required. The turba choruses were vivid, the chorales heartfelt but clear-eyed. Diction, moreover, was thoroughly excellent."
Boulezian | March 2013
Mark Berry on The Choir of Clare College singing J. S. Bach's St John Passion with Aurora Orchestra, directed by Nicholas Collon, March 2013
"The choral singing – the London Philharmonic Chorus, with the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, supplying the semi-chorus – was unstintingly sumptuous and secure."
The Guardian | January 2013
Andrew Clements on The Choir of Clare College singing The Dream of Gerontius with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, directed by Sir Mark Elder, January 2013
"The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge were on excellent form. ... They sounded very much as the best of the English choral tradition. ... There was seraphic beauty to be experienced from Clare’s voices ..."
Seen and Heard International | January 2013
Mark Reed on The Choir of Clare College singing The Dream of Gerontius with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, directed by Sir Mark Elder, January 2013
"The choir of Clare College (director Graham Ross) sang the semi-chorus parts, singing with superb control and providing the still small voice amidst the grander choral gestures"
Planet Hugill | January 2013
Robert Hugill on The Choir of Clare College singing The Dream of Gerontius with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, directed by Sir Mark Elder, January 2013
"The two choirs had all the necessary power for the big choral moments, with a marvellously terraced sound that suggested vast distances"
Classical Source | January 2013
Peter Reed on The Choir of Clare College singing The Dream of Gerontius with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, directed by Sir Mark Elder, January 2013
"The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge served as the spiritual semi-chorus. ... Impeccably drilled"
The Arts Desk | January 2013
Alexandra Coghlan on The Choir of Clare College singing The Dream of Gerontius with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, directed by Sir Mark Elder, January 2013
The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, is one of the various nurseries for future BBC Singers and an organisation that’s undergone major change in recent years with the departure, after distinguished decades in office, of Tim Brown as music director and the arrival of the young, thrusting and prodigiously talented Graham Ross as his successor.
Ross is not much older than his singers, but his discipline is strong, secure and musically astute. He shapes and phrases with real mastery. And for this concert at St John’s, Smith Square, he devised a fascinatingly non-standard programme that included three versions of In dulci jubilo in rapid succession (one by Ross himself), a rare outing of Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden (which is totally on-message for Christmas but something few choirs would think of throwing into a carol concert), and a period-conscious performance of Stille Nacht with the sort of 19th-century guitar that would have accompanied the original performance (given that the carol was written for a village church where the organ wasn’t working).
For good measure we also had a new, extended choral work, Uncommon Prayers, written with characteristic maverick quirkiness by Clare’s current Composer-In-Residence, Giles Swayne. And inevitably there was something by John Rutter, who was Tim Brown’s predecessor at Clare and will forever be associated with its choir. Sadly, it wasn’t the one Rutter carol that I truly love, What Sweeter Music, but the earlier, cheesier Nativity Carol which I don’t love but I understand why others do. You have to make allowances at Christmas.
The Catholic Herald | 4 January 2013
Michael White on The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge at St John's, Smith Sqaure 2012
"Thrilling... A tribute to the superb ensemble singing of the Choir of Clare College under Graham Ross, who has trained with choir with its impeccable ensemble. Clear, well-defined recording
Gramophone | October 2012
Edward Greenfield on The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and The Dmitri Ensemble's disc of Imogen Holst Choral Works for Harmonia Mundi
"These performances are poised, immaculate.
Performance * * * * / Recording * * * *"
BBC Music Magazine | September 2012
Malcolm Hayes on The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and The Dmitri Ensemble's disc of Imogen Holst Choral Works for Harmonia Mundi
"This programme, all of which is new to disc, shows her terrific gift for textured harmony, drama and vocal beauty. Performances and recording are of the highest standard, as one might expect. * * * * *"
Classical Music Magazine | September 2012 on The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and The Dmitri Ensemble's disc of Imogen Holst Choral Works for Harmonia Mundi
"The choir responds skilfully under Graham Ross... admirably committed performances from the Choir of Clare College and The Dmitri Ensemble, in very fine sound"
International Record Review | September 2012 John Warrack on The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and The Dmitri Ensemble's disc of Imogen Holst Choral Works for Harmonia Mundi
'Clare Choir were wonderful in Saint Emilion. I took my father (Barry Brown, 1956) and some friends, it was a searingly hot evening but soothingly cool inside the old Eglise Collegiale. They put on an ambitious programme effortlessly - just beautiful. 'Clare Tooley (1989, nee Brown), former Choral Scholar
Bordeaux Tour - June 2011
'This was one of the occasions when that chemistry was exactly right - as good as any live account of the work I've heard in years. The singing of the London Philharmonic Chorus, with the Choir of Clare College Cambridge forming the semi-chorus, was full-blooded and intense, the playing of the London Philharmonic Orchestra utterly secure. 5 stars - The Guardian
'As for the London Philharmonic Choir, reinforced in the centre by the raspberry-robed choir of Clare College, Cambridge, their clear, fervent sounds were always the instruments of bliss.' 4 stars - The Times
The Dream of Gerontius - Royal Festival Hall, London - March 2011
'Lovers of choral music were given a treasurable lesson in sublime ensemble singing by the visiting Choir of Clare College, Cambridge.' - The Daily Page
USA Tour - September 2010
'If you ever needed confirmation of the fantastically high standard of choral singing that exists in the UK, look, or rather hear, no further than the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge.' - Classical Source
French music with the Schubert Ensemble - King's Place, London - June 2010
'[The Choir's] singing of the choruses was fresh, exacting, fired with energy, well punctuated and articulated; Brown's attention to text, dynamics, diction, language, pronunciation and phrase-endings is reflected in the enthralling performance of this choir.' - The Jerusalem Post
The Christmas Oratorio - Israel Tour - December 2009
'There's no doubt [Vaughan Williams] would have doffed his boater to the last recording...from Clare College...the sweeping energy and rich detail of Tim Brown's interpretation draw out the best from his young singers, in matters musical and mystical.' - Classic FM
'This performance, lovingly moulded and well balanced in the play of solo voices and full choir, is in the best tradition.' - Gramophone
'Compliments to the Naxos sound team for achieving clarity within a faithful representation of the St John's College acoustic...what impresses about this performance is the exceptional sense of shape, both in overview and in tiny details...This comes with a strong recommendation.' - BBC Music Magazine
CD Review - Vaughan Williams 'Sacred Music' - July 2009
'...exemplary choral clarity made even Stanford's Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in A sound thrilling...starred firsts all round for the performers...' - The Times
BBC Proms: Prom 8 - 800th Anniversary of the University of Cambridge - Royal Albert Hall, London - July 2009
'...the Clare College Choir and soloist Raphaela Papadakis sang with great beauty...'
'...Timothy Brown's pacey direction illuminated the Requiem's often neglected dramatic dimensions rather than its more characteristic intimacy...' - The Guardian
Fauré Requiem - King's Place, London - May 2009