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Ruth Byrchmore

Publisher: Novello & Co

The Dark Night (2010)
Text Writer
St John of the Cross
Novello & Co Ltd
Chorus a cappella / Chorus plus 1 instrument
Year Composed
10 Minutes

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  • Ensemble
    The Sixteen
    Harry Christophers
  • 14 JUN 2011
    The Dark Night World Premiere
    fleeting, God World Premiere
    St James's Church, Spanish Place, London
    The Sixteen
    Harry Christophers, conductor

Ruth Byrchmore's 'The Dark Night' has one of the most terrifying openings imaginable. This is a very classy score indeed, whose music provides a convincing and idiosyncratic response to an ardently spiritual text by St John of the Cross. The choral writing is contrapuntally taut, the organ writing unusual and devastatingly effective, and the harmonic pacing deft and atmospherically pungent.
Choir & Organ,01/11/2012
Here the text addresses Christ as lover and Byrchmore distills music that precisely expresses the purity of a spiritual longing that transcends the flesh. The organ accompaniment is idiomatic and there’s somewhat greater complexity in the vocal lines where some almost obsessive moment conveys the frustration of desire.
Rebecca Tavener, Organists' Review,01/03/2012
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