The Sixteen and the Genesis Foundation join forces to present A Meditation, a new album that will be released on 3 June 2022 on the CORO Label. The recording features five new works by James MacMillan, Will Todd, Anna Semple, Eoghan Desmond and Lisa Robertson, all commissioned by the Genesis Foundation. Alongside these, are three hymns, all with texts by Newman, and three pieces by Edward Elgar: They are at rest, Great is the Lord and Give unto the Lord. The album ends with a track by Bob Chilcott – also a Genesis Foundation commission – based on Psalm 139.
Harry Christophers, along with James MacMillan, selected and mentored the three younger composers for their commissions. All five new works are inspired by a meditation by St John Henry Newman that was adapted by Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury, into a poem that would be an inspiration to the composers. The Sixteen, together with Harry Christophers are joined by Simon Johnson on the organ and Sarah Sexton on the violin and the recording was made at Temple Church in London.
Harry Christophers says, “Throughout this new album we have contrasting settings, with each composer bringing their own insights into the poem. I find it fascinating how the same text can resonate in such differing ways but ultimately convey the same message. This recording presents us with five new commissions all made possible by the extraordinary vision of John Studzinski and the Genesis Foundation. Our hope is that this music will resound around cathedrals and concert halls for years to come.”
John Studzinski, Founder & Chairman of the Genesis Foundation, said: “Over the past two decades, the Genesis Foundation has commissioned 30 new pieces from established and emerging composers, expanding the repertoire and reach of modern sacred music. The five new choral works on this album help us deepen our understanding of Newman’s meditation, reflecting on the value of community, on how each of us can be of service in every moment of our lives. A powerful message for all of us, whether religious or not.”
A launch event including workshops and a performance will happen on 2 July with full details to be announced in due course.
Available to pre-order here: https://thesixteenshop.com/products/a-meditation-album-by-the-sixteen